I really really really love handspun yarn. A day will come, I suspect, when I will direct a slice of my time and attention to learning and practicing spinning regularly. Now is not the moment, but that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the end result of hand spinning! The subtle textures, the colour shifts, the springy feeling of the yarn, and the nubbly texture of a 2-ply handspun all fascinate, tempt, and divert me.
The novel nature of each yard that passes through your fingers can really heighten the experience of knitting – that’s probably also one of the reasons I love Noro yarns so much too.
Enough waxing poetic, Wessel!
When I bought these beautiful handspun skeins from The Sweatermaker ‘Mac’ yarns from Uptown yarns in my old home town of Courtenay, BC, I knew I’d really LOVE working with them. For me handspun is like the triple aged whiskey that someone breaks out on a very special occasion. It’s for SUBLIME knitting.
Last winter, Neve’s outgrew all of her baby sized hats, and so it was imperative that I make her a new Beloved bonnet.
Can you Cast On and Bind Off Before Baby?
Alexa has this personal tradition that she calls the ‘birth hat’. When a friend or family member begins her labour or heads in to the hospital for a cesarean, the birth partner sends Alexa a text to let her know. Then she casts on, and spends the next few hours knitting a baby hat for the tiny person making their dramatic transition from inside to out. It’s a small show of solidarity, sitting with her thoughts for both parents and baby, knitting love into fabric for the new one.
I LOVE this idea, and have done it a couple of times myself. I see this as a ‘snow day’; a delicious moment to step outside the flow of usual work and meditate on parenthood. While knitting, you might think back to the babes who are near and dear to you and about the changes that their lives have made in your own.
I took this on when my friend Rosie had her baby, and this hat was the result. Alexa says she usually ‘binds off before baby’, with first babies, but with second babies the results are less certain! I don’t think she bound off before Max was born, and she certainly didn’t with Neve!
My second birth hat was this little bonnet I knit for my sister’s younger son, Charlie. What a cutie, eh?!
I’ve just recently cast on another Beloved bonnet. It’s always useful to add to the ‘gift box’ in preparation for new babies and birthdays. I also like to do this kind of a project as a ‘palette cleanser’ if I’m feeling stuck in my design work, OR if I have that perfect single skein, begging to be cast on.