Friday, September 6, 2013


When my brother told me last year that he was planning to move to Austin, I couldn't buy a plane ticket fast enough.  For years I'd been hearing about what a great city Austin is & I couldn't wait to check it out for myself.  And while I think I've been spoiled by Seattle's unique neighborhoods, high walkability & gorgeous surroundings, I will definitely go back to Austin to check out all the stuff I just couldn't fit into my 5-day trip.  

What I did manage to fit in were a few trips to some yarn shops.  I'd heard good things about Hill Country Weavers so I visited them first.  The shop is a converted house within a short drive (or a very long walk) of downtown.  They had a good selection of yarn, including harder-to-find stuff like Brooklyn Tweed & The Fiber Co.  

The preserved house layout made for a fun labyrinth of rooms to explore. 


They even had a full room devoted to books & magazines, including lots of back issues.

They've recently published their own first book, Kismet, which includes weaving patterns embellished by knit & crochet.  I don't weave so I didn't pick up a copy but it's an interesting concept.

What I did pick up was a skein of Hedgehog Fibers sock yarn in the Copper Penny colorway.  This is an indie dyer out of Ireland that Hill Country Weavers has just started carrying.  I don't really have any other colors like this in my stash & I'm hoping it will be a good match for Cookie A's Monkey socks. 

A few days later, I visited Gauge Knits.  Unfortunately I was already packed for my flight home (in fact I was on my way to the airport when I stopped by) so I had to take these photos with my phone.  Hopefully they convey the warm, comfortable environment of this shop, which was enhanced by the awesome, friendly employees. 

This shop also had a wide selection, including a lot more locally-spun or dyed yarn by brands like Little Green Finch (sold exclusively by Gauge) & The Fiber Co-op.  

This shop includes a lending library where you can take out books for about three weeks at a time to decide if you'd like to buy them.

The allure of local yarn (the perfect souvenir!) was too strong to resist so I grabbed one beautiful skein of heavy lace/light fingering weight superwash merino by Little Green Finch & two heavily discounted skeins of sport or DK weight wool by The Fiber Co-op.  The plan is to combine them into a two-tone shrug.

Now that I've wrapped up two long-term projects, I'm getting antsy to cast on or start spinning another, but don't want to get distracted from my Buttony Sweater, which I'm making rapid, if still enigmatic, progress on.  I have a couple of quick projects in mind & really should start the Xmas knitting so I'll let you know next time what I decide.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finished Objects

Despite all the work & travel that I've packed into the past few months, I've actually managed to get quite a bit of knitting & spinning done!  And I have a few things to show for it, but first things first.

A belated congrats to Connie K. who won the drawing for Melissa Wehrle's debut book, Metropolitan Knits.  Even though I'm behind on blogging about it, I selected her comment via the random number generator & contacted her as promised on August 16th.  She tells me she has the book in hand & hopefully has cast on for her preferred project The Magnolia Cafe Cardigan.  Happy knitting, Connie!  Now onward to the FO's!

These are my Mermaid's Lagoon socks.  These socks have been on the needles for a very long time.  Like well over a year. 

Here I am working on them this past April in Jamaica.  Before that, they accompanied me to Mexico in April of 2012.  Finally, their journey is over.  

I'm still not sure that this was the best pairing of yarn & pattern.  The pattern is awfully hard to see.  Here's a side-by-side comparison of my sock (left) & one of the photos from the pattern (right), knit in a solid-colored yarn.
These are definitely not my favorite socks but I don't dislike them.  Mostly I'm glad they're done.  Of course, I haven't stopped buying sock yarn so there will be more epic sock projects in my knitting future.

My other finished item, which I'm extremely excited about, is the Impossible Dreams spinning.  Behold!

I have 3 skeins & 186 yards of this yarn.  I'm thinking I'd like to stripe it with some grey or brown in mitts or a cowl but I have no definite plans for it yet. The way the colors distributed themselves during plying, with the blue acting as a common thread throughout the red, purple & orange, makes me want to see it knitted up by itself.  However I'm also afraid it'll pool or be underwhelming on its own.  This one probably needs to sit in my stash for a while until inspiration strikes. 

