04/29 - Find me at the Spring Fiber Fling at The Wool Mill in Belgrade MT!

Spinning through Covid & an introduction to Alfred

Spinning through Covid & an introduction to Alfred

(originally posted May 26th, 2020)

Well. What is there really to say about it? The world has changed so much with the onset of the global pandemic, and not. I watch the news and grieve for the number of lives lost when I can. I play with the dogs and wander the woods when I cannot. This work that I do has been a calming and reliable anchor in these difficult times. To that end, I have been up to quite a bit of it, and I thought I'd try sharing one of my current projects.

Introducing Alfred, at least in the form that I have known him. This gorgeous Romney wool was a gift from a very generous friend and I've been spinning it up for a sweater. In the past my opinion on Romney has been fairly neutral, but Alfred here is so beautifully prepped for me that I'm definitely warming to it.
I'd had in mind a worsted spun yarn, thinking about the drape of this longish stapled fiber, the carded prep had other things in m ind. I've ended up spinning it long draw and plying it into a two ply fingering weight yarn. At this point I'm about half way through what has been a most meditative spin. I've plied to clear the bobbins to begin again. I had been worried that spinning so much yardage would become a bit of a slog, and I'm happy to say that hasn't been the case. There will be more sweater spins in my future.
Now that I have some of the yarn done I'll be knitting up a swatch here soon. I'm honestly torn between the idea of finding the perfect pattern and attempting to design one on my own. In my mind I end up with a long drapey cardigan with a ribbon backed button band and basic all over lace for the body. If I knit it up as a raglan the fit should come out perfectly. Then again - I've knit exactly two cardigans to date and had issues with the button band on one, and the other didn't have one. Time will tell if bravery or a need to look to the expertise of experienced designers will win out. Who knows? Maybe I'll modify a pattern instead. That sounds like a happy medium.
The reminder of connection this project has brought with it has been so helpful as we're spending so much time in isolation. I love that about fiber work - it so often comes with a story. This wool is from Montana - my home - raised by a Montana rancher and then brought by woman who was an instagram connection turned friend to the Yarn & Yoga retreat last October and shared out between all the women who attended with such generosity. It's a connection with the land, with the rancher, with a very special event, with other spinners, with my friend, as each inch passes through my hands and takes up twist to become yarn, to eventually become a sweater, to keep me warm and loved. How beautiful.
What are you working on that is helping you stay connected? Really, please share, I'd love to know. In the mean time I suggest that we all take a queue from Smooshie (the queen cat of our household) make sure to let yourself rest.

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