Something I prepared earlier
I am still working towards recovery from this fatigue condition. Things are stable but life has had to be pared right back to basics. From this new beginning, I can very slowly build towards recovery. Everything takes so long now and I am still finding my voice and my sea legs, everything I felt I knew has shifted.
So I thought I would break the silence by sharing something I finished way back in April.
This is the Yoke of Endurance. The sweater is the culmination of my participation in the Shackleton Craft Along hosted by Sarah from Fiber Trek. This was a rather special craft along, taking place over eighteen months or so, mirroring the Ernest Shackleton expedition to Antarctica in 1914 on the ship, Endurance.
It was a rather ill-fated expedition. The Endurance was trapped in pack ice and crushed. The expedition of exploration and discovery became a rescue operation of many months for Shackleton, trying to get all the stranded crew back to safety. The wonderful thing is, nobody died, everyone came home. The idea of using this expedition as the inspiration for a knitting and spinning adventure was really novel, it captivated me instantly.
We were encouraged to pick a project that really challenged us and to see it through to the end. I chose to spin up my remaining stashes of coloured fleece using woollen long draw, a new spinning technique for me. My journey began during Spinzilla in October last year and the following months I finished yarns in Finn, Romney and Polwarth. I discovered I loved the woollen long draw.
It felt like a magical spell when I drew the fibre backwards and watched twist transform wool into yarn without snarling or lumping. It is certainly not brilliant woollen spun yarn by any means but it really pushed my spinning out of the comfortable.
I had finished the body and arms of my sweater and had just begun the yoke when I got that oh so pivotal chest infection that turned to pneumonia in April. The yoke was finished sitting up in bed between naps. I knew where I needed my decreasing rounds and I would just pick a pattern from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s book of Fair Isle Motifs and wing it. It all flowed and was a rather dreamy and wonderful experience. A few weeks later, I was too tired to even lift the needles and it is only now, five months later than I gather myself to link photographs and write stuff to share this one with you.
Yoke of Endurance is a bottom up, seamless sweater with waist and bust shaping at four points. The yarn a woollen 2ply sports weight knitted up on 3.75mm needles. The yoke patterning was placed low, just after joining arms and body together to cut horizontally across the bust line, minimising the opera-singer-chest-affect yokes can have on a full bust. I am very pleased with the way this worked. One set of short rows was added just prior to yoke patterning and the other set and the neckline. The main body is Polwarth, the white is Finn, the silver is Romney and the black is from an alpaca called Rosie.