In other project news, I'm continuing to reknit the Buttony Sweater & keeping my fingers crossed that this time, it will fit.

As fall arrives in Seattle, there are lots of great fiber events coming up, such as Seattle Yarn's 15th anniversary & the Whidbey Island Fabulous Fall Fiber Sale, now with free classes!  Not to mention, I still haven't recounted my yarn adventures in Austin, so stay tuned for that next time!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sweater Fail

Eventually it happens to all of us: a thoroughly botched project.  Today, I will share my recent failure: The Buttony Sweater.  

It started out great, as you may recall from this hopeful photo:

And it seemed like it was going great all the way until I reached the ribbing at the bottom of the body.  

The first issue I encountered was that I ran out of the contrast color yarn that I was using for the top & bottom ribbing a few stitches before the end of the bind-off.  But never fear!  I had a very similar color of yarn that I substituted for those last few stitches & no one will be able to tell the difference.  Once I'd finished binding off, I tried it on & the real problem revealed itself.  This thing fits terribly!  It's too bulky under the arms & way too tight in the waist & hips.  My waist shaping is too low & too dramatic.  On top of that, I don't have as much yarn as I thought I did, so I definitely don't have enough to do full sleeves. 

Here it is lying flat.  Even here, the shaping mistakes are obvious.

Luckily I have a plan!  I'm going to rip it back to the armpits & start the waist shaping almost immediately below them.  I will make fewer decreases & increase more at the hips.  To ensure that I have enough yarn, I'll knit one less buttonhole.  Lastly, I'll have to make short sleeves instead of long sleeves.  I only have one ball of the main color yarn left so I'll have to use half of it for each sleeve.  Fingers crossed that this turns out better & if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!   

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Metropolitan Knits Review & Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I was approached to review Metropolitan Knits: Chic Designs for Urban Style, the debut book by one of my favorite designers, Melissa Wehrle.  I first took notice of Melissa's work back in 2005 when Sesame appeared in MagKnits.  I was a brand-new knitter at the time & this was one of the very first sweaters I aspired to knit!  Then, when she was the featured designer in KnitScene Fall 2009, I really fell in love with her patterns.  They are functional, sturdy & flattering.  She utilizes design features such as tabs & uniquely-placed lace motifs, which add a ton of personality to classic designs.  Her body of work also includes a good mix of fitted feminine pieces & more relaxed, comfortable knits to appeal to a variety of styles.  The patterns included in this book are no exception. 

This book is inspired by & dedicated to life in NYC & is divided into three chapters based on different facets of city life.  I'll tell you a little bit about my favorite patterns from each chapter.

Chapter 1 (Heart of the City) starts with two quick-to-knit accessories then dives right into a sweater that a more experienced knitter could really sink their teeth into.  The Museum Sweater consists of an all-over lace pattern, with shaping worked into the selvedge stitches on the sides.  There is additional shaping around the neck & shoulders, then the cowl gets picked up & knit inside out in twisted rib.  For me, this would be a years-long project but I still find myself drawn to the drape of the yarn, the relaxed yet flattering silhouette & the huge comfy cowl neck.  Plus I definitely welcome the occasional knitting challenge.

The Meier Cardigan, which appears on the cover, is one of my favorite patterns in the book.  The construction is really smart: it's knit from the bottom up in one piece to the armholes, then gets divided for the sleeves.  One reason for this is that the cardigan includes side lace panels, which I didn't even notice until I'd looked at it quite a few times!  I feel like this would also get the cardigan off to a really quick start, as you would see a lot of progress right away & be encouraged to keep knitting.  

Chapter 2 (Urban Bohemia) is my favorite chapter.  It's full of big, comfy sweaters & I want to knit almost all of them.  These are perfect Seattle garments: rustic, warm, layering pieces that could take me through about 8 months of the year.  

The Magnolia Cafe Cardigan has a shawl collar & button band that are actually knitted separately, joined at the back then attached to the cardigan for a cleaner look.  I love that level of attention to detail.  That theme is continued by knitting the lining of the pockets in a contrasting color yarn.  These touches, plus the combination of cables & double moss stitch, make this a great piece for process knitters & product knitters alike.

