Yesterday certainly finished with a bang. Watching the news tonight, I was still shell shocked and even shed a few tears when they showed Julia sitting, silent and sad, at the very back of the chamber. Reminded me of the antics of those monkeys that live in the temples in India – a challenger male comes down, beats the crap out of the leader male, leader male is banished to the wilderness for ever and the rest of the monkeys all sit there quietly, hoping like mad they don’t cop it next. Only this is happening in our parliament. Completely bizarre. Oy!
And there I was worried about the knitting. My darling Mum is attending her local branch meeting of her political party of choice tomorrow night – she plans on taking her knitting. Go Mum! And as for Lesley’s idea – love it! – a solidarity of knitted kangaroos – I’ve already checked out the pattern situation – there’s a Cleckheaton one available as part of a booklet of knitted wild animals (I wonder if that’s the one Julia used) or a Debbie Bliss one in an out of print book. Hmmm … have to see what I can find.
As for today in Bootville – why there was some knitting of course :-) Of the accidental variety. I was at a favourite oppie and there, on the top shelf in the craft section, was a huge ball/bundle/nest of what looked more like slightly ribbony strips of slightly felted fleece than yarn. 645 grams of pure wool, made in New Zealand by Twilleys (I thought they were English) in the mid 1970s. They called it spin knitting – slightly spun yarn that the knitter “finishes” as she knits. Very curious stuff. I couldn’t possibly have left it there.
Once home I went straight to Ravelry – where there is no record of this yarn on their awesomely extensive database – and found myself a pattern that fits perfectly with the weight and tension swatch of my curious spin knitting yarn, and will hopefully only need the amount of yarn I have. An old fashioned Icelandic cardigan (Hela), knitted in the round with a fairisle pattern on the yoke, a steeked front and I’m pretty sure they’ve used a zipper (can’t quite remember and too lazy to go back to the dark living room to check).
I thought I would simply venture down the road to Wondoflex for some 12 ply to use for the fairisle – but after perusing their range, there is nothing that would look good up against my very “organic” looking yarn. Hmmm … just checked Morris and Sons – they don’t have much either. The only 12 ply yarn either shop carry that doesn’t look incredibly machined are the Noros – and I don’t think Noro would work well for fairisle – too bumpy. Maybe I’ll just have to order some of the Icelandic Lopi from here – a warm red, pale bluey-grey and maybe an orange? Ooooh now that would be nice huh! I’ve knitted with Lopi before and it’s a slightly felted single ply – not as ribbony as my curious yarn, but I think it would still sit well with it.
As for how the curious yarn is knitting up – it’s an absolute darling to work with and super quick! The stitches are sitting so neatly – lovely and fat like plumped up grains of arborio rice. And it’s still rich with lanolin so my hands are buttery soft and I smell ever so slightly sheepy. Amazing that this could still be so after almost forty years. And the crinkly, sparkly plastic bag in my dreadful lamplit photo? The label advises I leave the ball/bundle/nest in this tautly fitted wrapping and simply pull gently from the middle otherwise I am liable to create the most unholy yarn tangle ever before seen. Because the whole 645 grams is in one length. No joins. Truly amazing. Oh my god! Can you imagine? It would be worse than the time Fu knitted with two skeins of 3 ply possum yarn in the hallway. Actually, that’s a good reminder … must put sheepy smelling yarn out of Fu’s reach – it may just be too tempting.
I wonder how this yarn was received when Twilley’s released it? I wonder how many years they produced it? Have any of you dear readers seen it before? There’s a book of patterns for it – found it on eBay – located in Canada. That’s a long way from home. How I would love to find more! I shall add it to my op-shop look-out-for list. Pure wool yarn is one of my favourite every op shop finds – it happens soooooooo rarely.
Now – it’s after midnight. The house is very quiet and cold. I really should go to bed … but that spin knitting is looking so fetching, I might just need to add a few more rounds before sleep.