I Spun This Yarn… So Now What?

Today’s post is from Amy, our in-house spinning guru.

Whales Road handspun

You found the perfect fiber in the perfect color.  You spun it into the softest, squishiest yarn.  You keep it in a bowl on your coffee table so you can look at it all the time.  You pick it up, hold it against your cheek and pet it.

But now what?  What do you do with it?

Hey, we’ve all been there.  Frequently we spin without an end project in mind.  Maybe it’s because a fiber is so pretty and luscious that we just HAVE to spin it immediately.  And sometimes, because we enjoy it, we just spin to spin.  

But what to do with the yarn you’ve accumulated?

Sure, you can continue to stare at it.  Pet it.  Show it off.  But why not USE it?  

For example, Ravelry makes it really easy to find patterns for knit or crochet fingerless mitts or cowls. You can filter it to show patterns using 150 yards or less of a DK to worsted weight yarn.  Plus, they work up quickly – (almost) instant gratification!  Or, why not use two or more yarns for a larger, colorwork piece?  Maybe you have 300 – 400 yards of a slub single.  There are several options out there for small to medium shawls.  A lot of shawl patterns are adjustable by just adding or subtracting pattern repeats.  And, who says you need to restrict yourself to only handspun yarn?  Combine a fat, textured handspun yarn with a commercial lace weight yarn for a scribble effect scarf or shawl.  And we haven’t even begun talking about weaving with your handspun!  The possibilities are endless!

The Quaker Yarn Stretcher

So, what are my favorite patterns for handspun?  Check out the knitted Quaker Yarn Stretcher Boomerang shawl by Susan Ashcroft (on Ravelry @stitchnerd).  Many of her designs are well-suited to handspun yarn.  I’ve made two of the QYS, and they are so squishy and lovely in a slub single.  This one was spun and knit from 8 ounces of Malabrigo Nube in Pocion.  I wanted something that would show off the nuanced color changes and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I’m also a big fan of a Curl patterns!  Check out the books Curls and Curls 2 from Hunter Hammersen (on Ravelry @hunter).  These shawls easily adjust to different gauges and weights of yarn.  Again, just add more pattern repeats!

Whales Road knit up

This hanspun was originally one of three or four other shawls that were just not quite right.  I found the Perfidy pattern in Curls, and it’s the perfect match for my handspun 2-ply.  This was made from 8 ounces of Malabrigo Nube in Wales Road.  I am loving how the self-striping yarn is highlighting the ripple/wave effect of the pattern.

As you can see, there are some great patterns out there to show off your beautiful handspun yarn!  So cast on!  Get hookin’!  Or warp that loom!