Well There Now

I know, I know. I absolutely remember what I said about knitting with grey this time of year just a few days ago, but surely, the rule (that I made) can be broken by me at any moment I see fit, and surely, surely, it was not intended for spectacularly perfect little skeins of yarn like this.

That’s the little Jacob from two posts ago – spun up in entirety, into five gorgeous little skeins that are exactly as I imagined them. (If a little plumper than I intended, after their baths.) Each is a two ply, somewhere between a laceweight and a fingering, and since they’re all from the same sheep, they make a lovely gradient, of sorts.

The big skein of cream is about 180m, and each of the smaller greys are about 70m, near as I can figure it. That gives me a little less yarn to work with than I had planned, just 480m (that fleece was really tiny) and means my original plan isn’t going to work. I’ve tried about a hundred times to convince myself that 480 and 530 are just about the same in terms of meterage,  but they’re not and it won’t work, and that’s okay, because they’re so lovely it was easy to come up with another plan. (I use the word “easy” here to mean that it was a two hour Ravelry search and involved the wits, skills and experience of six or seven knitters dedicated to the hunt to work it out, which is pretty easy considering how picky I was. Shawl hunts can be epic.)

This afternoon, after I finish all my work (or as much as seems reasonable, considering the unending nature of it all) I’m giving up on cleaning the kitchen, casting on for Dover Castle, in sublime grey, and suddenly, it seems like the most perfect colour. Just look at those skeins.


61 thoughts on “Well There Now

  1. A soft grey gradient – beautiful!

    I’ve been feeling a hankering (lol sorry) to learn to spin lately, but I fear my character is not yet sufficiently developed to withstand the time it takes to get good at it.

    Plus I need to do some major decluttering if there’s ever going to be room for a spinning wheel in this house.

    • Allow me to suggest a simple spindle plus Abby Franquemont’s wonderful book “Respect the Spindle”? That’s all it took me to get spinning– and it’s wonderfully fun, and cheaper than a spinning wheel! I’ve decided to get a spinning wheel after I finish my dissertation. 🙂

        • And a spindle is SUPER portable, as a bonus! Plus of course fits on a shelf, unlike a wheel…the principles of spinning are very accessible to learn with a spindle, and then transfer to a wheel IF you ever decide to go that way. It is stunning how much and how well you can do with a good, well-balanced spindle. Have fun!

  2. I went quickly to see what magical pattern was worthy of this yarn! I had it in my favorite list already! I can’t wait to see your final shawl.
    And, I totally get the grey… there is grey, and there is silvery yumminess. Enjoy!

  3. Let’s face it, there’s a huge difference between ordinary mass-produced gray and the glorious results of your own spinning. Go for it, girl!

  4. There’s grey and then there’s GREY. That’s natural, sheepy grey, and it complements nature instead of flinging winter into your face like an insult. It will be gorgeous, and reconcile you to the winter months. Enjoy the process, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!!

  5. I love the mental gymnastics, ha-ha! 480m IS almost the same as 530m, in the larger scope of things, such as … the distance to the moon or depth of the ocean. What’s 50m give or take? 🙂
    I look forward to what becomes of those purdy little skeins.

  6. Absolutely stunned by your spinning skills, and can’t wait to see what you end up with. You’ve put me in the mood to knit (not spin) a gradient version of the Wheatsheaves Scarf. I’ve been thinking about it for ages, but something else keeps getting in the way.

  7. The skeins look great — but, what happened on the trip to the yarn store? Were they sold out of everything but olive drab, fluorescent orange, and Joe’s favorite shade of black?

  8. I wish I could smell and feel those skeins of yours. Sigh. They are so beautiful. Are you a yarn sniffer too, like I am? LOL My mum used to get oily aran yarn from Ireland and I will never forget how it smelled.

  9. Ohhhh! Those are so bouncy looking and lovely. I’m absolutely positive you’ll have this knit up in far less than 3 weeks. I also know for a fact that you and Judith and I will all be in the very same place in early March and that means the Jacob shawl will be there too!
    So thrilled to see it transformed from fleece to masterpiece!

  10. And the fact that it came so lovingly from Judith makes it all the more special. Enjoyed a dye colouring class from her some 7? years ago. Very inspiring 🙂

  11. Gosh, those skeins really are beautiful. Good pattern choice, too (Great Words: “Shawl hunts can be epic.”) You’re going to love knitting with that yarn. Handspun, grey or otherwise, is always a joy. I’m so glad to see you enjoying this process.

  12. So will you start with the dark and work towards the light, or start with light and work the other way? The yarn is lovely, can’t wait to see it in progress!

  13. I believe your rule about not knitting anything gray during these winter months applied to socks… this is definitely NOT SOCKS!! Seriously though, I’m not a spinner but your post about this fleece makes me want to rethink that!!

  14. I looked up the shawl pattern–it’s beautiful. Today my weekly knitting group has been cancelled due to freezing rain in this part of Ontario, so I will be sitting at home starting sock number two for my son, in gray. At least I can enjoy a slice of the banana bread I baked for the group. That will help with the gray-ness, both on the needles and outside the window. Your fleece is exquisite, and your spinning is amazing.

    • XD XD XD

      Oh, you’re cruel, Presbytera (/Paul Hollywood voice, the way he used to say, Oh, you’re cruel, Mary, to Mary Berry)

  15. I looked up the pattern. Very pretty! I especially liked the version that started with a lighter shade at the neck and moved to the darkest shade and then finished with the lightest shade on the bottom edge. Your yarn would look great in that version. Actually, it will look good however you knit it.

    And speaking of perfection … I totally agree that thou shalt not mess around with grey (or gray, either one) during the winter, winter in Canada that is. If you go to Mexico you get a pass. Your new collection of gorgeousness, however, is not grey, it’s not even close, it’s just perfection.

  17. Good Choice, curious if you will start with the dark and go light (probably because you have so much more white) or start light and get darker out…..Can’t wait to see the finished project

  18. I was wondering what happened to bring a shawl pattern published in 2010 up to the top spot in “Hot Right Now” on the Ravelry site. I should have guessed!

    And now I’ll probably make one myself 🙂

  19. Such a lovely idea. I have a jacob fleece… I used to have actual jacob sheep but they have passed on from old age. Try the Holden shawl. It is really nice and should fit within your yardage parameters.

  20. Oh! The pattern you chose is absolutely stunning, and you make me wish that I could spin so that I could search for a Jacob of my own. Someday!

  21. The No Grey rule can’t possibly apply if spinning it makes you imagine the wee little lamb frolicking in the warm yellow sunshine in a bright green meadow.

  22. Oh, those colors are sublime! I love the patterns that you choose. I bet your post will increase the sales of that lovely shawl. How exciting for the designer. It looks like a relaxing knit. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  23. Sometimes, I think the gray can work in winter if it charms your socks off, which this does. I can’t wait to see how it works up for you.

  24. Grey in winter is permitted when it becomes something Harlot magical, like a shawl. It’s quiet, soft, gentle and maybe cuddly which are all good for wintery Canadien weather. Knit on.

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