handspun chickadee

I had a lovely afternoon last week with my buddy Kate and her dog-buddy Bruce.  (He is absolutely my favourite boy-dog in the world, so sweet and gentle and soft inside…)

Kate took some lovely photos of my Chickadee, and I’ve hardly taken it off since.  I love this sweater because of the fit, the warmth and just because its cute.  But most of all I love it because of the all memories I see when I look at the stitches.

This sweater (and the materials to make it, in many forms) have been in my mind for a long time.  The brown corridale I spun for the main body was picked up at Woolfest in 2009, a trip I took with my friend and awesome prolific-crafter Mel.  Spinning the fibre and then knitting the body made me think of the hilarious trip to took back to our B&B, just after Mel had been andean plying yarn on her spindle and had to drive back in the dark with the singles round her wrist and me holding the spindle, waving an iphone around on the hillside trying to figure out where we were.  It makes me think of the sheep that got loose during the festival which ran down the rows of stalls, and for some reason, Michael Jackson, because I was looking at the fibre when I heard someone behind me say that he’d died.  (I’m not a great fan, just remember the moment!)

The pale blue shetland used in the yoke makes me think of Gudrun, Jess and Casey, because it was on a trip to Shetland to photograph the designs for Gudrun’s book that they visited Jamieson and Smith and Ysolda brought this fibre back for me as a birthday present.  They gave it to me on my 29th birthday when I was staying with crafty friends in Stirling, and Jess took a funny picture of me burying my face in it.

The Quince & Co Chickadee I ended up using for the background colour of the yoke makes me think of my Mr, and how when I came home from my knitting group on the evening of my 30th birthday I found a pile of 30 parcels – every one of them was a ball or skein of yarn that he had chosen himself.  He even drove to New Lanark to buy yarn and bought the cherry aran because he knows I like ‘all the same colour’ and to him it seemed the most solid of their colourways.  (The Chickadee was in the enormous pile.)

And the dark blue used for the birds makes me think of LadyBug.  It was in the days after she passed away last year that I dyed it up in my kitchen.  I was sad, and couldn’t concentrate an anything, and dying up a bit of fibre for a Chickadee I might get round to knitting some day seemed like a good idea.

It feels good to be so involved in almost every aspect of a project.  I think this is the most personally creative thing I’ve ever made.  I need to make more things like this, I love it x

the spinning mojo returns

It feels like for the last few days all my spare time has been spent at my spinning wheel.  This always happens after a spinning guild meeting!  This Saturday at the meeting most members were taking part in a dyeing workshop, but being surrounded by so many crafty and inspirational people always makes me want to spin rather than knit.  (My buddy and workmate Rebecca has this affect on me too…)

First up was my final batch of corridale.  As soon as this dries I’ll be able to finish my handspun Chickadee sweater, which is lovely and almost done – but crying at me from my knitting basket because it only has one sleeve.

Then I finished up my February club fibre from HilltopCloud, a gorgeous shetland/merino/mohair mix called Lonely Hillside –

(Sorry – not sure if anything is in focus in the picture above but you get the idea, it’s pretty!)

And then onto a very very old spinning WIP – this is a merino/nylon blend from The Yarn Yard.  It was so old that underneath I found some of the yarn I used for my Owls sweater (2009) being used as the leader.  This is very handy, since last week I found a hole in the sleeve and didn’t have anything that matched to fix it!

Thanks so much too for all your comments and suggestions on my 100th pair of socks…It looks like a winner has been decided but I’ll keep the poll open until tomorrow night.  And as a thank you (and for my amusement) here is a silly dog photo.  I had to fight these two for a place in front of the fire this weekend…


100 pairs of socks

So, I’m not quite there yet, but yesterday I wove in the ends on my 97th adult pair of socks.  Then I started pair 98 – Hickory (rav link) by Jane Cochran, published in The Knitters Book of Socks by Clara Parkes.

For my 100th pair I want to do something special, but can’t decide!  I’m tempted by colourwork, knee socks, and beautiful, tiny intricate cables.  Here are the contenders:

Kirkwall by Mary Jane Mucklestone

Perambulation by Natalie Selles

Kensington by Nancy Bush

Butterflies are Free by Rose Hiver

Nightingale by Vintage Purls

Maybe you can see where this is heading.  Seems like I’m leaning towards colourwork…

Please help me choose, and here’s the poll –

These are just a few of my favourites.  Please feel free to make suggestions, and they don’t have to be super-fancy.  Simple, beautiful and satisfying is good too!