Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Scent of a yarn


Last year, I decided to start knitting a cardigan from this beautiful, felted New Zealand merino yarn.  You may remember it.

Alas, when I got to this point something happened to my commitment to this project, and the cardigan lay unfinished for the whole winter.

Remember too, how I’ve been muttering about wanting a summer cardigan?  I decided that rather than frolic in the fields of fancy and start one of the new projects I have queued, I really be practical and dig out this UFO and try finishing the second sleeve.  I suspect the reason I stopped at this point last year is because I’m not overly fond of knitting sleeves in the round.  Having already knitted one sleeve in the round, it would look strange for me to knit the second one flat, so I told myself to get over it, and just knit the thing!

I opened the bag of yarn.  And that’s when it hit me.  The gentle scent of beautiful sheep.  Clean sheep, wholesome sheep.  I wish there was a way to convey scent over the internet.  It took me back to a memorable childhood summer holiday, spent perched on the rails in my uncle’s woolshed, watching the men shearing the sheep.  Of grabbing a handful of the freshly shorn fleece from the wool bale, looking at the crimp of the wool in fascination, squishing it in my hands, smelling the sweet lanolin, rubbing the oils into my fingers.  It’s not the smell of wet, dirty wool that often offends the sensibilities.  It’s reminiscent of warm dry hay, spicy, and warm, and enticing.  You want to bury your nose in it and breathe it all up!!

On top of this yarn’s gorgeous softness, I wonder why I ever stopped knitting this project in the first place?

I’m halfway done on the sleeve now.  Once it’s finished, I can join the sleeves to the body, knit the bands, and I will have a lovely new summer cardigan!

Funnily enough, today’s Wovember post is all about Emily Chamelin on harvesting wool…!  She talks about her experience of visiting New Zealand for the Golden Shears competition, and it fits perfectly with my recollections of seeing the sheep shearing in my childhood.  It got me so excited!! The last picture is exactly the kind of woolshed that talked about – go and have a look, it’s a wonderful read!

Author: kiwiyarns

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10 thoughts on “Scent of a yarn

  1. Your cardigan is going to be gorgeous. Isn’t it funny how some projects just do better after a break from us?
    Loved the shearing link, really cool.

  2. I’ve got an issue too with a cardigan, this project waits in the closet but I might take it back to the knitting basket. I’m pretty sure your cardigan will be gorgeous once finished. Just go for it your so close now!

  3. How cool to be able to experience wool like that during your childhood. I love that grey and good for you on working on this to finish.

  4. oh you took me back too!! there is nothing like the energy in a woolshed and the evocative scents of the sheep, their wool, the tools and the sweat of the shearers combined with the sounds. how lucky we have been to have those childhood memories. they do draw us to our wool, the feel and the smell [some brands] and the vision of marrying that perfect pattern with that perfect wool. i have been lucky enough to buy some perfect wool and a perfect cardigan pattern myself this week, so i do wish you well with the finishing of yours!! we will, as the saying goes, be waiting with bated breath for the “show and tell” in due course. 🙂

  5. I remember that cardigan. I’m glad that it is going to be finished soon. Such lovely wool deserves to be a finished sweater.

  6. Admitted; the actual real scent didn’t reach me… nor do I have childhood memories of woolsheds, but I’m pretty sure it came close.. Your description together with those photo’s sure gives a vivid image !
    Glad to hear you refound your zest for knitting the cardi, think it will make a lovely FO 🙂

  7. I would love to see your finished cardigan. That one’s been on my to-do list for such a long time, but I have not had much luck with cardigans ever since my first try.

    • I’m on the final bit of the yoke now, just the button bands to do, and hopefully I’ll be able to show it to you some time this week (all going well!)

  8. I’m not a fan of knitting sleeves in the round. I’ve just done one and dont think I’ll do it again.Like you felted wool its lovely to knit with.Its always good to finish something thats been staring at you from the bag!

  9. I’m seriously drooling over every Amy Christoffers pattern right now!