When I got my first skein of Shelter yarn in the mail earlier this year, I was disappointed. It was rough and plain, for some reason not what I expected. When I finally cast on for a Rosebud hat in December, I had doubts that anyone would want to wear such a bristly fabric.
But as I knit, I began to see a lovely, rustic fabric emerge. And I thought about things that are important to me, that I even went to school to learn about: supporting local farmers and manufacturing, using low-intensity materials, appreciating uniqueness and variety, loving the handmade and old and rustic, and appreciating good design – and I started to really appreciate this yarn. After all, one of Jared’s goals in creating Shelter was to support and promote American sheep breeds and wool, not to mention to stay true to his love of simple and beautiful tweeds. Amanda, Michael and I had a Christmas party conversation about this very thing, and I think we’ve come to a similar conclusion – this yarn feels like real yarn.
So the Rosebud hat turned out to be a success, and the yarn softened to a squishy and super-elastic fabric after washing. Not silky soft, but real. It reminded me that wool is such a rad fibre, and how it always disappoints me when people claim to be allergic or just flat out don’t like it. Renewable, relatively low input and non-toxic*, biodegradable, warm, insulating, waterproof, and just plain beautiful in its variety. I mean, really, you couldn’t design a better fibre, could you? Down with poly-whatever, recycled plastic bottle fabrics, and NASA franken-creations: go for WOOL!
Pattern: Rosebud by Jared Flood (Ravelry link here)
Yarn: Shelter (100% Targhee-Columbia wool) in Nest
*I know, I’m not considering various dyeing methods here. And sorry, superwash wool, I’m not talking about you either, you little freak.