For a more laid-back knitting experience, the Washington Square Cardigan, is high on my knit-list.  This sweater makes me want to hug it.  Due to the vast swathes of stockinette & the simple lace pattern, I think it would look awesome knit in a bulky thick-&-thin yarn.  I appreciate the continuation of the buttons onto the inside of the collar, as they move from functional to decorative & complete the line.

Chapter 3 (City Gardens) mixes the elegance & casualness of the two previous chapters with a lighter touch.  Looser gauges & lighter yarns are used here to evoke a more natural aesthetic in contrast to the lively, urban experience celebrated in the previous two chapters.  Balancing a busy, full, extroverted city life with quiet, introspective time in nature is an important aspect of life in Seattle (& actually part of what drew me here rather than NYC).  This chapter highlights some of those areas that offer a respite within the city.

Normally I am not a shawl knitter, but the Grand Army Plaza Shawl might be the exception to that rule.  I love the open, un-finicky quality of the lace & the yarn chosen for this pattern is just gorgeous.  

Of all the patterns in this book, the Courtyard Pullover is my favorite & the one I hope to cast on first.  I love the variety of all the different stitch patterns & I find the length & shape of this piece really flattering.  I could see myself wearing this a lot, with both skirts & jeans & I think it might look great in a semi-solid yarn as well as a solid color.  The best part is that this sweater is knit raglan-style from the top down.

I hope I've piqued your interest in this book & in Melissa Wehrle as a designer.  You can pick up a copy of Metropolitan Knits: Chic Designs for Urban Style through InterweaveAmazon, or Barnes & Noble. Or, if you're really lucky, you can win the copy that Interweave has kindly provided for me to give away!  Just leave a comment on this blog (not on FB) with either your favorite pattern from this book or your favorite pattern by Melissa & I will choose a winner on August 16th (which will also be my 11-yr anniversary with Dan, an auspicious day no doubt!).  Good luck & I can't wait to hear from you!!! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Knitting in Verse

Kate Davies recently posted this glorious poem to her blog & I enjoyed it so much that I felt it should be more widely shared.  May all knitted gifts be received with this level of appreciation & enjoyment.  (Hint: to better the chances, take up knitting for poets!)

Ode to my Socks
Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,
Violent socks,
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.
Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere as schoolboys
keep fireflies,
as learned men collect
sacred texts,
I resisted the mad impulse to put them
in a golden cage and each day give them
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.
The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.
Pablo Neruda. Trans. by Robert Bly.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle

There was so much going on at Vogue Knitting Live last weekend that it's hard to even know where to start!  I popped in on Saturday for a couple of hours & found that that was not even enough time to make a full round of the marketplace!  Of course that might have been because it was packed to the gills but also because taking everything in for the first time was overwhelming.  There were fashion shows, artists, knitting celebs, a yarn tasting station, free massages & of course, plenty of beautiful yarn to ogle.  Luckily I had bought the two-day pass because I would have been severely disappointed if I'd tried to pack everything into Saturday.

First of all, I must say that what made VKL worth attending was the activities: the lectures, panels, fashion shows, everything I mentioned above.  The full price was $15.00/day so to go just for the marketplace would have been a waste of money.  However since I got a discounted two-day pass, I feel like I got a screaming deal!  I spent all day Sunday listening to great panels, learning about local yarn producers, knitting donations for the WorldVision Knit for Kids program &, yes, indulging in a few impulse purchases.  But more about that later!

When I arrived on Saturday, the Koigu fashion show was in full swing.  I started taking photos then looked to my left & there were Andrea & Joe of KnitCrate!  We had a great time chatting about all the amazing fiber stuff happening in upstate NY.  They really made the most of their time in Seattle, the full run-down of their trip is here.

Next I visited the yarn-tasting station & tried out some really yummy yarns by Prism.  Knitting on a swatch that tons of others have knitted on is an interesting exercise because it really puts your gauge into perspective.  Looking at a swatch after I'd added a few rows made me realize that I am probably a tighter knitter than I'd realized.  Perhaps it's time to switch back to knitting Continental!

