Earlier this year at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, I stopped by to see my friends from Dragonfly Fibers at their booth. It was our first big outing with the baby and we look forward to the festival each year. My son loves seeing and petting the myriad breeds of sheep, my husband finds the different types of fibers and processing fascinating, and of course, I go to see my knitting friends, yarn company friends, and to scope out new yarns for future projects.
It's become a tradition to stop by and see Kate and Nancye from Dragonfly, have them show me their new fibers and colors, catch each other up on the goings on with our families, talk about future work, and snuggle some of their yarns. When I asked what was new, I'm pretty sure I squealed with delight when Nancye put some Selkie Sport in my hands to squish. An absolutely delightful blend of 70% Bluefaced Leicester and 30% mulberry silk, I don't normally gravitate towards sportweight, but immediately made an exception when I held this yarn.
What's so special about Bluefaced Leicester? Our friends at Wikipedia tell us, "The Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) is a longwool breed of sheep which evolved from a breeding scheme of Robert Bakewell, in Dishley, Leicestershire in the eighteenth century. This breed is raised primarily for meat, but their fleece is becoming increasingly popular for handspinning. Bluefaced Leicester sheep may also have brown on their face and have curly, fine, rather lustrous wool which is one of the softest of the UK clip. The fleeces are not very heavy, only weighing 1 to 3 kg (2.2 to 6.6 lb) and are recognisable through their Roman noses, which have a dark blue skin which can be seen through the white hair, hence the name." All that aside, it's one of my favorite breeds to knit with and I find myself knitting with it again and again.
I came home with a hank of Purple Haze and Red Bud, knowing that lace would be part of the plan. I know - shocking that I didn't turn it into Fair Isle! Meet the Kings & Thieves Cowl, a mix of jogless stockinette stripes in the round with lace. Starting with a provisional cast on, then kitchenered up at the end, this cowl really shows off the beauty of Dragonfly's dyeing, the wonderful drape of the knitted fabric due to the fiber content, and uses just a hank of each color. Knit on US 5 circular knitting needles, this is yet another of my new patterns designed for a knitter on the go. I love the color quality that you can only get with a hand dyed yarn. Stripes, band of color, and blocks of lace make the yarn the star in this pattern. Add additional yardage to make a longer cowl and double loop it around your neck!
If you find yourself at the Shenandoah Fiber Festival September 23rd and 24th (another one of our favorites we hit year after year as a family), stop by the Dragonfly Fibers booth to see the cowl in person and drape it around your neck! Word on the street is there will also be kits available at their booth. If you see me wandering around the festival with my family stuffing our faces with the out-of-this-world apple cobbler the Boy Scouts sell there, be sure to say hello!
Download the Kings & Thieves Cowl here.