03 March, 2010

Attack of the UFO

Okay, not really, there was no attack, it was actually a very nice experience, I promise!

A few years ago, my parents brought me a lovely gift from their trip to Winnipeg, Canada. As it turned out, the mom of my mom's best friend is a knitter. And a spinner. A pretty good one. Her name is Francine, and she, with one of her other daughters, owns Rovings. Yes, the same Rovings that I bought the box of never ending Polwarth from (more on that later!).

Anyway, the gift they brought me was yarn. Not just any yarn though, awesome yarn! Three (3!) 600 yard hanks of handspun. It was a wool/mohair/silk blend, dyed in the most amazing blues, greens, and golds. I wish I had a picture to show you, I really do, but, well, I can't get to those pics right now. You will just have to trust me, this was awesome yarn!

And I did what I think any knitter would have done, I placed it lovingly in my stash while I searched for the perfect pattern. The problem was that I couldn't find that perfect pattern, nothing I looked at seemed to work. The pattern I had in mind needed to fill a few criteria. It needed to use a lot of yarn (because, well, there was a lot of it!), it needed to show off the colors and the sheen well, and it needed to be something that challenged me.

There were problems with this criteria. For one thing, few things other than sweaters use a sweater's worth of yarn, and this yarn didn't really want to be a sweater. For another, finding a pattern that both showed off the yarn and was challenging was going to be difficult. A complex lace pattern would have been lost in the color shifts, and a simple garter stitch just would not have been as satisfying to me.

So, the yarn sat for a couple of years. Until last year, when I was browsing and found the patter for Nereides. It wouldn't use all of my yarn, but it fit the other criteria, sort of. It would show off the color variations very well, I thought, and while it is a simple pattern, it wasn't completely brainless! I cast on.

And then, as knitters do occasionally, I cast on for another project, and the shawl got set aside for awhile. Eventually, the bag containing the project got put in the closet. And I forgot about it.

Last month, I pulled it back out and decided to finish it, and I'm glad I did. It is done, and I love it. I can't wait for an event worthy of wearing it!

And that makes me, for today, a very happy knitter.

Oh, that sweater? It's done too, but the batteries went dead on the camera before I had a chance to take some pics. Next time, I promise!

The Polwarth is coming along, slowly. Very, very slowly. My spinning has been curtailed in recent weeks by schoolwork, kids, and a host of sickies that made their way through my house. I think I have a grand total of ... 3 oz. done. Only 29 more to go, or something like that!