Love made Visible with Shetland Wool

In celebration of Day 3 of Wovember I thought I'd share a special wooly creation that I recently finished.

Last October I had the immense pleasure of attending Shetland Wool Week.  It was wonderful;  the classes, the people, the landscape, the magic of Shetland.  If you ever have a chance you should check it out yourself.  Like all knitters at fiber festivals, I was overcome with a need to take home lots of yarn, yarn and more yarn.   Especially from Jamieson & Smith.

Shetland Supreme..undyed yarn at Jamieson & Smith store in Lerwick, shawl By Monique Boonstra of www.Kantwerk.nl

I was barely able to zip my luggage and I looked like such a fool, weighted down with so much stuff while I was traveling home. 

The upside to all this compulsive wool buying is that I have some lovely Shetland Wool in my stash, at home in Alaska, ready to be knit with.  

So last year, when my friend Kate found out she was pregnant I thought I'd make the baby a sweater or hat or something cute and small.  I thought that I would NOT under any circumstances make a blanket. 

I had made a blanket as a baby gift the year before and I was staggered at how long it took to complete.  I'll knit a sweater any day, but a blanket, no thank you.

And yet one day I thought about Kate Davie's Rams & Yowes blanket and I thought how perfect it would be for this family.  A family whose lives revolve so much around a love for wild spaces and time outside.  

More specifically a family with a father who loves to hunt, especially for sheep.  A sheep hunt in Alaska often takes people far into the backcountry, to steep alpine terrain and often for long stretches of time. Let's just say it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Then there's the mom, my friend Kate, who has a strong appreciation and preference for handmade and a discerning eye for function and design. The type of person who you know will actually treasure something that's hand knit and yet not be afraid to use it and make it part of her daily life.

And then there was this baby coming and sheep seemed perfect, both gentle and sleepy and also inspiring for future adventures. 

So after all that, how could I NOT make a baby blanket?

Now this wonderful little baby is nearly 7 months old, and it took me that long to finish this project.  But now it's hers and I hope it gives her warmth and coziness and eventually her own appreciation for handmade.  Even if they are more work and take more time, crafting something ourselves is a way of making love visible.

 

So with the blanket all finished, the sheep lined up in rows I can't help but feel that it stands for all sorts of wonderful things: wool, knitting, sleeping babies, future sheep hunting adventures, durability, tradition and love made by hand.  

So here's to all the makers out there who put their hearts and their time into their craft. I feel like the world is a more beautiful place because of it.