It's no secret that I'm a huge Juniper Moon Farm fan. I've been very lucky to be a shareholder in the farm since 2010, and I've had the chance to use several of their commercial yarns as well. (The farm sells a limited number of shares in its yarn harvest - from sheep actually raised on the farm - and also runs a line of commercial yarns produced from wool and other fibers produced elsewhere).
JMF's latest project is another knock-your-socks off amazing endeavour: The Shepherd and The Shearer. They announced the project almost a year ago, and I've been following avidly ever since. Susan (The Shepherd) describes the project in these two posts, and designers Kate Davies and Kirsten Kapur both explain their roles in blog posts of their own. (Go check out the posts for LOTS of gorgeous photos!)
The Shepherd and The Shearer kits are about to be shipped out! SO EXCITING! The patterns, and an e-book explaining the process from sheep to shorn wool to yarn to sweaters, are for sale on Juniper Moon's website, along with a very small number of kits including the yarn- these will sell out, probably today.
I love both patterns, but the one I cannot live without is The Shepherd. I'm also an unabashed Cardigan-aholic, and cables are my favourite kind of knitted texture. Not to mention... the hood! The seed stitch! All the little details! I am definitely planning to make The Shepherd as soon as I can.
I'm definitely a fan of harder wearing, and even "scratchy" yarns, too. I guess I'm lucky to have a fairly high tolerance for prickle-factor. I've also owned a number of sweaters in my life that lasted for YEARS and years through tons of abuse, and they really do soften up over time. Soft yarns are great for some things, but I feel very strongly (like Susan & Emily) that there's an important place for rougher wools, too.
So, which of the patterns is your favourite? Or, do you love them both equally? :)