I absolutely love it! It turned out to be quite the stashbuster, too, because I quickly realized that I didn't have enough of the alpaca to make the pattern, Jaala Spiro's Bridge Over Troubled Water. So I went stash-diving and came up with some 80/20 merino/silk. The dark purple I spun last year; the lighter purple and the blue I spun before my oldest daughter was born, about five and a half years ago! It has just been sitting in my stash this whole time, waiting for this project.
It's huge - I didn't do a gauge swatch, since it's a shawl and I was using handspun, so why bother? I'm very happy with the size it ended up being, though. I will definitely not be cold this winter!
I'm so into the idea of spinning and knitting shawls, I've joined the Spin A Shawl group on Ravelry. The current S-KAL (spin and knitalong) is Jaala Spiro's Red Sumac shawl pattern. Most of the spinning fiber I have is too variegated and colorful for this shawl, but I do have a pound of black alpaca that's been in my stash forever, as well as about 9 ounces of "black diamond" carbonized bamboo fiber, that I haven't known what to do with. I think, though, that this pattern would look so pretty in that gunmetal grey color, so that might be the fiber that I end up using.
I'm going to need more fiber if this keeps up! Good thing I've got a couple excellent fiber-acquiring opportunities coming up, both about 5 minutes from my house.
I prefer to buy fiber locally. I just don't want to buy fiber that was grown across the world and shipped across the country. When possible, I like to meet the lovely animals that grew the fiber! Thankfully, Washington is a great place to be a fiber artist, and the Seattle area is loaded with wonderful places to buy yarn and fiber! Cascade Yarns is based here, so is Skacel... it's pretty much knitter's heaven.
I'm going to remind myself that I said that in a few months when I haven't seen the sun in weeks and I start bitching about how I hate the weather here.
I have a plan, though, for when those dreadful sunless months arrive. I'm going to knit my own sun.