A friend of my mother's friend was a hand spinner in Maryland and sent her several large boxes of handspun skeins a few years ago. My mother graciously handed them off to me so that "I wouldn't have to buy any yarn." (I don't think she considered that hunting for the perfect boutique quality yarn is part of the knitting fun.) I am using this hand spun yarn held double and knit with size 13 needles to achieve an rustic chunky blanket. As with most hand spun, there are lots of tiny straw pieces still falling out while I knit, adding to the country charm.
I think the hand spinner went to fiber fairs to sell her product. Every single skein has a personalized, hand written tag attached. The yarn I am using was from a Romney ewe named Rachel. This information makes the product so much more personal. I wish I had a picture of the sheep! Something to keep in mind when we get around to selling our own yarns soon.
I am so happy that I decided mindless knitting is OK for this fall. Knitting just a little bit in a spare minute or two has made me so much more relaxed and grateful. It's a good lesson that I don't have to always over achieve in all areas all the time. This giant blanket will be be most impressive when finished and no one needs to be any wiser that it was easy. Nor does it have to be done by Monday, at least not one in the near future. There are several friends getting married soon, so this project might actually turn out to be a fun gift too. Bonus!