Bringing in the New

We may already be in the second week of 2016, but it's never too late to wish a Happy New Year to all! I hope you've enjoyed the holiday season and are refreshed and inspired for the new. This is my very first post of 2016, and I have a first peek at a new sweater.

I happen to love charcoal grey. This first sweater of the New Year is the first item I've made with Westerly sweater knit. That's the fabric that's been knitted with the wonderful natural (as in not dyed) wool from the Imperial Stock Ranch. I've used Burda Pullover 11/2012 #128 pattern with no modifications so far. Truth be told, it's not actually finished. I still can't decide whether I want the split hem band or just a plain hem. I've been trying on the sweater every day for the past few days trying to make that decision. :/

One of the decisions I did make about the sweater that I'm quite happy with is that I decided to full the fabric. While prepping the fabric with a wash by hand, I agitated the wool with my hand just a little bit, as I'd done with my test swatch. (Warning:  Don't try this at home unless you test with a swatch first.) The fabric fulled beautifully, keeping stitch definition intact, while producing a fuzzier, less open, and richer fabric. Second warning:  Some natural wools seem to turn to felt at the blink of an eye, so if you ever want to give fulling a try, I repeat, be sure to test your method first on a swatch.

More "New" on the Blog Too!

Over the next few weeks, I'll be introducing you to a couple of new contributors to the Crafting Fashion blog. They'll be cutting and sewing and writing about what they make with sweater knits. I'm so fortunate to be working with these smart and creative ladies. I think you'll like reading about the fashion they create, each from her own unique perspective.

Sincerest wishes for peace, health, and happiness in 2016. May all your spools of thread and cones of yarn be full.



  1. This knit is so beautiful! Love the undyed wool!

    1. Thank you. The yarn is amazing! It's a blend of several greys.

  2. Your sweater is gorgeous and very inspirational. Not having ever sewn something like this but interested to get going on this type of project, I read your description with interest. I also followed the link to your post on fulling. Would you be able to describe this in a little more detail or direct me to a more detailed description. As a complete newbie, I am confused about the process as in how long did you soak the wool fabric, what temperature was the water, how much did you hand agitate it and once you decided it had reached a good point, how did you remove the water from the wool (i.e. towel blot dry followed by air dry while flat?). Also how much extra fabric would I have to calculate when purchasing the wool knowing that I intend to try a lightly filled effect which would create fabric shrinkage. My apologies if these are ridiculously obvious questions, but I am truly a newbie to this type of fabric :-(
    Thanks, Dagmar

    1. Thank you, Dagmar.

      Your questions are NOT ridiculous. Unfortunately, I don't have another place where I can direct you at the moment. I had thought of describing my process a little more in detail but then realized my method was so inexact -- The water was warm to the touch, I used a little soap, and I agitated the fabric until it "looked right". I can tell you that I put the fabric on the "gentle" spin cycle in a top loading washing machine to remove excess water.

      I'll try to go into details a little more in a future post, which may be able to act as a guide.... I do have before and after swatches, so I can determine shrinkage in this particular situation for this particular fabric. Thanks for asking.

  3. Thanks! I'll look forward to the future post. :-)


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