I still pinch myself and can hardly believe it when I cast off a knitting project made with my own yarn - that I spun, that we sheared, from the sheep in our backyard, most of whom were born here. I hope that feeling always stays, honestly, that feeling of wonder at the process and certainly a lot of excitement about it all. It's incredibly satisfying, that feeling, and so rewarding too. (Not to mention a perfect and necessary relief of an answer when we begin to look at the pasture improvements to make, or the barn needs, or the budget for feeding this flock all winter long and question just what it is we are doing here with all these sheep. We are making hats, I tell you! Making hats! And so much more.....).
Just a few days into this new year, and I'm feeling good about my goals and intentions of improving my spinning and working with my own yarn. This was a single bobbin that's been hanging around since spring - the last, I think, from the 2014 shearing. Frankly, I was ready to move on from it and eager to get it off the bobbin so I could fill it with what I'm currently spinning, which I think, is a bit more even and more consistent. So I didn't even ply it, but rather added two strands of Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Have I mentioned that I have no idea what I'm doing? I don't. And I have no idea if this was a good idea or not, but since I have so much room for experimenting with this fiber, I thought I'd give it a try. It definitely 'softened' up the yarn and with just a single ply of the handspun, made the hat a bit more wearable and definitely cozier. I'm not certain how well it will hold up like this, but for now, all seems well and it's incredibly warm. Incredibly warm is good these days, as winter has most definitely hit if not in snow than at least in temperatures.
The pattern is, fittingly, the Amanda Hat, a free and easy pattern. The yarn is from Charlotte, daughter of Emily, the matriarch of our pasture. Charlotte was born here four years ago (I love this little video from when she was a wee lamb) and is now Mama to Jane and Adele born in 2014, and Little Friend Susan and Thalia born last spring. Charlotte is slightly more trusting of people than her mother, has great mothering instincts of her own, and has produced what I dare say are everyone's favorite lambs, for a whole host of reasons, at the top of the list being that they're both friendly and beautiful.
This was a perfectly simple and satisfying start to a year that I hope to dedicate to exploring, experimenting and making with our fiber. Adelaide too - oh, wait till I show you what she's been up to! There will be no new lambs this year (eleven is plenty for us for the moment!), but I'm quite certain that those sheep in our pasture will continue to be a source of entertainment, love, and fun in all kinds of ways.