Homegrown hollyhock shawl

 Or: sheep + flowers = happiness




We became shepherds a few years ago because 1. sheep are fuzzy and cute and look adorable dotted across our hillside; and 2. because I really wanted to grow my own fiber for knitting.

It was a long and varied road that led to those first skeins of wool but we made it – and each stitch I make with homegrown yarn is more satisfying than I ever could have imagined. 

I planted black hollyhocks in my flower garden so that I could have a wider color palate of natural dyes. As a biennial (flowering only on the second year) even my dye plants were a long-game plan. 


Finally this spring I dyed my first skein of hollyhock wool (the bottom skein in the photo above) and it was true love. A complex sage with an undercurrent of blue, it's mellowed to a soft sage green in the months since I dyed it.

And it is, quite possibly, my favorite yarn ever. Because squishy, gorgeous, and homegrown in every way? Yes, please!  

Despite my yarn being worsted weight, I chose to knit a Guernsey Triangle after being utterly distracted by my friend Meg's gorgeous version during a visit this spring as we discussed homeschooling, lambs in tutus, and doing yoga with goats. (Among other things.)

Yes, the Guernsey Triangle is designed for fingering weight yarn. Yes, I knitted it in worsted. Rules be damned!

To accommodate for the extra bulk of my yarn I simply cast on the small version with the expectation of it coming out roughly the size of a large. (It did.)




Next up? A cowl with fiber from this cute bunny.

Game. On.


Photos by the ever-helpful Sage. Thank's, bud.

 P.S. My project notes are here

9 thoughts on “Homegrown hollyhock shawl

  1. Leslie says:

    The hollyhock is outstanding! Beautiful shawl – looks useful, too. I am attempting an indigo vat next month – fingers crossed…

  2. Shell ~ says:

    ~ hi Rachel,

    OH, my fiber-knitting-bunny goodness !!!
    I LOVE the 2nd image of you & Miss Angora Rabbit, … best ever.
    The hollyhock shawl is sooooo beautiful. LOVeee the dye color & what a fantastic pattern.
    * sheep + flowers = happiness * …. sounds like a perfect book title to me !!
    Sage: terrific photos.

    Thanks for making my day stellar with this post !!!
    Shell ~

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