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


18 thoughts on “handspun chickadee

  1. the sweater is absolutely gorgeous!! I love reading about friendship stories and I admire all of you (Gudrun, Kate, Ysolda, Jess and Casey), you are lucky to meet and care each other 🙂

  2. What a lovely sweater, and all the better with your own handspun! I’m always struggling to keep the skeins even when spinning such a huge amount, so I’m impressed how well the different yarns fit together in your Chickadee!

  3. Congratulations for the beautiful sweater.
    Knowing it to be fulfilled with all those cherished memories makes it a real special one.

  4. Oh it really is just beautiful! I’ve just started spinning and the thought of a whole sweater start to finish is alternately daunting and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing. And to think, created with so much of yourself, it will only accumulate more of your story as time goes on!

  5. What a fantastic project, both knitting-and-spinning-wise and memory-wise!

    Also – oh, that’s Bruce! It all makes sense now! I read both your blog and Kate’s, and when I first saw the picture I thought it was Ruby and wondered how she’d grown up so fast 🙂

  6. Beautiful jumper! I totally agree about the knitting and the memories. 30 packages of yarn- so lovely. I think I might leave this blog post open just so the Mr. in my life will get inspired.

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