handspun yarn projects

Are you a Yarn person but not a tech person?

So I find that the fiber community is pretty evenly split between folks who love the internet and technology and those who are most likely using dial up.  I even ended up being the " web person" for my local spinners guild because no one else wanted to do it.  I feel that this is to be expected because if you enjoy passing your time with yarn and spinning wheels you may not be into all things technology.  As a result I've gotten a good many questions about the website ravelry

Ravelry is an online search engine and community for fiber artist. I personally have sort of mixed feelings on it.  It absolutely can't be beat for pattern searching and finding new designers.  I personally prefer Instagram or Facebook for socializing and sharing projects just because I find the sites more user friendly and updated.  Here are some videos I made to give sort of a run down on the site and how useful I find it for finding the perfect pattern to incorporate some handspun or art yarn.  Please comment if you have any questions and I'll be here to help.  

 

 

fun handspun yarn project

Alicia plummers adrift with handspun yarn

I just wanted to share this project I just finished. It's Alicia Plummer's "adrift" pattern

I used one skein of my handspun yarn 75+ yards and one skein of a natural tweed from my LYS 153 yards even though I didn't end up using all of the 153 yards so you could get less.  I used size 9 needles which works well with my bulky handspun.  

With these materials I did end up with a finished project the decisions she list but the last decorative section was a few rows short.  This didn't bother me at all and it was the same dimensions  as listed but you could easily double this pattern and materials if you wanted a longer double wrapping scarf.  

All credit given to the designer ( one of my favorites) I just wanted to promote a fun lovely project and a great use of one skein of bulky art yarn.  

Free summer wrap knitting pattern for handspun yarn

So here's a sweet little pattern for a very customizable summer wrap.  It's a very simple pattern (Hey do I write any other kind, ha ha) and features a drawstring neckline so you can wear it many different ways.

click image to be taken to the free pattern

click image to be taken to the free pattern

I made this for my self a couple summers ago from a yarn I made with half (tropical horizons and half local natural brown alpaca) I really like it because it's great to wear over those long tank tops from target ( all I wear in the summer lets be real) or a cute sun dress.  It's great for covering your shoulders if your chilly or your upper arms or cleavage if you're suddenly feeling modest.  The loose drop stitch / garter stitch pattern is fun and fast great for vacation knitting and of course looks great with my hand dyed handspun yarn.  It would also look great with the thick and thin.  I personally think I'm going to have to make another one for me made out of African Violet color way.  

"african violet" click image to see some awesome yarn options for your wrap

"african violet" click image to see some awesome yarn options for your wrap

Let me know if you have any questions and of course if you need any fabulous yarn check out my shop and don't forget to get your 20% off coupon.  

Happy Summer Knitting!!

Handspun yarn patterns, suggestions for 3 projects

Here is the link to the three patterns I wrote for using small amounts of handspun yarn or art yarn.  These are not exacting patterns they are detailed suggestions.  

3 handspun yarn patterns free

I have other more official patterns on on this site they are also free, they are also meant to be knit with handspun yarn alone or mixed in with yarn from your favorite yarn shop.  

This PDF with the three small patterns are free, please enjoy and I hope they inspire you to make something beautiful out of you're yarn stash.  

Tips for Knitting with Handspun yarn

I love knitting with handspun yarn.  Each peice is uniquie and the yarn just has a denser squishier feel to it than most commercial yarn you can find.  I also feel that most people who enjoy knitting with hand spun yarn are looking for a one of a kind item that may not follow a pattern to the letter. Here are some tips I have developed for pattern adaptation or selection while working with different types of handspan yarn.  

handspan spacebuns hat

 

  • Slight range in gage, I would say most of my yarns fall somewhere between Worsted an heavy worsted.  even yarns that aren't the extreme "thick and thin" art yarn varieties do tend to vary slightly in gage especially if they re single ply.  I find that this lets me attempt a wider variety of patterns. This comes into play if I'm using a pattern search engine such as Revelry to find a pattern.  if I'm thinking about a pattern that calls for worsted weight and I think my handspan may be slightly on the heavy worsted side I will accommodate by casting on a few less stitches.  Of course make sure if you are increasing or decreasing the number of stitches that it is done in even numbers and that it won't effect a more complicated cable or color aspect.  
  • Drape of final fabric. Same as with commercial yarns if you are using a yarn with silk, flax or cotton it's going to have a more relaxed drape than something that has a sparingly quality such as wool.  Some handspun especially two ply may be stiffer than commercial weight yarns. This would be great for something like a hat or bag or accessory with a definite shape and back bone but might be detrimental if you wanting the final outcome to have a certain hang to it.  I have found this to be less the case for single ply handspun or yarn made of of the above mentioned fibers.  
  • Don't be scared of single ply handspan.  I happen to love single ply yarn it is especially handy with handspan because you can make the most of a costly fiber by getting double the yardage.  I find that you shouldn't judge it from how it looks as a ball. the yarn may appear to vary in gage but I find that as it knits into a fabric it looks much more uniform while still retaining a rustic charm that is the hallmark of handspan yarn.  After all if you wanted it to look just like something you could pick up at any store why would you be going through the trouble and expense or using handspan yarn.  
  • Mix it with commercial yarn.  If you find a skein of handspan yarn that is truly one of a kind and absolutely have to have it for you stash don't be dismayed.  Find a commercially spun yarn of similar weight and texture and use the handspan as an accent, trim or color blocking element.  This is cost effective and really showcases your unique yarn find.  
silk lace

Most of all just enjoy the knitting experience.  It's not that often that you get to make something for our self out of yarn that once a pile of fluff not that long ago.  You can't expect it to behave or turn out like something mass produced.  You can make it at challenging or as simple as you want.  I find with handspun sometimes the most simple of patterns can be the most gratifying because they are the simplest.  

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