Friday, November 20, 2015

Snow time and stash

It's here!  Snow time!  On Wednesday night, my twins were up half the night...which is not all that unusual, actually (yes, we still don't have good sleep, I am one tired Mommy) but the main excitement was the SNOW.  Yep.  We now have snow on the ground, and barring weird melting events, it is likely to stay there until April or so.  

This correlated with another exciting moment.  I have finished the first twin sweater of the season.  Each boy gets a new handknit sweater (from me or from their Didi --grandma--) each year, at minimum, and luckily, we are still fitting into most of our sweaters from last year.  However, this one was absolutely knit to order.  I used Rowan Felted Tweed dk, which I am not in love with, but all the "best" colors were on sale at the yarn shop this summer, so there you have it.  75% natural fibers (wool and alpaca) AND much softer than last year's Lett Lopi Icelandic wool, which I love, but which was pronounced too fuzzy and furry.  (they still wear it willingly on cold days, just with a long sleeve shirt with a collar underneath.)  I used a variation on this pullover because I have the pattern book and I did not want to design a whole new sweater from scratch!

Here are two photos of the sweater.  Due to the gray, windy, snowy day, I had to adjust the light in the images, even when I took them outside on the porch.  True color replications are nowhere to be found on a day like that!

When I announced that sweater #1 was finished, the other twin burst into tears because his sweater isn't ready yet.  He has ordered a chocolate brown with blue edging sweater, and depending on the moment, it will be a lightweight, heavyweight, henley, cardigan, pullover, with or without stripes. :)  Anyway, based on the gauge swatch, it will likely end up being something fairly similar to the one I just knit.

There are some special touches worth noting.  I've been spinning some chocolate brown wool while the boys play in the basement, and it is a great color, but the yarn is a bit too bulky for what I think this twin might need.  (He already has his fair share of heavyweight sweaters, regardless of style.)

So, I dug into the stash, and found this.  It's a brown handspun Shetland 2-ply, roughly 600-700 yards, that I spun on my Canadian Production Wheel.  I kind of knew where it was in the stash, and I used my blog search function to find out the yardage...cause I wrote about it in 2009.  Bingo.   I got the gauge wrong back then, or at least, I am going to knit it at a looser gauge now, on a #5 (3.75mm) needle...but when I found it, I found the perfect blue yarn to go with it.

Yup, I wrote a post that featured the perfect blue merino/silk contrast color in 2005.  There is something to be said for a deep stash!  I have sold or given away loads of yarn in the last 10 years, but these handspun skeins were saved and moved to Canada because who knew?  One day I would have a twin four year old who asked for this...

He stopped crying when I gave him his very own gauge swatch to race with...around the house.  (At first there was confusion over whether this was a watch, which both boys clearly wanted more than a gauge swatch, but whatever...)

I don't list my yarn stash on Ravelry (hey now, this is big.  It is nobody's business!), but I do have this blog.  This ten year old blog, where I've been talking yarn, and wool, and knitting, and spinning, and stories---for a good long time.  That is worth celebrating this month, as the blog turns ten.

Meanwhile, while I cherish these things I tucked away, I am also getting ready to give away a lot of woollies for our newcomers.  Manitoba is hosting 2,000 refugees, and they are coming soon!  I feel lucky to live among people who are opening their hearts and communities to those in need.  This article says it best....or maybe we could just open with We were strangers once, in the land of Egypt...?

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