The hanks of seaweed from Thursday’s bathtub dried into a fibre that looked amazingly like wool.  On to the swift they went!

Then the wool winder …

and to the scales – 148 grams of lily spun merino.

Without any real idea of how far this yarn would go, needles (5.5mm) and pattern (started here, but made more regularly spaced decreases according to Julian’s preference for a more fitted/shaped style) were selected and there followed a lovely few hours of knitting my wonky wool into a perfectly wearable item – a toque for Julian.

However, one toque did not even use one whole ball of yarn – amazing!  I can make another!  But this was a little bit thwarted by the mechanics at hand – I simply couldn’t pull on the that circular needle any more and there were no 5.5mm double pointeds in Bootville – or any inclination to go to the shops.

So Julian – not to be outdone in the handmade stakes – made me some, from a pair of existing 5.5 mm needles – I have an enormous number of wooden knitting needles, bought from Spotlight many years ago when they had them in a clearance bin marked “Fill a bag for a dollar!.

Perfect!  Only moments later, it was onto the head …

Unbelievable!  I created yarn that could be knitted into an identifiable object.  Truly I am in awe!  The art of creating a soft, pliable fabric from yarn and two sticks has always delighted me … but this.

Taking small chunks of fleece that still wear the crimp of its owner and the grass seeds that they collected whilst grazing, and turning THIS into soft pliable fabric brings me to hopping up and down the hallway with excitement.

I know it’s been done millions of times before, by millions of talented, hardworking folk over thousands of years, but still.  Being able to recreate a humble and amateurish version of this ancient practice in my 21st century, urban kitchen …

… leaves me able to make the tiny, very modest claim … that with help from those vastly wiser and more experienced than I …

I can turn straw into gold ;-)


a little bit more handmade than usual
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4 thoughts on “a little bit more handmade than usual

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Well done you, two lovely hats.Are they warm on your ears?

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Clever girl!

  • February 5, 2013 at 9:18 am

    You certainly did turn straw onto gold!

  • February 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    YEAYH! That is fantastic! What a feeling – making something beautiful to love from something you love to do. Amazing! Warm greetings from a cold Norway:)

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