The story of this project starts back in March when I bought two really pretty braids of Blue Faced Leicester and Camel fibre from Katie at Hilltopcloud when we were on the annual Skipnorth knitters' weekend . I have to say that Katie is becoming one of the best dyers and blenders of fibre for spinning that I know, creating sophisticated shades with interesting fibre blends which are always well prepared and easy to spin.
The second is mostly purple and toasted brown.
I bought the fibre specifically with a two coloured shawl in mind. My stash is full of 100g braids of this or that fibre, all beautiful in their own right but when it comes to larger projects I can sometimes be a bit stumped. These shades seemed to complement each other and had enough contrast to work together. I managed to spin two skeins of pretty even yarn that falls somewhere between a heavy lace weight and a fingering weight. I'm really glad that I didn't rush the spinning or the plying but took my time to make the yarn as even and balanced as I could.
One of the perks of working at Loop in Islington is the chance to be among the first to see any new designs that they commission. When Pop Spots by Juju Vail came out it seemed the perfect pattern to showcase this yarn. The pattern is interesting but simple enough for the character of the hand spun yarn to shine through.
Due to the camel content of the yarn, the finished shawl has a distinct halo which makes it feel very warm despite being light and translucent.
As I wanted to use up as much of the yarn as possible I ended up making a shawl that fell somewhere between the small and the large sizes. I have to admit that it lay fallow for several weeks as I braced myself to tackle the cast off with knitted on lace border. As it turned out it was surprisingly quick to do and was polished off in a couple of evenings. Isn't it funny how you can put off a task as you think it might be difficult or tedious only to discover that you were making a fuss about nothing?
It's a bit on the warm side to wear it at the moment but it is light and warm and come the cooler months will become a firm favourite. One of the things that I enjoy about being a spinner and a knitter is that a project may take months from buying the fibre to being able to show off the finished item but by that time I know every stitch and nuance of the yarn and how it works with the pattern and feel as if I have really made it my own.
Sometimes the best things really are worth waiting for.