A Touch of Flower Power Alchemy

Last year (2018) a wonderful lady (and Doctor….. AND knitter!) used Instagram to launch what became know as the Flower Power Fund in order to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care UK. She contacted twelve independent hand-dyers of yarn, who subsequently agreed to each dye a special, limited edition colourway based on a flower of their choice. They would then donate a percentage of the sales to Marie Curie Cancer Care. The resulting yarns were beautiful and, together with other donated yarn-related items, raised an amazing £22,628.91 for the charity. What a fantastic achievement.

Well of course, I wanted to pitch in towards this endeavour - and although I do love to buy yarn, I was also desperately trying to to enlarge my already generously-sized stash! I suggested to Sarah (@sherlock_knits on IG) that I might contact the dyers each month to see if they would be willing to donate a skein to me, on the understanding that I would weave a blanket featuring all the beautiful Flower Power yarns. Most of the dyers were more than happy to contribute, so at the end of 2018 I ended up with a bowl of beautiful Flower Power Yarn skeins….

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Due to some life-stuff getting in the way, I didn’t begin the project until March 2019, but begin I did….

As always with these blankets, I used my 48” Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom. I cake up all the colour ways, and then select them on a fairly organic basis. With the contribution of the bold self-striping yarn from Giddy Yarns, I knew it would have to be a fairly minimal feature, if it were not to overshadow the delicacy of the other yarns, so I chose to add three bands of stripes on warp, and then matched this with a band across the weft at each end of the blanket. The striping colours perfectly match the Marie Curie colours, so it created a very appropriate frame to the fabric.

When working on the weft, I mostly wove the yarn double onto the stick shuttle - this way I could either use two strands of the same colour, or mix and match between the skeins, to give a greater variety on the finish blanket.

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Once the blanket was ready to roll-off the loom, I hand-twisted the fringe, gave it a lovely bath in some hand wash Soak, and then popped it out on the line to dry….

As I write this post, the blanket is with Sarah, waiting to be raffled. Hopefully, this joint project will raise some more funds towards Marie Curie Cancer Care, and the Alchemy Blanket will create a little magic and snuggles for its new owner.

Flower Power Alchemy in the evening sunshine

Flower Power Alchemy in the evening sunshine