The Skacel fashion show was the last thing I saw on Saturday, moderated by Cirilia Rose.  Aside from her myriad accomplishments (Creative Director at Skacel, designer, soon-to-be-author), she impresses me with her boundless energy & the enjoyment she projects around everything she does.  In short, this chick always looks like she's having fun.  Now, as someone who is always busy, I'm sure that she gets tired & stressed.  But her public persona is impressively enthusiastic.  That's something that I aim to project in my job as well.

I spent all of Sunday at VKL & heard some terrific presentations & panels.  The first presentation was by Kerry Graber of Jorstad Creek.  She is dedicated to sourcing fiber from local sheep, raised on environmentally friendly farms.  She also uses environmentally friendly dye processes.  Hearing all of this (plus seeing some of the beautiful yarn, fiber & garment samples that were passed around) was inspirational enough to send me straight to her booth to pick up 3 oz of undyed Gotland wool roving.  It's got some vegetable matter in it (& a cat butt behind it in this picture) but that's to be expected with minimal processing.  The VM I mean, not necessarily the cat butt.

I also attended two panels about launching a knitting business, both of which served to reinforce the fact that I have no desire to monetize my knitting.  Much of what was said struck a very similar chord to the experiences I've had building my career as a freelancer.  I'm kind of like a business in & of myself, as I need to determine my audience then reach out to them & build demand for my services via marketing, networking, relationship-building & proving myself.  The same skills are needed when establishing & building a knitting business, whether as a designer, yarn producer, yarn store owner, teacher, or some combination thereof.  So, naturally, the hours are similar as well.  

Patty Lyons of Lion Brand Yarn, a former Broadway stage manager (a job strikingly similar to what I do in film & video) summed it up best when she quoted a former colleague who once asked her, "Remember when we used to like theatre?"  As someone who built a career out of a former passion, I can relate to that question & have no desire to feel that way about knitting.  So I'll continue to spend money on yarn rather than trying to earn money from it.

At the end of the day, I came across the Stash booth, the store in Corvallis, OR that I visited last summer when Brenda Dayne taught there.  They had some really cute handmade ceramic buttons that I couldn't resist.

I also picked up (from another booth) Drafting, The Long & Short of It by Abby Franquemont on DVD.  I have her incredible book Respect the Spindle (required reading by the woman who taught me to spin) so I have no doubt that this DVD will teach me tons about drafting & spinning on my wheel.  I'm definitely ready to step up my spinning a bit & this is exactly what I was looking for to start doing so.

Now it's time to switch my focus to the next adventure: Dan & I are about to head to Jamaica for the wedding of one of my best friends.  After a grey Seattle winter (& in the middle of a grey Seattle spring), some sun, sand & knitting on the beach are just what the doctor ordered!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Structure & Craft

Now that I'm able to knit & spin again, I've been feeling motivated by a crafting calendar of sorts.  It's nothing too strict, I've just been working on my various WIP's in a certain order.

Day 1: Buttony Sweater. I divided for the sleeves today & the rounds are going much faster with them off the needles.  I'm a little concerned that the sleeves are too big but since this is my first sweater in this style & I still have to seam the sleeves closed, I'm just going to let it slide for now & see how things turn out.

Day 2: Mermaid's Lagoon Socks.  I'm progressing along the leg portion of sock #2.  Nothing of note to report here.

Day 3: Impossible Dreams spinning.  I'm officially halfway through the fiber!  And my second bobbin is almost full so since I only have three bobbins, some plying is in my future.  Can't wait to see how a plied skein looks!  I'm thinking this will yield a significant amount of yarn in a DK or light worsted weight but I can't even imagine what I will knit with it!

Day 4: Sunset spinning.  I've returned to this & am on the home stretch.  There is LOTS of plying to be done once this is spun up so I might start it before all the singles are spun if I need a break.

I don't expect to keep to this forever but for now, it's working really well.  It allows me to see progress on everything I'm working on & feel like things are moving along, perhaps more quickly than they actually are.

