One of my favorite fibers to work with is the wool of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) sheep. It is a long fiber wool and quite light, so it produces soft yarn with the additional benefit of a pretty sheen, much like wool fiber that is blended with silk. It produces a strong fabric that is perfect for socks and has long been a staple of British knitters, but it was relatively unknown here 16 years ago. I first stumbled upon it on a trip (because I visit yarn shops on family vacations. I just do) and picked some up to use for diaper covers for my daughter. And I was instantly hooked. It became one of my favorite fibers to knit with and later, to dye.
BFL is increasingly well-known to US knitters. Canadian and American raised BFL is spun into yarn along with its counterpart from Great Britain. Lately, I've been testing different blends and spins of BFL yarns to try and come up with a few favorite yarns. And, I admit, it's virtually impossible, because I like them all. This project is the Little Plum Shawlette and it is knit in BFL Sock, a 100% fingering weight yarn, not treated with superwash, that is primarily intended for socks but is versatile enough to work for scarves and other accessories.
Over the years since I first discovered with it, I've knit frequently with Blue Faced Leicester and the results are always pleasing.
A quick note about the purple scarf pattern. It was released the month that Prince died and the designer's description of the pattern made it impossible for me to pass up, especially since I had some yarn on hand that I had dyed in my oldie but goodie Purple Rain colorway:
I have loved Prince since the 1980s and was so sad to learn that he died suddenly. This shawlette has stitches that each commemorate a song by The Artist. I get that this is MAJORLY dorky, but when I was between designs, Michelle from Bo Peep Fine Yarns messaged me suggesting a Prince commemoration. So, when you’re a knitter, you knit, and when you’re a fan, you fangirl (yes, that’s a verb….my 12 year old daughter knows.) So, this is me fan-girling in an utterly mortifying way, no doubt!
This must be made while watching Prince videos or listening to his music. But you knew this, anyway. If there’s any desire for a KAL, let me know…although I’m probably one of only 3 Prince knitting fans!
There are 6 elements that commemorate Prince in this design, from bottom to top:
1 - Purple Rain drops
2 - Diamonds and Pearls
3 - Doves
4 - Doves again because this is my favorite song.
5 ”X’s” for “Kiss”
6 Seed stitch…it works round and round and is a a cool kitty. And I love it.
7. As an afterthought, the shawlette is skinny, just like Prince!