the whole process.

It started out looking like this…IMGP0394And slowly but surely, became this…IMGP2305From sheep to baby blanket… It’s the first time I’ve ever accomplished the whole process from start to finish in many many years of wanting it to happen! 

(The pattern is Concentric Squares Baby Blanket by Fiber Fiend, http://www.fiberfiend.com)

In between the beginning and the end, there was a whole slew of processes. If you’ve been following along with our stories in this space for some time now, you may recall the tending and shepherding of the sheep all through the cold winter months. Or even before that, my family’s trip to Pennsylvania to fetch my flock of Shetlands and then being crammed in the truck like sardines for the long haul. Then spring arrived and shearing needed to happen. Remember when the Hill and Hollow crew came to save the day with their electric sheep shears? And remember not quite as long ago when my family had an overnight stay in a hotel and as my luggage I took a dirty sheep’s fleece for scouring in the hotel bathtub? And the borrowed drum carder? And all of the spinning? And then the indigo dyeing? (Which was a whole process in and of itself with the seeding, weeding, growing and harvesting!) Finally, my favorite part of the process, the hours and hours of knitting… knitting while the kids swam in the creek, or in the early gray mornings, or while I waited for supper to cook, or while I accompanied Eric for chores (but not being able to walk and actually help out with chores because of my leg. Moral support is good too!). It is a long-winded process I will admit! But it’s also incredibly satisfying…IMGP2307(You can see the color change between dye lots… I wasn’t totally thrilled with this feature and did try to overdye the whole blanket to make the blue more consistent, but alas, there is still a definite line. Oh, well. Maybe next year when the indigo is ready, I will try again.)

When I finally finished the baby blanket, the kids asked me how much I would charge if I were to sell the blanket. I just had to laugh. 

So the blanket is all finished. Now I just need a baby to wrap up in it…IMGP2310

 

22 thoughts on “the whole process.

  1. wow – what a great story! I recently heard of a man who “grew a sandwich”. He estimated it cost him about $1500 plus labor to do so. When he was done he had lunch. When you were done, you had something much longer lasting. As fro the line – next time, knit from two skeins from different lots at a time, alternating them every couple of rows (2 if you are knitting back and forth works well), so that the color differences blend in.

    • Yes… that would have been good. The only problem was that I ran out of yarn altogether when I was about halfway through with the blanket, and had to spin and dye several additional skeins just to be able to finish it. I did think that the overdye would have worked, but the indigo was all flowering and apparently not very strong anymore. I imagine that the baby won’t really mind the stripe, though!

  2. So beautiful . You really spell out the labor involved in small scale farming/craftmanship . People do not have a clue about how precious it is. I save seed ,garden ,can ,weave “wild” baskets and knit ,so I know about the labor . I think your baby is so blessed to have your blanket.

  3. What a lovely family heirloom you’ll now have! How rare and special to be able to be fully involved from start to finish in making a beloved item. Not many can say that these days. My heart longs to do the same!

  4. What a beautiful blanket. I’m impressed that you managed to finish it before the baby actually arrives! The whole process is an amazing story. What a great feeling to have a role in every step of its creation – both the blanket and the baby it will swaddle.

  5. Pingback: Joining in on Slow Fashion October | Colibri Homestead

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