Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Year of Handspun

My first post of the year was a handspun project so it is only fitting that my last post this year is also using handspun.  Curious because prior to this year I had never knit anything using handspun and then for whatever reason it suddenly captured my attention and I've knit four projects this year with it (Handspun Scarf, Pamuya Shawl, Fingerless Mittens and this scarf).  Now I'm hooked on handspun and of all the many things that I've knit over the years, these projects are my favorites.


Before I tell you about this scarf, I'll tell you about the above picture.  It is taken in front of an old ruined cabin where only the rough hewn stone chimney remains.  I "discovered" this ruin with Simcha on one of our morning hikes.  I had shimmied up a mountain slope following what I believed was a trail only to have misgivings about half way up when I began to suspect what I was following was actually a watershed.  Parenthetically, it's moments like this when you look around and realize it's a steep climb up or a slippery slope down that the thought crosses your mind that it might be a while before your body is found if something bad were to happen.  But I managed to work my way to the top (Simcha had no trouble as he climbs like a mountain goat and I appreciated when he worked his way back down to encourage me on - we were in this together) where we then picked up a trail along the ridge that lead to this ruin.   How cool is that?  I love our morning hikes.


I also love my morning hikes for another reason, namely, they provide me with an infinite number of excuses as to why I need more yarn!  I can always rationalize a purchase with "I really need this to make something to wear on my morning hike.  It is cold, you know, early in the day."  See how well that works?



And this yarn was a splurge purchase where I used exactly that excuse.   It is a lushes heavy worsted alpaca in multi-color and it wasn't cheap but it's fabulous.  And, as is the case with most handspun yarns, they really rock in a simple design that focuses on texture.  You don't need to gild the lily here as the beauty is in the yarn.  A simple broken rib pattern with a fun ruffle edging and you have the perfect scarf to walk your dog any ole day of the week ~



Particulars:  1 skein Cherry Hill Alpaca, LLC (multi colored alpaca - dark) spun by Pam Wilkins, 6.5 oz 247 yards.  I used a free pattern (Misti International Ribs & Ruffles Scarf) as modified by using US 8 needles and fewer pattern repeats.  Finished scarf measures 4"x 64"



I threw in this last picture so you could see how the yarn looked still in a skein.  You can generally not tell from looking at a skein of handspun how it will look when knit up, and the bold blocks of color in this scarf just flowed naturally and were unexpected.

Peace on Earth

Mr. Puffy's Knitting Blog wishes everyone the gift of peace on earth this holiday season and all year long.


Decking the halls is exhausting work so follow Simcha's example and take plenty of time to relax and take naps.

I leave tomorrow and will be away through New Year, so until next time, be well and love well and have a happy and safe holiday season!  Steve, Claudia and Simcha xoxoxo

17 comments:

Monika said...

Happy Holidays to you and your family! A special belly rub for Simcha!

Lost City Denise said...

Happy Holidays Claudia!

The handspun is glorious! Well done!

SissySees said...

Stunning. I've looked at that pattern a couple of times and thought... nah. But maybe with some of the handspun languishing in my stash...

I love that last photo madly. It really is peace-filled.

Warm wishes & candycane kisses to you and your guys from all of us too.

Renee said...

What a neat ruin and amazing hiking experience to share with Simcha! Love it!
Handspun is such a joy to knit with, I picture the spinning and enjoy that the yarn has crafted through someone else's hands before mine.
Enjoy your holiday and wishing you the Merriest and most Peaceful of holidays!
Hugs and love,
Renee

Anonymous said...

Claudia, this is one of those blogs where I have to write because I love everything. The texture of your scarf is so scrumptious I want to get some handspun real soon. Although that pattern is pretty neat as well, thank you for the link. Then there's the glass block - how lucky to have that backdrop at your disposal. Then there's your edge-of-your-seat hiking adventure (what did Steve say?). And finally, to finish with a fillip, a most uncharacteristic glimpse of Simcha in a horizontal position. He looks good any which way he puts himself. Happy Holidays!Chloe

Kristen said...

Happy holidays to you and Simcha too! The yarn is very beautiful, I can see why you are hooked.

Allie said...

That is a fabulous picture, Claudia, I'm so impressed that you persevered to make that climb! The scarf is just gorgeous. And I love the pic of Simcha - he looks like he's earned that rest, lol. I wish you safe travels, and the merriest of Christmases, and the best New Year ever!

Bridget said...

Beautiful scarf! I've never tried handspun - to be honest, I've never even consciously thought about it ...

I hope that you, Simcha, and Steve have a wonderful holiday - as peaceful as that final picture! You certainly all deserve it.

We are looking forward to a relaxing holiday as well. I. can't. wait.

Merry Christmas!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Thank you all for your cheery holiday wishes, they have put me in a jolly mood! It has been a particularly difficult period of work for me and you have cheered me immeasurably ~ And Chloe I appreciate that you understood what a scary moment that was when the realization hit me - and for the record - Steve looked somber and said that was a dangerous thing to do when I told him ;) But all's well that ends well - LOL Best Wishes to all and have a very Merry Christmas!

betty said...

Happy holidays to you and yours, and may 2012 be a great year for you all!

I must consider splurging on some hand spun yarn for small items. I find that I like to wear neck warming things more often now. I don't know know if it's because the bay area has been unusually cold, or because I'm (ahem) getting old.

gMarie said...

Happy Holidays to you all. Love the scarf and the handspun in the skein. Up next - you spinning?

Enjoy. g

Willow said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Steve and Simcha! Enjoy your holidays away :)

raining sheep said...

Hope you had a great Christmas Claudia. The very best to you and Steve in 2012. I am enjoying some time off before the madness begins in January :) Simcha, that lucky guy, has it all figured out.

Kristyn Knits said...

Wishing all of you a blessed 2012!!

Jackie - Crochet and Knitting said...

The yarn looks lovely. Your dog does too.

Tracy said...

LOVE that yarn, Claudia! Homespun is addictive it knit with. ;o) Hoping you & yours had a lovely Christmastime. Great to be back in blogland after two weeks away for Christmas in the USA, and catch up with you here now. Wishing you all the very best in 2012--PEACE, LOVE & JOY! ((HUGS))

Rachel said...

A little late to wish you a relaxing and peaceful holiday season (following Simcha's example)...but still in time to wish you a fabulous new year!

I'm glad you showed the handspun in the skein...knitted up quite different than I would have expected! Very beautiful nonetheless!