The Shepherd

It’s funny how one’s imagination can get completely fired up by a story that we relate to.  When I saw Kate Kavies’ post about The Shepherd hoody, I got very, very excited.

Leaving aside the fact that Kate Davies has managed to design a hoody that “had” me at first glance, it’s also the backstory to the Shepherd and the Shearer that has great significance to me.  The project resonates very loudly within my core:  using yarn from local sheep to make a beautiful sweater in a sturdy yarn that you could throw on and wear, and wear, and wear….and that will still be amazing in 20 years’ time.  It was also about women operating in a traditionally male dominated profession, doing what they love, and doing it well.  I could immediately think of several Kiwi women doing exactly the same thing, and what better way to celebrate their accomplishment in wool than by knitting a Shepherd in New Zealand yarn?

I immediately bought the pattern for The Shepherd, dug out the yarn, and swatched!!  In fact, I was so excited that even though it was late, I didn’t stop knitting until it was done, and that swatch is quite a monster!

The Swatch

So, which yarn do you think I am using?  I think I need to share a bit of this yarn love.  If you have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know my favourites, and should be able to figure it out.

More swatch

To make this really fun, I’m giving away two hanks of this wonderful yarn: one hank each to two lucky readers who comment with the right answer.  (There will be a natural colour choice).  Entries close on Saturday, 28 September, and the winners will be drawn by random number generator from a list of names with the correct answer.

Here is a clue:  It’s New Zealand grown, shorn and spun.  It’s 100% wool, and the sheep are farmed by a woman, shorn by a woman (I’m not sure if all the sheep are shorn only by her, but she definitely gets mentioned), and spun by a woman. It is the perfect yarn for The Shepherd, or the Shearer (I love Kirsten Kapur’s sweater too and might have to knit it as well!).  For that matter, it has all the qualities mentioned by Susan Gibbs for the yarn they have especially designed over at Juniper Moon.

Best of all for me, this yarn is the perfect gauge!!  Yippee!!

So, if you fancy getting your hands of a nice bit of New Zealand wool, take a guess at whose yarn this is (some research in my page tabs and it won’t be hard), and leave a comment.

In the meantime, I’m going to start my Shepherd!!

29 thoughts on “The Shepherd

  1. This is such an inspiring idea – and so beautifully illustrated in these two gorgeous jumpers!

  2. Its a gorgeous pattern, I was quite taken when I saw it too! I am going to guess that you are using Anna Gratton 8ply. I love her natural colours!

  3. The little wool Company? Anna Gratton? You did a teeshirt in it didn’t you? Yet another reason to come to NZ. Thank you for your email xx

  4. it just has to be Anna Gratton Ltd, Little Wool Co.and seeeing as the pattern is for Worsted, I guess you’re using the 8ply corriedale.

  5. It looks like Zealana to me. The beautiful haze is what I love. By the way, that’s one awesome swatch! Whatever the yarn is……..I’d love some! Take care…….

  6. I also think it is the Anna Gratton Corriedale.
    Can’t wait to see what your version will look like ! Kate Davies’s story and pattern ( as well as Kirsten Kapur’s ) is very nice indeed, I think, can see why you’re excited about it 🙂
    Happy knitting !

  7. That is a beautiful swatch. I want to lay my cheek against it. Honestly, I have no clue so don’t mind me. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have any knitting books because then I’d have an excuse to buy patterns from Rav here and there. But because I have a good sized library, I feel obligated to use patterns from them for now.

    1. I’m the same. I have a huge stack of magazines and books, and mostly limit my knitting from patterns that I already have. My Rav purchases are only for projects that I will start right away. This particular project was a “must do”!

  8. Ok. I first thought Mythral but it doesn’t have the sheen. Then Zealana kauri – but no dark flecks. So my guess is Anna Gratton. But are you using a DK for this pattern rather than a worsted?

  9. I believe it’s Anna Gratton’s ” Corriedale ” the texture and shade are very luxurious, and the fact your swatch fits the pattern is all the more beneficial using this yarn 🙂
    cannot wait to knit it myself…..

  10. I am not clever enough to guess but what an absolutely fantastic garment, I totally love it, it is fantastic. Words fail me, not often a pattern grips me this way, but this one does. Love it. 🙂

  11. Your sample is soooo nice – it makes me like the idea of knitting Kate’s lovely pattern even more! My guess is that you’re using Anna Gratton’s 8 ply pure wools in a natural colour. I’m not certain which one, as I’m not familiar with them, unfortunately.

  12. yeah I thought Anna Gratton too but only because of your clues. The hoody looks great and makes me want to knit it but first I have two sweaters (one for cold, one for warm weather) and a sock and a half to finish!

  13. Anna Gratton is a very talented woman, doing all of that work herself! I would love to win some of that wool if I’m right 🙂

  14. This has got to be Anna Gratton’s yarn, given it’s lovely sheen and the other clues you’ve given. I love knitting with her yarn – her colours are wonderful and rich, and the naturals pallete are broad.

  15. I’m opting for Anna Gratton as well. You’ve really made me think though about using New Zealand yarn for my hoody and I do love those natural shades. Maybe I will end up with two – a coloured one and one in a natural shade and maybe we should have ourselves a little KAL? That might be fun…..

      1. Excellent. I’ll have to find some yarn which might take a day or two but then we can each blog about our progress. Have you actually started? Do I have some catching up to do? Does anyone else want to join in?

      2. That would be great! I have to confess I have started – it was very hard not to! However, there are plenty of other things I can also knit to slow me down while I wait for you… 😉 I will do a post tomorrow at the same time as I announce the winners.

  16. I, too, saw and immediately loved that pattern! I still have other projects to finish, though, before I can contemplate that hoody! Can’t wait to see your’s!!!

  17. One look and I knew it was Anna’s Corridale – it really is quite a distinctive and beautiful yarn. It is holding those cables beautifully and will be the perfect yarn for that project 🙂

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