Notice of a Derailment.......and the projects That Didn't Make It.

Named "Night Sky Over Kaipara" this shawl was all about the yarn and not the technique.

Don't you despise those oh-so-smug designers who rattle off knitting perfection about once a month?....

This is a piece about trying too hard to be like someone I am clearly not.

It is also about working for my values and not feeding my self-doubt...which I have in truckloads by the way.

This all started about a month ago after I finished a Stole in hand-spun wool from a local fleece. I felt so damned proud of myself that even the lovely people who grew the wool were invited in to see the finished product. There began a discussion which I should have left at the workshop door, but no, my ego allowed in to the studio and the house.

There was generous talk of marketing though I already knew the answer "No-one will pay you what this item is worth"...and the lovely couple did agree because they know that their fleeces are not work anything at the wool buyers.

Working title is "Connemara Stole"
Now, I ought to explain that this "Connemara Stole" was itself the pragmatic down-sized version of an Epic Project which was started back in December....

Project sample...a curved edge.
With this project I was going to storm the National Wool Crafters competition here in NZ, I was going to be victorious, I could sell my work, I would be able to get teaching gigs, etc, etc...(snort). 


The Epic Project became The Stole. End of Story. I never entered it in the National Wool Crafting Competition. I just made it properly and finished it properly.

There was some background noise stuff...and it derailed me a little.

See, I get derailed when unsettled.

I have absolutely no idea how designers keep up the pace of new work -maybe they don't have family to worry about , maybe that's all it is...

Maybe they put all their feelings in a little box and leave it on the shelf...I don't know how to work creatively and NOT be shunted a bit by stuff. I never learnt that habit.

The little Shawl at the top of this piece in blue?...the one with the lyrical name, well I think the name alone killed it. It was a confection of matching hues of Rowan Kid-Silk haze and Malabrigo Merino/Silk. The angora/silk stretched beautifully over the bias while the merino/silk edging ended up too tight....DON'T ASK, IT WAS ALL A LONG TIME AGO.

After the majesty of the Stole (now cautiously named The Connemara Stole) I felt amazing and ready to up-grade my on-line presence ready for sales etc. This was what my ego deserved.

Well....I am still hovering and bothering on this because I am so scared.



So I went and spun a nice fleece instead.

Hand-spun black lambswool and sock-needles.
I did so enjoy that. I relaxed into it working right from the fleece-

...and ended up with a sportweight/8ply.

I KNOW..I KNOW. 8ply strong lambswool does NOT make for cosy soft socks. You would think I would know huh? Lambswool is designed to be waterproof, windproof, fluid-proof, almost bullet-proof...hence its wiriness.

Ripping out that sock was quite therapeutic and purging actually.

This all happened only last week, I might add.

The need to have a straightforward project in my hands was getting to my that I had created, with wool I had created, that wouldn't be so epic that my family could be cherished and that could end up as a not-so-scary pattern. Perhaps I am limiting my world a little...narrowing my focus...perhaps.

Halo Wool Cowl.
Then I got the news that the lady who grew the fleece that made the Stole had been involved in a serious car crash.

There is nothing like a crisis to focus the mind once again on what is manageable, possible and achievable.

So I went back to my basics; hand-spun wool. This from 10yrs ago when my head was turned by the notion of happy sheep. This fleece was a gift. It was platinum white when washed, with a halo effect and I dyed 300gm of it with a Periwinkle wasn't a scientific dye project, but I loved it.

The Wave pattern is an old favourite of mine early entry into lace-knitting for me, so it has fond memories.

It is knitting up beautifully and has saved me from the unfathomable rabbit-hole of Big Ideas.

These Ideas will come back again -I know, along with others. Trialing them is good....making the decision not to pursue them at the present time has integrity, I feel.

I'm hedging....again!

Wave Pattern on the Halo Cowl.

As for that black lambs-wool?, oh it will go into a Slip-Over (see pattern down the side). That pattern deserves a long-sleeved version and this wool is perfect for it.

The Cowl will go to the lady in the car crash.


Take care,

Fiona MacBride

Tin Shed Yarns