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Easy and Gorgeous Alpaca Cowl instructions

Local, natural alpaca bliss in a brown like only the best chocolate

A photo posted by Faerwear (Dori) (@faerwear) on

This came from a local alpaca ranch – we actually have several of these within an hour’s radius, and we’ve mostly visited all of them (fun for kids, and alpaca poop is BOMB for your garden, and it doesn’t burn – so you can basically just sprinkle it around whenever you want and your plants and your soil will show almost-instant happiness).

Actually though, i found this one single skein in one of the local thrift shops. I couldn’t believe it, because a thirty dollar skein of yarn came home with me for $6.50, label and all, but so it did. One single skein, which hung out in my yarn stash until recently when I began busting for gifts.

I really only knit small things anymore – hats, small shawls and triangular scarves, fancy washcloths – and I whipped this up as a gift. I of course tried it on, and it’s pretty dang sexy.

SUPER simple instructions here:

You’ll need one 220-yard skein of something luxurious in a heavy fingering/sock weight, or double two laceweights (which is pretty much what this was, handspun two-ply) and some US10 needles (I use a 16″ circular because it’s easy transport for me). You really do need something with a propensity for drape – alpaca, silk blends, etc.

Cast on 84 stitches and join for knitting in the round. Purl a row, and then knit for 12-18 inches (if you want to be able to pull this up over your head and ears, knit at least 18-24 inches). You’ll have some curl (quite a bit at the beginning) because it’s straight stockinette but eventually the weight of the fabric will pull most of it out and the rest of it just looks and feels nice. Cast off in purl and block.

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Christmas Knitting, Gifts and Free Knitting Patterns

free knitting pattern | Evie's Dream Scarf | faerwear

It’s no secret amongst my friends that I’m also an avid knitter, and there’s nothing like finding good free knitting patterns that endure. I’ve paid for plenty of patterns – I can tell you from personal experience that a LOT of work goes into one, even if it’s just formatting it for standards so you can post it on your own blog.

I had a crazy year though, and my knitting time was basically taken up by designing faerwear (that’s fine too – I love to knit and make jewelry, but knitting is one of those things that i do strictly for gifting and enjoyment as I am slow at it) – but it’s now the holiday season, and so I am knitting like crazy).

This is exciting because it offers the periodic excuse to visit a yarn shop (or Webs, or Jimmy Beans Wool, my two favorites for finding deals on commercially-produced yarns), have soft fluffy things in my hands for hours, watch a lot of period pieces (my favorite for knitting) and also because it means I just get to be creative, without worrying about whether something will sell.

Christmas gifts from me are generally hats, dishcloth sets and cowls – they’re all quick, easy, and always useful ūüôā

That being said, I actually have several of my own patterns available, some of which are free and found right here on this website! If you’re on Ravelry, you can peruse all of my patterns together right here.

And yes, I do knit a lot of my own hat patterns as gifts – but I wanted to mention, also, two of my other favorite go-tos: the classic Felicity hat pattern, and Graham from Nutty Irishman Knits – both of these slouchy beanies knit up quickly and easily.

Eventually I will tell my very sweet and romantic story (the one that left me single-parenting all year) – but suffice it to say, that part of our lovely modern day love story saga is now over and my Canadian partner was granted a marriage visa this very morning! We will all be together as a family again in just a few short weeks – I’m so excited about the new life we are about to embark on, and all the creativity that is about to pile out of this household.

I have two more craft shows happening before Christmas – one this Friday and one this coming Monday evening (a “sip and shop” – lord help me, because I think that “sip” might mean “wine”, but that’s always a good thing when it comes to shopping). So I’m busy writing, making earrings, knitting, and mothering all at once right now and just reminding myself that January is going to be a big sigh of relief.

Happy Holidays!

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A “hoop tutorial” to keep your earrings looking good

faerwear | hoop tutorial - how to open and close them properly to maintain their shape.

How to keep your hoops hoopin’:

faerwear | hoop tutorial - how to open and close them properly to maintain their shape.
If you’re rockin’ a pair of my leather feather hoop earrings, here’s how to open and close them properly.

I thought it might go without saying as I use the simplest, most primitive hoop design on my earrings (I copied a pair of antiques), but I’ve noticed that some folks don’t open and close them properly, which results in a misshapen hoop, quickly – so here’s a brief “hoop tutorial” to help you keep them nice and round.

If you’re the proud owner of a mandrel and a soft hammer or mallet, this isn’t so much of a problem, of course, but not everyone has those tools at their disposal. I fix peoples’ lumpy rings all the time!

I use what’s called “half-hard” wire when I make my Argentium silver hoops. This makes for quicker hoop-making, and a little hammering hardens them up. I am almost always in a pair of my own earrings, and I get stuck on the same pair for a while. I’ve worn my most current faves for three weeks and the hoops still look great!

It’s really, really simple: TWIST them open, insert them into your ear, and then latch them shut. You’ll get the feel quickly, and they’ll stay nice and round.