Last month, thanks to a cancelled flight and some reshuffling, I had some extra hang time in airports on my way to Rhinebeck. It seemed to me the perfect time to cast on for something new.
I had packed this skein of my own handspun – the first yarn I spun after my mother’s unexpected death, after weeks of not feeling like knitting, spinning, or doing anything I usually enjoyed. The yarn felt special to me, a symbol of hope and comfort as I began to try to emerge from those early dark days of devastation.
It was so deeply satisfying to knit with this particular yarn, in our cabin in Red Hook, surrounded by a circle of friends. As I’ve already written, the time with these women was nourishing and healing and strengthening, and just so, so good.
On our last night together, I bound off the project I’d started on the way there.
It was a fast and thoroughly enjoyable knit, extremely easy and perfect for travel. The pattern is the Quaker Yarn Stretcher, a free pattern designed for using a single skein of handspun (it can be adapted to be bigger or smaller depending on your yardage).
The simplicity and texture really show off the beauty of handspun.
I enjoyed every stitch, and now that it’s done, I love wearing it too.
It’s like a little piece of Rhinebeck I brought home with me, the hours of laughter and stories from knitter-sisters stitched into it.
When I put it around my shoulders, I feel wrapped in sisterhood, which really helps these days.
Also, it’s just pretty!
It is rare to find a pattern that is so deeply satisfying in both the knitting and the wearing. It’s so functional too – perfect as a scarf, it also works up easily in more yarn as a shawlette or shawl. I would highly recommend this pattern, and I will almost certainly be knitting this again.