I called it Ridge and Furrow.
The project was an interesting one, not least because of the classic stupid mistake I made when I got the fleece but also because of that moment of inspiration that you just have to see through to the end. The story behind it in brief…
My walk to my local farm (Green Farm) to check out their fleece took me through a freshly ploughed field. I really like a nicely ploughed field, something about the lines and the patterns of the ridges and furrows and the rich chocolate brown of the earth.
Anyway, mind wandering as I walked, I started planning a shawl. I knew the design would need to be lacy and it would be natural dark brown. Then I got to the farm. There it was, a beautiful chocolate brown Hebridean fleece all bundled up and ready to go. Serendipity. It had my name on it. I could start right away. And this is where I made a classic mistake. I took it without looking at it properly. When I got home I eagerly unwrapped it on the lawn. My heart sank. It was nasty. Clotted, filled with VFM. It was really really crappy. But, I was driven so onwards I went. I didn’t even abandon it when I accidentally felted it up some more when I scoured it…Oh how I laughed…
Anyway I managed to rescue nearly 60 grams (2oz or so) of usable fibre. This I hand carded into rolags and spun up into a superfine single spun worsted with the lowest twist the fibre could handle without drifting apart. I got about 780m (850 yards) in the end.
Using a triangular construction the shawl is knitted from the top centre down through the main body and the edge is knitted on to the live stitches along the bottom edge. The main body is a simple combination of stockinette stitch and a 4-row repeated lace pattern. The gorgeous edging is a simple 6 row repeat edging worked along the hem of the main body.
The lace pattern is number 25 from Pitsilised Koekirjad, an Estonian lace stitch dictionary by Leili Reimann. The lace edging is a pattern design I charted from memory of another piece of lace I had seen, but cannot remember its source. If anybody recognises it, please let me know and I can give full credit.
The Hebridean was an interesting fibre to work with. It’s a double coat (has a long coarse top coat with a softer shorter staple undercoat) which I haven’t worked with before – another adventure in fibre. In the fleece I was working with the top coat wasn’t too harsh or dominant in the fibre I salvaged (much tearing and yanking to retrieve best bits). The resulting yarn was ok next to the skin (very scientific prickle tickle test on Sean), and the scarf is a little on the prickly side but ok for me. I’m going to try again this year with another hebridean fleece from Green Farm. Which I am off to on a fleece buying expedition this week.
I hope you like the pattern. I’ve also posted it on Ravelry. Please let me know if you have any questions. And if you knit it up, I would really love to see it, send me a picture or link.