It seems like it has been a long time since I knit with just plain wool. So many of the fibers that we use today are chemically coated to make them super wash. While this is great for the longevity of hand knit garments — I can’t tell you how many baby and kid sized sweaters knit for my children that ended up as doll sweaters or re-purposed into small pillows — the smooth finish to the yarn that results from this processing diminishes the tactile experience of hand knitting. For me, there is just nothing quite as wonderful as working with a natural wool.
Today I am so happy to be working with Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk. All of Jill’s yarns are made from local wool, spun by local spinneries and hand-dyed by Jill. You can find her yarn on etsy and in a number of LYS — see her list on ravelry.
Working with Mohonk brings me back to when I first started knitting. The wool is a bit coarse with bits of hay remaining in it, but it is also squishy and has a bit of a stretch and, best of all, a noticeable amount of lanolin remains. It just feels like REAL knitting!
I also re-discovered a fantastic stitch pattern. You all know how much I love creating new fabrics and this one has a little bit of a lace effect and an all over textured look. I knit and frogged a sweater out of it many years ago and unearthed the pattern while looking through old pattern books studying the construction of collars (that’s another story)!
The pattern stitch is interesting and not difficult. It is knit on a multiple of 4 sts plus 1, as follows:
Row 1 (RS): K2tog, *(k1, bring yarn forward, k1) all into next st, sl1, k2tog, psso; rep from * to last 3 sts, (k1, bring yarn forward, k1) all into next st, sl1, k1, psso.
Row 2: Purl.
Repeat these two rows for pattern.
I am thinking of a v-neck pullover with 3/4 length sleeves, but not sure yet. And, knitting with Jill’s yarn I am thinking that a mini-collection of sweaters knit from REAL wool might be in order! Stay tuned…