About this blog space

This blog space is a place for me to primarily put all my wool gatherings, adventures, experiments. I am now a mum of two astounding daughters, and I used to be a DIY musician and co-ran a tiny independent label (Slampt), so this punk can-do attitude plus feminist analysis and Art school experience somehow informs my wool work! I am also deeply moved by GREEN, trees, weather, colour combinations in nature, and texture. I aim to source wool from round the corner or at the very least UK grown and processed, and to create no toxic waste. This means I get to see sheep as often as I can, sometimes at wool fests.
I am on Ravelry and Etsy as FatHenWildWool and Facebook as Rachel Holborow.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A thneed's a good thing that all people need!

So you do some experimental knitting with an experimental handspun yarn, and what do you get? A Thneed (copyright Dr Suess, but no truffula trees were harmed in the making of this garment..).
 The yarn is a singles of  various blended baby batts, mostly made up of a combination of greens (which I got from secret santa via  UK Spinners, cheers!) and reds with occasional luxury and texture from added silk throwsters waste. I'm interested in how the contrasting colours of green and red interact when blended together, and this was a chance to really dive into that. I also took the chance to experiment with a core spinning technique called wool chrysalids, which you add as you spin your singles, and make puffy gorgeous lumps on your yarn. I loved doing them, and wanted to particularly draw attention to them as they were knitted into the piece. As a result, and also to feel free and have some fun, I joyfully knitted this cowl/ hat/ headband/snood ie THNEED  improvising stitches as I went along. It's knitted in the round, starting with a multiple of the number of stitches you need for feather and fan to repeat (twelves?).I wanted a kind of rippling effect, so started with a quite regular feather and fan pattern, which then evolved into a more exagerated and less regular pattern, with sections where I wrapped the yarn around the needle 2, 3 or 4 times for big, holey  bumps in the texture. There is also a section in the middle which is just plainly knit, and from time to time to emphasise the chrysalids I would knit them purl, so they poked out a bit, wriggling a long like caterpillars.
 The only difficultly I encountered with this free form, responsive (to the yarn) knitting, was that after an exhilarating section with lots of yarn overs in I would have to remember to decrease in the next two rows or so, as I wanted to keep the garment in a rough tube form rather than turning fully into a funnel.
 It's very warm and cosy to wear as a head or neck garment. And I've named it "Hills and Gills".


  1. I love it, I definitely need a 'Thneed' this one is beautiful.

  2. beautiful! definitely love the way you can use this as a head or neck garment too, such exciting texture and colours, just love it :)

  3. Gosh, I'm blushing,people! Really recommend you you one, it's such fun!