Wrapping up for winter

Last year, when we were deciding what we wanted to do this year, we thought that our September meeting would be a good time to have one of our ‘show and tell’ sessions, but one with a theme. Shawls, scarves, cowls – things to keep us cozy and warm – that would be appropriate for autumn.

And despite the best Indian summer (or haf bach Mihangel, here) that we’ve had in years, we all duly turned up with fistfuls of winter warmers. What a show, and what a variety of colours and crafts. It started off in a restrained way,

the start

with room to spread the work out flat and careful examination of technique (here a shawl made on a knitting frame from hand-dyed sample skeins, some crochet and some knitting – all from one member who loves making shawls though she personally doesn’t wear them very much; great for her friends and family).

By the end we’d had to push tables together to accommodate the growing collection, and had a mountain of colour and texture and loveliness to admire and stroke.

part of the haul

There was everything – all sorts of fibres (New Zealand possum yarn really caught our attention; it was very, very soft and the shawl in question was in a delicious cherry red) as well as a rich variety of techniques.

There were scarves crocheted from unspun fleece:

crochet fleece

and others which were woven or made using various felting techniques – here’s a scribble-felt throw behind the unspun scarf. There was meticulous bobbin lace:

bobbin lace

so beautiful, and light as a feather; there were scarves and shawls knitted with commercial yarns,

shawls

like this very effective Dreambird, which works well with the dark and a Noro yarn, and ones made with hand-dyed yarns,

shawls2

and others with handspun, both dyed and naturally coloured:

shawls3

This, for example, is a Hearts and Flowers lace shawl in Shetland. Several of us had brought things which hadn’t travelled far – one shawl was knitted with handspun from a flock in the next village, others had been fleeces given by local farmers, raw fleece had been gathered from fences, and there also was a WiP (work in progress) being made in a neighbour’s alpaca – but the black hearts and flowers and this scarf

crochet scarf

were both made from the owner’s sheep. You can’t get more local than that…

And now, finally, the weather does seem to be cooling down. Not that we’re complaining, but it will be nice to get to wear our scarves and shawls again.

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