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  • Writer's pictureLois Petren

The Gift of Yarn

Has anyone ever given you yarn as a gift? It's such a treat when, during their travels, a friend or family member sees yarn that reminds them of you and gets it for you.

Recently I received two separate gifts of yarn! Both were delightfully unexpected. So now, the pressing question is, what should I make with them? The surprise for me is the sense of responsibility I have about making good choices to transform the yarn into something that does proper justice to the intentions of the giver.

Am I taking this all too seriously? I don't know, but suddenly I'm stuck trying to decide what to make with my treasures. Is it just me or has this happened to you?

The first gift I received is a skein of a sport-weight alpaca/merino mix, primarily from a very sweet looking alpaca named Silverado. Look at that face! Maybe now you understand my trepidation about messing up this one. Well, I think I have a good idea. I love the color work designs with rows of sheep on grassy fields and want to adapt that into a cowl that will have alpacas and - maybe - a few radio telescopes mixed in with the sheep for good measure. Why? The giver of the skein is an astronomer and Silverado lives in the shadow of a telescope at a farm that belongs to another astronomer. I thought it would be fun to show a sense of place on the cowl.

Now it's just a matter of adapting a pattern for the correct yarn weight, working out the design on some graph paper, and sourcing the other colors in an appropriate weight yarn - stash or purchase? We shall see.

One down! On to the next!

When my daughter was in London (covered in two recent blog posts - Letters from London, Part 1 and Part 2), she relearned to knit, joined the knitting club at UCL and went to the Knitting & Stitching Show in London, where she purchased three skeins of DROPS yarns in a baby/sport weight. All of them have alpaca in the mix - I sense a trend!

Time for research.

I started off looking for a scarf or shawl with some sort of open work in it. After several searches on Ravelry I chose a pattern that's been in my queue for a while - 3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli. I know - another cowl! Can you ever have too many? I'm making a yarn substitution with the DROPS yarns, but am hopeful it will work. Since all three colors are in a similar range, I'll give it a contrast boost with a fourth yarn from my stash - Hedgehog Fibres' Typewriter colorway, which will provide some dimension to the other three yarns.

Done and done! Time to get working - wish me luck!

Happy knitting!


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