A Birthday Shawl

Remember those undyed batts I carded way back when? (A lovely blend of BFL, baby alpaca, and mohair.) Well, those batts are now being used! Yes, it’s been over a year, but I’ve been waiting for just the right project. Handspun yarn for a birthday shawl.

The shawl was supposed to be my dear aunt’s Christmas and birthday present, however both of those dates have passed, so I decided I’d better get hopping. The last thing I want to do is end up like I did with my last two “birthday gift” yarns and not deliver on them until after the next year’s birthday.

Before I got started on the shawl yarn I had to reel off the cinnamon alpaca that was already on my favorite spinning wheel. (This photo only strengthens my mental connection between brown alpaca and herringbone. For some odd reason I think they were made for each other.)

Once I got all that reeled off the bobbin, I went ahead and started spinning up samples. This was a little more difficult than I bargained for, as the original pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn made of llama. Llama is rather heavy and drapey, but my batts are not. They are wonderfully springy and fluff up like you wouldn’t believe. So it took me a good four or five tries to nail a proper sort of worsted weight. (More of the fiber being used!)

I’m hoping against hope that I have enough of these batts to finish out the shawl. There are all these abstract variables floating about.

After getting the right weight (or so I hoped), I gave the little piece of sample yarn to my sister, who will be doing the actual knitting of shawl, and she knit up a tiny swatch. Thankfully it was bang on with blocking. Hurrah for gauges that actually work!

I’ve got a half of a bobbin of this lovely stuff at the moment, and I intend to add to it pretty soon. The shawl calls for 820 yards of worsted weight, and I have twelve(ish) ounces of batt. This is going to be close. If all else fails, I can get a few ounces of something else and spin one of the yarn plies with it, then stick it in with two of the batt plies.

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