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