Monday, May 30, 2016

Knitting: natural handspun shawl.


Last spring, I bought three batches of minimally processed roving from small farms (all American wool). Between last October and February, I spun the fiber into several skeins of bulky handspun. (I won't go into a lot of detail about the yarn again, because I already did here.) I cast on for the shawl almost immediately after finishing the yarn, but didn't knit on it very consistently, so it took nearly three months to finish.

But the important thing is that it's done now! I used the Boneyard Shawl pattern (minus the garter ridges)...it's really the most basic shawl pattern imaginable. Inspiration for the colors came from the Nordic Wind shawl. I didn't do a lot of calculating or planning with yardage, so I didn't have as much white/cream Coopworth as I had hoped. (Actually, it was nearly the same amount as the black, but obviously the yardage doesn't stretch as far on the widest part of the shawl.) I wish that the colors were slightly more equal...I would have loved just a couple more inches of white.

Though it didn't turn out exactly as I'd planned, I'm very proud of this shawl. While it did work up relatively quickly (bulky yarn spins and knits up fast), a lot of work went into it! I'd never before spun this much fiber for one project. It's rustic and scratchy, but it's so cozy and warm. (Or will be, when it's actually cool enough to use it.) It's hard to explain, but this feels like one of the most "real" things I've ever made. The wool came from sheep raised on US farms, it was minimally processed in small mills, and these are natural, un-dyed colors. I occasionally picked out bits of hay as I worked. I guess it's much easier to see the connection from sheep to shawl in this case than with other things I knit! I'd like to have more projects like that. :)

Ravelry project page.

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