Finishes and WIPs

Hello all. I hope you are enjoying the lovely fall weather. It’s been a tad bit chilly, but that only hastens the leaves turning colors.

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I’ve got a couple finishes to show. First of all, I finished the Baby Blanket of No Discernible Stitches:

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It all went swimmingly once I put the dang markers in. Turns out, it’s a beautiful blanket and I’m sure the baby will love dragging it around the house, once he learns to walk, that is. It feels like a plushy, so it’ll be like a giant flat stuffed animal.

My second finish is the Warm Feelings cowl that I made from Aunt Mildred’s mohair:

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It’s warm and soft and lovely. Every time I put it on I’ll think of her. I don’t remember her ever knitting, but she taught me to make Rocky Road Fudge, which I loved. 

The third WIP is one that was long in the making. It’s a spinning project that you remember from last year, August of 2021.

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Yes, I have finally finished spinning all that black Romney fleece that I bought at the Fiber Frolic before I had a stroke. And it only took a year! Woohoo! I actually estimated that it would take me three months or so, but a) that was underestimating the time and b) I took several months-long spinning breaks. Like this last July and August, and another break early last spring, because I needed to get my Christmas knitting done for this year. The last six skeins are drying after their twist-setting bath even as we speak, but here is a picture I took of all my yarn, most in washed skeins, two in unwashed skeins, and four still on the bobbin after plying:

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I have eighteen skeins of lovely black, cushy, soft, heavy worsted or Aran weight goodness that will be glorious to knit with. My skeins are a little more than 100 g, or 4 ounces. The sweater I plan to knit is this one:

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It’s an old Candide pattern from 1991 that I have knit before. I loved that sweater and always wanted to knit it again, and now I can knit it with homespun yarn. 

So that leaves me with WIPs. Actually, I only have one at the moment, a pair of socks for myself that I am using some of Arline’s stash for. It’s an 80% merino and 20% nylon; the color is called Olive Oyl.
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This yarn is from The Woolen Rabbit in North Conway, NH.

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I’m just knitting a sock out of Yankee Knitter #29, my old standby …

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… but I think I will put an ‘umbrella’ toe on it which I found in Kay Jones’ Crunkled Socks and really liked. It doesn’t use Kitchener Stitch.


Aunt Mildred’s Mohair

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My Aunt Mildred was the only sibling of my father, and she was born around 1905 or 6. My father was born in 1907, so she was older. I remember a photo taken of the two of them, he sitting happily in a chair and she standing shyly next to him, both dressed to the nines. Aunt Mildred looked about 5 at the time. She had a frilly dress, waist length hair, and a large bow perched on top of her head.

Aunt Mildred died in 1996, and after she died her daughter in law sent me a wall hanging I had quilted for her and a box of pale yellow mohair that Aunt Mildred had, because I knit.

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Swiftly fast forward to September 2022. I finally pulled the yellow mohair out to knit something with it. I sort of recognized the label, which said the yarn was from the Reynolds Yarns company. I bought Reynolds Kitten yarn when I was in college, and I think that Classic Elite bought their mohair line and renamed it La Gran, but don’t quote me on that.

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Wow, I thought. This mohair looks really old. I wonder how old it is? Then I fell down the rabbit hole of finding out about old yarn …

Ravelry had stashed No. 1 Mohair by Reynolds 168 times, and there were 69 projects that used it. Of the 69, there was one woman who guessed it was from the late 50’s. She was close. 

The yarn tag says it is 85% mohair and 15% vinyan. “Vinyan” is a misspelling and means anger, and there is a 2008 French-Belgian-Australian horror film which was all I could find about it. The word actually should be “vinyon”, which is a synthetic fiber made from polyvinyl chloride. The first U.S. commercial vinyon fiber produced was in 1939. It’s an Aran weight, not a fingering weight as stated in Ravelry’s database.

Back to the Internet. I found a really great website called Vintage Knit Crochet — Bits of History  that had Reynolds No. 1 Mohair. Jackpot!

Reynolds No. 1 Mohair was imported from France in March, 1962 and was marketed with two full page ads in Needlecraft magazines.

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The yarn was around for 11 years, and was phased out in 1973. I had thought Aunt Mildred likely bought it in 1972 or 1973, so I was probably correct. She may have bought it on sale when they were getting rid of it.

Aunt Mildred’s mohair is color 8, a lovely soft yellow, and I am knitting it up in a cabled cowl pattern called Warm Feelings, a free pattern from DROPS.

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It will be soft and warm like sunlight, and will be like a pleasant hug on a cold day. Just like Aunt Mildred.