And while I'm nowhere near done with any of these projects, I just bought the yarn for my next project, Kate Davies' Owls sweater.  I've loved this sweater forever & have had a gift certificate to KnitPicks for the past year & a half that I didn't know what to do with.  So I finally put two & two together & realized that I could pretty much buy the yarn outright with this gift certificate.  I chose Wool of the Andes Bulky in the Jam colorway (pictured at right) & am really looking forward to casting on for such a bright sweater!  I'm also planning some Xmas knitting this year & expect to start that soon too.  No idea what anyone's getting yet so if any family or friends have requests, now is the time to submit them!

Tomorrow is the first full day of Vogue Knitting Live Seattle & I plan to spend most of the weekend there.  There were plenty of half price discount codes floating around leading up to the event so I made use of one & bought the Saturday/Sunday marketplace pass.  My goals are modest: say hi to the lovely folks from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, seek out & intro myself to the kick-ass couple behind KnitCrate (Hudson Valley residents traveling all the way to Seattle for this event) & take tons of pix for this here blog.  I don't need to buy any yarn or fiber, attending this event is more about the experience than anything else.  Plus I just saw many of these vendors at Madrona.  

Speaking of Madrona, I found myself sitting next to an incredibly prolific spinner whilst knitting with Brenda Dayne & when someone remarked on her rapid & extremely professional progress, she began handing out fliers for her yarn business.  I must admit I only just went to her Etsy shop today but I was blown away.  The yarn & fiber at Edgewood Garden Studio is absolutely glorious.  The colors are so rich that I want to knit with all of them!  I'd like to start buying yarn from more indie dyers/spinners & this one is right at the top of my list.  She won't be vending but when the time comes that I actually need yarn again, I will keep her in mind.  Until then, there's plenty in my stash to keep me very, very busy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Madrona in Review

The view from beautiful downtown Tacoma.
For the last few years, the Washington weather gods have smiled on Madrona and this year was no exception.  I spent all of Friday, Feb 15th in Tacoma and was treated to warm weather and blue skies, allowing me to walk all over the city during breaks in the festival.  

The day started off with a class on ergonomics by physical therapist and knitter Carson Demers (whose blog is woefully out of date).  This class was a complete revelation.  I learned so much about the way my body works and what I've done to injure it, not to mention how I can minimize these injuries/prevent new ones.  I spent the entire rest of the day practicing the knitting techniques he showed us, perhaps too much, as my wrist has been killing me for the past week. However, I really took to heart his teaching about reducing awkward, injury-causing postures in your non-knitting life, so as to be able to tolerate them more in your knitting life by buying myself an ergonomic keyboard, which I am currently taking for a test-drive (test-type?).  It's quite fascinating what changing up your tools can reveal about the way you use them.  Turns out, I only use about three fingers to type on a regular keyboard!  This keyboard is really forcing me to use all of my fingers.

After that, I resisted the urge to run straight to the marketplace and instead met up with some friends for lunch.  I returned just in time to do a little knitting with Brenda Dayne then it was off to the marketplace, where beauty, color and the miracles of knitting awaited!

This book was featured at nearly every booth and it's not hard to see why.  The variety of yarn styles featured was overwhelming.  I could see how a spinner could go from feeling like an expert to a novice just by buying this book!

 The Opulent Fibers booth blew me away with its glorious color and stylish, simple aesthetic.  I wanted to buy one of every color and fiber type there but I restrained myself because my fiber stash is already beyond my ability to spin through it anytime soon.

This is what I did allow myself to buy: two skeins of DK weight, hand-dyed, machine-washable merino by Fancy Image Yarn.  No idea what I will use it for yet but I don't have much brown or DK weight yarn in my stash so it seemed like the right time to add some.

As I was exiting the Fancy Image Yarns booth, I spotted a fascinating and unique garment I just had to photograph.  Yes, my friends, this is a completely hand-knit, long-sleeve dress with unique front and back detail.

I had some down time between the marketplace and the closing lecture so I continued working toward my unmeetable (& still unmet) goal of spinning that endless roving I bought two Madronas ago.  I made some serious progress but just couldn't get it all spun up, despite a couple late nights working away at it & the extension of my deadline from the beginning of Madrona until the end.

