Fuzzy Happy Projects with my First Handspun

The last time I posted (seriously, has it been over a month already?), I wrote about plying my first mini-skein of handspun yarn.  Last week, which was the week of Thanksgiving, I took a few vacation days to give myself the entire week off of work.  I needed time to rest and recharge.  Obviously, that means doing all the crafts.  I did a lot of knitting, of course, along with working on my needlepoint almost every night after barely touching it for months.  One of the first things I did, though, was finish spinning and plying that natural-colored merino/alpaca fiber.  I ended up with several mini-skeins and then wound them all into one skein by winding them onto my ball winder, spit splicing the new skein into the old each time I got to an end.  I then wound the big ball of now-connected yarn back onto my swift and hanked it up!  The result was a big squishy hank of about 200 yards and 130 grams.

Hank of my first handspun yarn

My handspun sat in my stash for about a week, just looking pretty and being periodically admired. 🙂  Then I decided, why not use the yarn I made to design a pattern?  That way, the finished object would be about as Made By Me as it could get.

So, the first thing I knit with my handspun was a swatch of a stitch pattern I thought might work for the cowl.  I blocked it and liked the resulting fabric, so I did some knitty gauge math and cast on Version One of my upcoming cowl design!

swatch of cowl stitch pattern
My swatch for the first version of my design

I liked how the handspun version turned out, but I have some improvements in mind for a worsted version, as opposed to the heavy worsted or bulky handspun, and I have swatched for a second version, which I am just about ready to cast on.  More on that in a future post.

Modeling the cowl
Having fun with the finished cowl.

Modeling the cowl again

I had quite a bit left (55g if I’m remembering correctly) after finishing the cowl, so I immediately cast on a plain stockinette hat, no pattern required.  With the heavy yarn and big US 10.5 needles, I had it finished within a few hours.  I decided it needed a pompom, so I made a nice plump one out of a scrap of KnitPicks Andean Treasure in the Indigo Heather colorway.  I don’t have a pompom maker, but I used the two toilet paper rolls method shown in this tutorial, and it worked wonderfully.

Here is the hat in all its handspun glory.  I really love the stockinette for showing off the character of the yarn.

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I don’t have a modeled shot of the hat, but trust me, it is cute and fun to wear!

I had a lot of fun knitting with my handspun.  It was for the most part actually horrible to knit with–nubby, thick and thin, and felt slow somehow–but it was also an amazing experience to knit with yarn that I made myself.  I’m definitely hooked on spinning and I have another drop spindle project on the go.  I’m also third in line to borrow a spinning wheel from my local library!

Keep an eye out for the cowl pattern.  I should be casting on the worsted version, which will be the pattern version, in the next couple days, and I’ll need a couple test knitters in the coming week or so.  It will be a free pattern and my very first, so I’m super excited about it!

2 thoughts on “Fuzzy Happy Projects with my First Handspun

  1. It’s great to see you so productive, knit-wise! I wish I can master an artsy craft. Getting organized is already a challenge for me but maybe in 2016!

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