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