January 03, 2014

New Year, New Name, New Projects on the Horizon

2014 began with the changing of the name of my business.  No longer will you find Zibeline Knits on Etsy.  You will find Cedar Hill Farm Company, and I hope you will stop by once in a while.  Nothing has changed about the yarn and fiber that I offer, but since we bought a farm and the plan for it seems to be moving toward developing our own self-sustaining fiber farm, it just seemed like the online business and the market business should fall in line with the rest of my life.  And so, even though I don't think I will change the address of this blog because that would throw off anyone who has it cached in their blog reader, but the next time you visit, it will have a new banner.  I hope you will continue to visit.

We also have a new business website for our Cedar Hill Farm. It's very new and still under construction, so pardon my web design mess.

In case you were wondering: sheep.  We're seriously looking at having a herd of medium wool sheep. I think, though with some regret, that sheep are a better fit for our pastures than alpaca.  Right now, I'm all about not killing off 8 acres of pasture and replanting it because alpaca are picky eaters. My husband has even, all without prompting from me, been considering developing our own fiber mill to mill our wool and process that of others.  (Dare I dream!?)

We're definitely going ahead with the organic vegetable plan for local farmers' markets.  We've already planned out the massive garden, planted the blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and selected the seeds.  Now we just need to put up some anti-wildlife fencing and build the new greenhouse.  The hoop house of bygone days is, with the amount of gusty wind that we get, bygone.

So that's the farm and business update.

As for the projects for the new year … I still have a pair of man socks to finish, though I'm on the gussetts.  Scout 1 doesn't seem to be in any kind of hurry to wear them, so I'm just working on them when I can.  I also have my mother's shawl to finish.  This one is a handspun project, with a combination of thick/thin handspun merino/silk and handspun mohair locks.  I'm a bit more than halfway finished on this. (Pictures are promised when I'm done.) I also have a vest with the bodice to re-knit and my semi-circular lace shawl pattern that I was self- test-knitting but put down to do the Christmas knitting. That shawl suffered a slight set-back last night when we came home from buying the latest in a string of new fish for Rocket (at least this last one lasted the night this time!) to discover that a beagle had climbed onto the end table and had a good chew on my new blonde Harmony needle tips, though the cable is fortunately still intact.  There were many expletives when I walked into the house.  These are the suspects (Rooster on the left; Elvis on the right).  Somebody is going to lose his knitting buddy priveleges.

For Christmas I received a substantial addition of literature to my reference library.  Among them are two Elizabeth Zimmerman texts.

Consequently, I think my big project for the year will be a Pi Shawl, though the prospect of that much knitting in circles sort of makes my head spin when I think about it (the pattern says something about 500+ stitches before you want to think about knitting on a sideways border!!). I think I will knit it in my Flock 225 label.  I've had my eye on that Highlands colorway for some time. I'm also going to design a Shetland lace something or other (got new yarn for Christmas that is perfect for such a project).  I also finished (JUST in time for Christmas) the by-the-seat-of-my-pants cowl for my step-daughter ("thanks, Pinterest" she says with a note of sarcasm), which turned out so nicely that there will have to be a pattern written up and at least one more knit for me. It doesn't look as much like the Pinterest pic that I was supposed to re-create as I would have liked, but that's okay because it was a big hit and now I can claim the pattern for my own.  I also recently and unexpectedly unearthed (some days I feel like we are NEVER going to be finished unpacking from the move in June!) the handspun Shetland wool that I did for the purpose of knitting up a Kate Davies Snawheid for myself.  My two handspun hanks just need to spend some time in a dye pot and then this might be the very next project to make it to the needles.  One of my knitting groups is also planning to start the year with a KAL and learn new tricks.  We're making Tunisian Crochet Entrelac Throws using a free pattern from Lionbrand.  And socks.  I'm still bitten by the sock bug, and have amassed a substantial stash of sock yarns over the last few months.  I think 2014 will be 12 months of having at least one pair of socks on the needles at all times.

I hope your new year is off to a great start!

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