Finished on the first

It’s nice to start the year with a success. After my failure in Wovember to make anything successfully out of the Portland wool that I bought from Hannah at Spinning a Yarn, I am pleased to say that I’ve now used it to make a wonderfully warm pixie hood. The yarn is very soft and I combined it with some lambswool that I’ve had for ages to create this:

The pattern can be found here and it’s very simple.

Putting things right

Sometimes you know that things are wrong. You know it, but you don’t do anything about it. And the longer you don’t do anything about it, the more difficult it is to motivate yourself to put it right.

And so it is with one of this month’s projects. All the individual elements are lovely:

The yarn is delightful.

Hand spun Portland wool

Hand spun Portland wool

The pattern is beautiful.

Detail of neck warmer


The buttons are perfect.

Mother of pearl buttons

Mother of pearl buttons

But the whole thing just doesn’t work for me. It’s bulky, it’s uncomfortable, it’s stiff, the edging isn’t right and I just don’t like it. I know that if make the matching hat, that too won’t be quite right. The issue is a mismatch between yarn and pattern – both are great… just not together… it happens.

Just not right

Just not right

It has been sitting on the table in my work room for days – not photographed, not blogged about and not entirely finished. Why? Because I know it’s not right.

So, I will bite the bullet and frog it. Then, taking on board what I have learned, I will work the yarn up using a much simpler stitch pattern and make a hat to match. I will put the pattern to one side and, one day, some yarn will come along that will be perfect for it.

In contrast, there are some things that are just made for each other:

Spatterdash wrist warmers in yarn from Burrow and Soar

Spatterdash wrist warmers in yarn from Burrow and Soar

It’s a case of learning to identify what works and what doesn’t, and just getting on with it when something needs putting right.

Yarn craft… a metaphor for life.

Spinning a Yarn

I’d like to introduce you to my latest skein of wool:


Isn’t it lovely? It is Portland wool – a breed that I know little about. Not that this is an issue because it came with the following information:

A little bit of history

A little bit of history

Now isn’t that great to know? Whilst much of the yarn that I work with is produced by largeer companies, I do love the opportunity to use products from very small producers, like the beautifully dyed sock yarn I wrote about last week. This Portland wool is from my friend Hannah, who has just starting her hand spinning business, Spinning a Yarn. This is what she has to say:

I’m Hannah, and I find joy in following creative processes through, and advocating the use of local resources.
This is the start of me building a small business using wool and natural fibre as the source. As “Spinning a Yarn” implies, I want to tell a story about the products, from where they came from (right back to the specific animal where possible), what processes the fibre goes through, to the end product – whether that be selling raw fleece, handspun yarn, or finished item (knitted or woven). This also includes passing on knowledge and experiences to others via this [Facebook] page, or at workshops and events.
I hope you enjoy seeing how wool can be used, and how fabulous local (British) products are.

I love the idea that she would like to be able to tell you exactly which animal the fibre came from. So, if you are looking for some beautifully handspun yarn, why not get in touch with Hannah? [I think you can view her FB page even if you are not a registered user, but if not, drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch]

I haven’t yet decided what to make with mine, but I’m veering towards some knitted fingerless mittens and a hat if there is enough… if not, I’ll just have to buy some more, won’t I?

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