A couple of weeks ago I was sorting through yarn that was hanging in my drying tent, and I noticed that one of the hanks had a lot of grass and moss mixed up in it.  We assumed it was because Stevan had been strimming the grass nearby and had thrown up grass which had got entangled.  However, this week we discovered that our assumptions were wrong.   I had hung up some yarn to dry in the morning before heading out for the day, and on our return we found this:


There could be no mistaking that someone had moved in.  Over the last couple of days I have watched a little Jenny Wren flying back and forth with moss and twigs, building the tiny nest.  I have pegged the yarn to the drying line to make sure it doesn't fall down, and this morning it looked like this:


And when the Wren isn't building a new home, it sits on a fence post just outside my dye shed and sings to me.  Well, okay, maybe not to me, but it makes a lovely accompaniment to my dyeing day.

I am now up to my elbows in dyeing yarn for Woolfest which is at the end of this month.  But my evenings are taken up knitting up samples for you to look at and be inspired by.  And we (i.e. Dorothy, BizziLizzi and I) have been trying to focus on samples for youngsters that only take one 100g hank of 4ply or sport weight.  We have plenty of larger samples, but sometimes folk just want to buy one yarn and make something with it.  So to start the ball rolling I knitted up a version of Raindrops.  This knitted up over just a few evenings and I knitted the second size for size 6mths - 12 mths.  From my 100g hank of Reliable Sock Yarn (which has the added advantage of being machine washable) I had 41g of yarn left over.  So it is very economical.  The pattern indicates that you could make one up to size 2-4yr old from one hank of 4ply.


This is a very simple pattern, and knitted in the round so there is no sewing up at the end.  The yoke has a pleasing pattern of raindrops on it, and the edges have a natural, casual curl to them.


Instead of ribbing on the edges you simply change needle size to make the openings slightly narrower:


At Woolfest I hope to have printed patterns available to buy of both the children's version as well as the adult version.  I am planning an adult version for myself, but I doubt this will be done before Woolfest!  It is the perfect sweater for chillier summer evenings - not too heavy but warm enough just to be cosy.

A little update on our busy wren.  Stevan managed to snap these photo's this afternoon during more construction work: