Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Last summer I was taking care of the alpacas. I'd just come back from visiting my family and I'd picked up a copy of Whimsical Little Knits 3. It was sunny and I was feeling optimistic and I though 'wouldn't it be amazing if I can turn the alpacas into this shawl.'

If you remember, during Tour de Fleece, I set myself the goal of spinning 350g of the alpaca on my spindle. Before the tour I washed it and dyed it red. During the tour I smashed my goal. Not only did I card and spin the fibre but I also managed to get it all plyed.

I was hoping that I'd have enough to knit Sherilyn, and that it would come out at about the right weight. I held my breath through finishing and when it was dried and wound into skines I measured it. Just enough yardage, a little too thick. Still I wanted my shawl.

I cast on on the 5th September and while I was making sure there wasn't an eratta I saw that there was going to be a knitalong so I vowed to get mine done by the end of October. That's where it got interesting.

My brother turned 18 at the start of the month and I went to visit him. Standard family stuff. I got on a train we went for a meal afterwards my less stuck in the mud relatives took him out for a legal drink. Okay before we get to the inevitable just let me stop there and tell you were I was on the pattern.

So it starts with a few stitches and expands outwards, like triangle shawls do, the first sections are in an uncomplicated lace pattern and the last section is a still uncomplicated but more interesting cherry pattern. I had ploughed my way through to the last section. We're talking about 100 stitches in my hand spun alpaca, obtained from animals I once cared for and now miss terribly.

The inevitable happened. I'd left my knitting by the couch the night before. My pathetically hung over brother comes and sits on the couch in a way that suggests the rest of my family had been messing with him the night before. He asks for a bucket and just before I could fetch one he 'blessed' the living room.

I imagine most of you are going to wince at what I say next. I didn't frog it. My knitting only got a little splash and I was able to spot clean it with disinfectant wipes. (my Mum has two teenage boys, she has these things) I carried on knitting it until I reached the end and gave it a good wash.

Out of the experience I got three things. One an amazing shawl, two I got to see my brother for his 18th birthday and, three I had fun knitting it. The lace in begging sections is a joy to work. Really easy, it has a natural rhythm to it. When blocked it looks incredible. I'm so happy with this shawl. And my little brother.

My Sherilyn on Ravelry

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