Just a little car knitting

Coming off the high of last week’s get-it-done-athon, I decided to treat myself. I mean, look how productive I’d been, right? Surely I could do something small. For variety. As a palate-cleanser, if you will, and a reward. “Oh, I know!” thought I, “There’s that 2 oz of delicious cria alpaca waiting to be spun! It’s tiny. It won’t take long. I’ve got two bobbins free…ish. A couple of evenings, tops, and then I’ll get back to finishing ALL the things.”

But surely this is more than 2 oz, you say? Um. I'll get to that.


I was right, up to a point: the alpaca — rose gray cria roving (the first real shearing from a baby alpaca) from North Star Alpacas — did spin up quickly. I’d never spun alpaca before (apart from a sample at spinning lessons) and was a bit nervous that I’d screw it up, but the carded prep was smooth like butter, and made for some of the most effortless spinning I’ve ever done. Even worsted spun, the singles were nicely fuzzy, and the softness…oh, the softness. Plus, Maple had put a lavender sachet in the bag, so I’d get these delightful wafts of lavender as I spun it up. Even Chicken-Leg Al the Wonder Cat was powerless against it: he took about 3 seconds to go from, “Hmmm, what’s this new fluffy thing?” to full-on drooling alpaca faceplant. About halfway into the first ounce, I went back to the site and bought another 4 oz. You can see where this is going.

This is what I love about the internet. The roving came from this adorable animal, who lives down the road from Maple, the woman from whom I bought it. Photo from North Star Alpacas, used with permission.

Around the same time, I realized that we had a 6 hour road trip coming up — 3 hours each way — and none of the projects on the needles would make for good car knitting. They all require charts and/or concentration, which is a recipe for nausea and much ripping out of mistakes. Why not cast on something with my newly made yarn? Something simple; something that didn’t require charts; something I could knit without looking at it too much; something to show off the handspun-ness of the yarn. So I did some swatching and came up with a stitch pattern I liked.

There were a couple of swatches before this, but I wasn't wasting handspun in failed stitch patterns. No, ma'am.

I got about 250 yds/229 m of 2-ply from a generous 2 oz/57g of roving, so I’d end up in the ballpark of 750 yds/687m, which might be enough for a shawl, if I made it narrower than my usual giant wrap. If not, I could always spin some more. Perhaps I should order another 2 oz to be safe. A shawl, yes. That will take rather more than 6 hours and require the spinning of another 4-6 oz of roving.

You know, a little car knitting.

It will take several more trips to Atlanta to finish this sucker.

5 thoughts on “Just a little car knitting

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