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One of the real pleasures of spinning is knitting with your own handspun yarn. I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I can consistently spin to my own project requirements, but my handspun is more and more usable. My latest handspun project gives me a little thrill every time I see it because it is just.so.cute:
Pattern: Djevellue/sweet baby cap (it’s free! and so simple!) I knit the two-year-old size. I started knitting on 3 January and finished 7 January.
Yarn: My own handspun, BFL handpainted by Jeni from Fyberspates. I spun it using the 5.5:1 ratio on my Ashford Traditional and two-plied it at the same ratio. It’s about 14 wraps per inch. I got 260 metres from 106 grams.
Needles: 2.5 and 3 mm needles, Knitpicks and Addis respectively (I like them both equally, but will not contemplate knitting with anything else. It’s a shame really, because I’ve inherited a large collection of assorted aluminium needles that I just can’t use).
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about this week’s knit. I decided to try knitting the Three-Cornered Hat, one of the May projects from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitters Almanac. I didn’t have any bulky yarn like the pattern calls for, so I decided to recalculate the stitch count for a worsted-weight yarn (the leftovers from my February Lady Sweater). Either my gauge math or my measurements (or both!) must have been wrong, because about halfway through the top decreases I could no longer ignore that nagging little voice at the back of my mind asking if this hat didn’t seem just a tad… big?
What annoys me the most is that with the worsted-weight yarn and the ridiculously inflated stitch count, there is actually quite a bit of knitting in that knitting disaster. I’ve ripped in disgust and am contemplating casting on for a lace beret.
My current spinning project is 500 grams of Bluefaced Leicester in “Humbug” – a blend of the three natural colours white, oatmeal and brown. I’m planning to make a fingering-weight two-ply yarn and knit it into a shawl, preferably a Faroese. I thought it would be fun to document the process I use, and maybe it will be useful to some beginning drop spindler. Here is a slideshow which shows all the steps in my spinning process for this yarn (click on the “i” for comments to each picture).