Teaching a child to knit

The right age to teach a child to knit is whenever your child shows an interest. Children are not too young to learn if they ask. Usually at the age of five or six, children have enough dexterity to handle the needles. Tying shoes is an easy test. You can also try crochet first, the use of a hook may be easier.

Let the child pick out a chunky yarn of their choosing. A multicolored yarn will help keep them interested. They will be excited to see how the colors knit themselves out. Another fun way to get them started is to help them to dye their own yarn. Also, two different color needles will help make the learning easier. Their own knitting bag is a nice idea.  To find out about the advantages in teaching a child to knit, read on.




Dyeing for dinner

Fiber in Black bean dyebath

The oval cooking pot (Mom's from the 40's

I just finished making my Taco Black bean soup. It called for black beans, can crushed tomatoes, can corn, taco seasoning, ground beef (substituted shredded chicken), sour cream and chips, DINNER!
The most fun of all is that I used the bean “soak water” to dye wool, silk and bamboo fiber that I will spin into yarn. I will let the fibers soak in the dye bath for 48 hours. I expect to get  purple/sliver/blue color. Each fiber will take the dye differently.

Flowers in the dyebath

Dye for wool, silk and bamboo

I also gathered Goldenrod (only the flowers) and will dye fiber with that. A am expecting a yellow/orange, but who knows. When it comes to dyeing it isn’t an exact science…too many variables.

More about fiber

Sheep to Yarn in three workshops

New Pond Farm at 101 Marchant Road Redding, CT 06896-1824
(203) 938-2117

Sheep to Yarn in Three Workshops

Wednesdays: February 2, February 9, February 23

10:30 –  11:30 am
If you love fiber or have an interest in learning to produce your own yarn, you will enjoy these classes. This three-part series will introduce you to raw fleece from our own Icelandic Sheep and cover each step as it is transformed into hand spun yarn. During the first session, you will learn about washing, carding, and drumcarding wool and you will have a chance to try your hand with a drop spindle. During the second class, you will make your own spindle and create your own yarn. The last class will teach you to dye wool. No prior experience is required. Fee per class: $10/member, $12/non-member.

Reservations are required. Please call New Pond Farm at 203-938-2117, email Kristen@newpondfarm.org or visit http://www.newpondfarm.org to sign up online.

Spring-brings new color trends

The new colors for spring are here. If you knit, weave,spin, sew, crochet…the look for spring is airy, light, diaphanous, ethereal. The look will be classic with a modern twist. It sounds as if all body types will enjoy  the final product. 

Don’t throw out everything in your closet that isn’t this. Make a few accent pieces that are in this color-scheme and work it into your wardrobe.

Grey will be your neutral. Have fun.

Hello Dolly!


The sun finally came out this afternoon. On Tuesday I put crushed rhubarb leaves and water in one container (on the left) and sliced rhubarb root and water in the other (on the right). It needs at least 5 days of sun to simmer, before straining out the liquid. The one on the left is the mordant and the right one is the dye. The dye color can go from yellow to coral/red. I guess it all depends on concentration and the mordant you use.


That’s wool from the Boggs Hill fleece , on the screens, drying in the background. I plan to use this long wooled sheep fiber to rhubarb dye.

This is a small sampling of leftover fleece that is too short or on its way to being felted. I put some in my compost…figuring it will help aerate the soil. I put some in my boots and youngest sons sneakers…adding cushioning. I guess some could be used to stuff pillows or toys. OR? Short of throwing it out.

Any suggestions…

What to do with the fleece that isn’t spinnable?

June 16, 2009


That’s Dolly Wool, from a “Husky”. Chiengora as the French would define it.  The yarn is sooo very soft with a beautiful bloom.  The pictures don’t do it justice. The owners of the dog will be very pleased.