6 Jan 2014

Ready to Roc!

It's great to have something to really look forward to in the middle of the winter season. And for spinners, we don't have to wait too long. The day after the Christmas season is our very own day — Roc Day. 

This is a celebration going back to the Middle Ages and is celebrated either the day after 12th night (Jan 5th) or the day after Epiphany in the Christian calendar (Jan 6th) depending on local custom. 

Traditionally, spinners would gather together and celebrate the end of the Christmas festivities before commencing their work for the year. From early writings about the day, it would appear to be quite a raucous affair with the ploughmen and the whole village joining in. Perhaps today's gatherings are not quite such large events, but still guilds and groups like to meet to celebrate this occasion.

And if you think about it, what greater pleasure would there be in the cold, dark days of winter than to set up your wheel in front of a fire and spin to your heart's content.

There's also the pressure of knowing that the new fleeces will be shorn in only a few months' time, so it really is time to work on that stash from last year (or was that the year before that!) 

So I thought I would highlight a few patterns that I have featuring hand-spun yarn to give some ideas for this year's spinning. 

The first of these is the Sawston Scarf and is fairly quick to spin and knit as it uses less than 300gm of finished yarn. I used Blue-Faced Leicester fleece for this and graduated dyed the roving before spinning. However, the scarf also looks good in a more solid shade. 

The second pattern is for a set of cushions using natural coloured fleece. These are the Rare Earth Cushions and they are great for using up small quantities of fleece or hand-spun yarn in co-ordinating shades. 

The next suggestion is for a co-ordinating rug, the Rare Earth Rug. This is a good pattern for this time of year as both the spinning and knitting keep you warm as you go!

And the last project here is for a super-cozy blanket. This is the Henley Blanket and features a beautiful reversible stitch from our book, Reversible Knitting Stitches. The stitch is Ridged Rib and has a lovely cellular texture to capture the warmth of the hand-spun yarn.

I also have one more suggestion and that is for a new rug pattern, the Ocean Currents Rug. I'll write more about that next time!

Happy winter spinning everyone!


. 28/7/18 W

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