ravel

So I’ve just placed my order with Wool Warehouse for the annual Drops yarn sale, and this year it was a more conservative order than usual – only enough for three hats, a scarf, one teddybear and a jumper.  I think I’m tailing off with my stash and having better ideas for what I’m buying yarn for.

This yarn comes in pretty colourways.

I bought Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (you might know her from The Yarn Harlot) from the Needlecraft shop and it was a cracking read, I finished it in one sitting.

It’s difficult to write, once you’re done with the technical aspects of yarn, about the real stuff you need to know about it: the soul of yarn, its magic, and why, beyond it being the material we need to practice the art of knitting, we love it.  I could wax poetic for hours about the softness, the colors, the textures…the things I like about yarn.  But none of that really gets to the meat of it.

In the end, the reason we fill our houses with it, visit it in yarn shops, speak of it in glowing terms, and hoard it with passions is that it is pure potential.  Every ball or skein of yarn holds something inside it, and the great mystery of what that might be can be almost spiritual.  These six balls of wool could be a shawl my mum puts around her shoulders when she’s cold, or maybe it’s a blanket a friend wraps her baby in.  Maybe that baby takes a shine to it and it becomes his beloved companion blankie, comforting him for years and years.  Maybe it’s a sweater that my daughter is wearing the day she gets her first kiss, and from then on my yarn is part of her memory of that day.  Maybe, just maybe, those six balls are a scarf and hat that gets tucked away for years and long after I’m gone someone pulls them out and says, “Remember how Grammy was with all the wool?  Remember how she knit all the time?” fingering the soft wool and pondering who I was and what I did while I was here.

It’s a mystery, each ball of yarn…and I don’t know what each one is going to be or what life it will take when I finally set needles to it.  But each one will be something I made with my own two hands.  This yarn, then – my whole big sweeping stash – is the stuff of dreams.

 

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WIP

I have finally knitted a completed sweater.  Weaved in all my ends.  Washed and dried the garment.  I used a 1980’s Paton pattern and used a yarn I thought was of similar gauge from the stash – after a few false starts which showed a big difference.  So I knitted a smaller size and eyeballed as I went.

I will confess that I found one stitch that was meant to be purled was knitted, in the middle of a row.

Here’s a pic:

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V-necks are totally underrated in women’s knitwear – both in handknitting and industrially made womenswear.  I was a little sad to know my mum had given away my school jumper along with the rest of my uniform to a daughter of one of my dad’s clients who was starting at my old school.  It was bottle green and probably not something I would wear ‘out’, but it was a comfortable, fine wool blend and had a standard v-neck.  I may look like a geriatric old man, but at least I will be warm, my neck will be untouched and my boobs will look great!  (Just kidding, a nun could wear that neckline, and it’s a mohair blend so I will probably itch and die.)

Also currently wrapping up a knitted reticule I made from the lovely The Best of Jane Austen Knits: 27 Regency-Inspired Designs book by Interweave.  It will serve no practical purpose, but it is quite pretty and a great small project after the jumper.  Was tossing up between a baby blue or the dusty rose – you can see which one won!  Only steps left are making a long i-cord to weave through the holes at the top.

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I would consider making this pattern again as a gift for someone who would appreciate such a bag.  It is a decently quick knit, even with the fingering gauge, and is worked top down in the round.

I’ve had a LOT of spare time recently, so I’ll probably cut my teeth on another sweater project soon, especially with all the tv show watching I’ve been doing.  So many patterns, so little time.

Bonus: here is a knitted football I came across at a craft fair yesterday.

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