Wednesday, 7 November 2012

It started off easy....

.... but then my husband and father-in-law got involved.

I have two mothers-in-law (and two fathers-in-law).  The reason for this is that my husband's parents divorced years ago, before I knew him, and both re-married.  As we don't make any distinction between grandparents and step-grandparents with our children, in my mind I refer to them all as my in-laws, not my step-in-laws as a. all four are very nice people and b. it would make life far more difficult than it needs to be.

Anyway, one of my mothers-in-law recently had surgery - shoulder replacement and she's scheduled to have the other one done early next year.  Thinking ahead to Christmas, I thought to myself that I have plenty of yarn in my stash and she's the sort of person who would probably appreciate a hand-knitted scarf.  Easy, you'd think.

So, one evening when I knew hubby was going to be phoning his father, I asked him if he'd find out what colour coat my mother-in-law wears the most.  Still easy,  you'd think?  No.  Turns out she has two or three coats that she wears regularly.  Oh well, I thought, I'm sure I've got something fairly neutral in my stash.  The conversation between hubby and his father moved on.  Father-in-law said that mother-in-law likes big scarves that she wraps around her neck.  Hmm.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  I know she's probably not someone who would wear something very lacy and certainly not ruffled or frilly. 

After hubby got off the phone (I'd wandered off during the latter part of the conversation so didn't get to hear the rest of hubby's side of it) he began telling me the sort of thing his father thought mother-in-law would like.  It started to get even more complicated.  Something 'tweedy' or 'not completely plain, but - you know - with bits in every once in a while'.  I began to wish I'd never considered making her something, especially after hubby started searching online for what he thought would be a suitable yarn.  Most of what he came up with I discounted on the grounds that it would be too scratchy to wear around the neck.

Hubby went off to work and I had a bit of a think about it and then made a decision.  200g of an alpaca/silk blend from World of Wool were soon winging their way to me in the post (those guys at WoW are very fast at processing orders) along with some other 'fluff' that happened to jump into my basket.

I divided the 200g of fibre into three more or less equal bumps:

Then I spun each bump into a single before plying  them into a proper three-ply yarn (as in three separate strands rather than navajo/chain plying).

I ended up with 181g/approx 205m of a brown/cream tweedy yarn that weight-wise lies between aran and chunky:

It's 181g  because the fibre was very flyaway and after every spinning session I found myself brushing fluff off my trousers and also because I completely forgot to put my jumbo flyer and bobbin on the wheel when I started to ply, so ended up wasting some of it when I realised what I'd done and switched to the big bobbin/flyer rather than making two skeins.

My plan is to make a triangular scarf with a five-stitch central spine so it doesn't end in a sharp point at the end.  Stocking stitch, with a row of reverse stocking stitch every six rows to give a bit of interest, I think.  I'm also going to do increases every right-side at the edges, but every other right-side row at the centre so it comes out as a wide but not too deep triangle rather than a traditional almost-right-angled-triangle shawl.

Hopefully you'll see what I mean in a couple of weeks as I'm planning on starting it soon.

In the meantime, DD1's hooded cardigan is coming along very nicely. I've done the back and front  up to the armholes, finished one sleeve and added that to the back and fronts and am nearly halfway up the second sleeve.  As this is a fairly mindless knit, I'm also nearly halfway through Andre Agassi's autobiography which I started last week around the same time I started the first sleeve.

I'll be back soon with more about the hoodie.


  1. Fabulous spinning - I am in awe. The only thing I can spin is rope :) The colours blend really well together. Look forward to seeing how it knits up.

  2. It looks fantastic, and I love the colours. Good luck with it!

  3. Thanks :) I always think I've overspun yarn and worry that the finished item won't be very soft - fingers crossed!