You know you are a spinner when

On following the royal birth

One of the Royal Baby Beanies Margaret Stove created for the Summer 2013 issue of Spin-Off.

Just like the much anticipated arrival of many babies, there was a lot of excitement when Prince George made his debut. Whether watched by the entire world or just a close knit family, the entry into the world of a new life is a precious and beautiful thing to witness. Every child should be so loved and adored.

NPR's Scott Simon shared the beautiful and touching experience of being with his mother in her final moments on his Twitter feed—among the many poignant moments, he reports, "My mother in ICU sees Kate & Will holding baby and tears: "Every baby boy is a little king to his parents." So I tear, too."

It is these shared experiences that have the power to bring us together across the expanse of time, culture, experience, and space. Simply because we know with certainty that every human is born and every human will die. In between we do what we can with the time and skills we've been given. And some of us spin.

So, when Kate Middleton and Prince William stepped out of the hospital to the awaiting throngs, and they held Prince George in a knitted wool blanket, the spinners and knitters paid close attention. They scrutinized that knitted wool blanket—getting snap shots from live video and the photos that were flying around the world at the speed of light—trying to figure out how it was made and how to get the pattern.

Margaret Stove's "Filmy Fern Shawl" from Wrapped in Lace (Interweave, 2010).

At this point, Margaret Stove's phone started ringing off the hook. The knitters and spinners in New Zealand knew that Margaret Stove's pattern for the Filmy Fern Shawl from Wrapped in Lace (Interweave, 2010) had been used to make the handspun, handknitted shawl that was the official gift to the royal couple from New Zealand. Also under speculation was whether or not the young couple had wrapped their baby in an heirloom shawl, such as the one that Prince William had appeared in when Princess Diana and Prince Charles stood on those same steps thirty-one years earlier. Or if it was the Bush Banquet Shawl that we featured in the Summer 2013 issue of Spin-Off that Margaret Stove handspun and knitted. It was quickly determined that the blanket (or shawl) was manufactured by G. H. Hurt & Son—a small, family-owned business that quickly sold out of the Merino christening shawls.

Margaret Stove reports that her national woolcrafts organization, Creative Fibre, has a project underway for the members to knit baby vests to donate to their local hospitals and birthing units for all babies born during this next year as a memento of the royal birth. They will have a special label to mark the occasion.

I'm reminded of the sweet handknitted hat that my daughter received from the hospital on the occasion of her birth—that an anonymous knitter had knitted and donated to the hospital with the belief that every baby is a precious gift to be cherished.

Happy Spinning,

P.S. The Royal Baby Beanies that Margaret Stove made for the Summer 2013 issue of Spin-Off will be auctioned during Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) to raise money for the SOAR scholarship.

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