The day closed with a presentation by Donna Druchunas on Arctic Lace Knitting and a viewing of the teachers' gallery, full of garments they were using in their classes.  Before this presentation, I didn't know that Arctic Lace Knitting interested me (I just went because it was free!) but Donna's funny, conversational style and the story of the origins of the Oomingmak Co-op made it a fascinating lecture.

Next up, Vogue Knitting Live descends upon Seattle in early April.  With all these fiber festivals to attend, how's a girl supposed to find time any for actual knitting?!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Impossible Dreams

Against all logic, I've set myself an almost-unmeetable spinning goal.  Before I attend Madrona this Friday, I'd like to have finished spinning the fiber I bought there two years ago.  I've made good progress in the two years I've been working on it.  From its original weigh-in at 11 oz, it's currently down to just below 2 oz.  This technically makes my goal not completely impossible, just...ambitious.  Keep in mind that I am spindle-spinning a lace-weight yarn.  I actually set this goal a little over a week ago but almost immediately picked up a job working on a music video (for a band you may have actually heard of) so I got derailed for about a week.  Now it's really time to double down!

I've signed up for another mini-class at Madrona this year.  Being a freelancer means that by the time I have a sense of whether I'll be available enough to take a class, most classes are sold out.  But I did manage to grab a spot in a class that teaches knitters how to avoid hand/wrist pain, which I'm hoping will be quite useful.  I'm also planning to attend the Friday night teacher gallery & Donna Druchunas' talk on native Alaskan lace knitters.

Finally, you can expect to see the title of this post pop up again in the hopefully-not-too-distant future as I realized upon coming up with it that it is not just an apt description of my spinning goal, but the perfect name for the multi-colored alpaca fiber I've been spinning.  I'll spare you all the cheesy cliches about "living the dream" & "realizing my dreams" that are running through my head right now.  Suffice it to say, I'm off to do some spinning. 


Sunday, January 20, 2013


 With the exception of a few hours of sun today, this is what Seattle has looked like for over two weeks.  In fact, this is light fog compared to some of the days we've had recently.  Combined with freezing or near-freezing temperatures, being outside, as a friend put it, is like taking a cold shower.  And since I start my first job of the year in a couple of days, I haven't felt the slightest bit of guilt about staying inside knitting every day.  I even got off my ass & moved my Buttony Sweater off the needles & onto some waste yarn so I could try it on & photograph it. 

I think I'll knit about 2 more inches before separating the sleeves from the body.  I'm happy with the way it looks so far & I think it will fit well, though I might incorporate some waist shaping for a snugger fit.

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts the last few days & have discovered some new ones (new to me at least) that I really like.  Tonight, before running out to snap the after-dark photo above, I listened to, an interview show hosted by Johnny Vasquez (whose beautiful wife, Lacie Lynnae, you've probably seen in recent issues of Knitscene).  Up until October, Johnny was a prolific podcaster, interviewing designers like Cirilia Rose, Emma Welford & Allyson Dykhuizen.  However, he hasn't put out a new podcast since October so I hope the show hasn't come to an end.

Yesterday, I shuttled my sweater off of then back on to the needles in the company of the video podcast 90% Knitting. Normally I stick to audio podcasts because they don't require me to divide my attention as much.  I can visually focus on my knitting while my mind focuses on the podcast.  But when I have an exceptionally boring or tedious task at hand, a video podcast is just the thing.  And Lisa, who hosts 90% Knitting, is adorable & charming.

I've also discovered the knitting section at my local library & it kinda rocks!  I just finished reading Clara Parkes' Knitter's Book of Wool & it was absolutely eye-opening!  As with everything she writes, it was readable & concise while containing a wealth of information.  It really helped me figure out which breeds of wool I want to spin & I will be on the lookout for them at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival this year.  I've even begun entertaining the possibility of traveling to Oregon Flock & Fiber or Black Sheep Gathering later this year for more breed exposure.  Until then, knitting with yarns simply labeled "wool" will hold a whole new level of mystery!