Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tips for knitting with handspun yarn

It's that time of year friends, cold weather is offically here and people have already started counting down the days until Christmas. That means it's time to start knitting (if you haven't started all ready that is)! I thought it might be helpful to put together some tips and ideas about working with handspun this knitting season.
Citron Shawl knit using ontheround luxury handspun

If you have never tried knitting with handspun, I highly recommend it (obviously), but let's talk about why.

Knitting with handspun is awesome and I can guarantee a knitting experience like no other. What more do you need to know?

Next up, choosing what to knit (or crochet). If you are new to working with handspun yarn, I recommend choosing a "Lifesyle Pattern" Something basic, written for a yarn weight verses a specific yarn brand. A raglan pullover I would consider to be a lifesyle pattern, a simple top up sock pattern. Something that will allow you a little wiggle room if you need it.

Or you can just wing it! Handspun yarn is great for accessories like hats, mittens, scarves, cowls- just cast on and go wild!
ontheround handspun Merino Yarn

Whatever you decide to knit, consider working your project in the round since it use less yarn then a project worked back and forth.

Now, let's just assume for the sake of this post that you have the handspun yarn (I hope it's OnTheRound Handspun Yarn!) and a pattern ready to go. First I recommend hand balling your yarn. Now you are either thinking, "obviously, how else do you ball it"; or you are "thinking heck no I only use my ball winder." Either way I will explain. I look at hand balling my handspun yarn as a sort of first date, a get to know you meeting. Pay attention to the thick and thinness of the yarn, the color changes and the overall feel. Once you are done, you should have a pretty good idea of what your yarn is all about.

Next, knit a swatch. Most people who knit with handspun are generally scared that they won't have enough. I don't know what it is about it, I do it myself. Regardless of this fear, you must still knit a swatch, in fact it's even more important that you knit a swatch! This is your second date with your yarn. Don't fee like you have to keep the swatch though. Instead of cutting your yarn at the end of your swatch, get the information you need (WRITE IT DOWN) and then rip out the swatch.

Top down raglan children's sweater, ontheround handspun yarn
Now you are ready for a full blown relationship with your yarn. Don't waste any time, get casting on! Speaking of casting on, depending on the twist in your handspun yarn and how you cast on, the twist might come undone and look like two stands on your needle. Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong, it will work itself out once you have knit your first row. However, be mindful when you are knitting that first row, you don't want to pick up any extra stitches.

Lastly, get right with ripping out. Your handspun yarn is special, under no circumstances are you going to toss your project because it's gone horribly wrong. Go in with the understanding that if your project just isn't working out, you are going to rip it out and find something better. If you love the project, no problem, just do it again later with another yarn. After all, we're knitting because we love to knit right?

Still want to know more? Check out this great Article in Knitty Spins for more information about knitting with handspun yarn.   If you have any questions about knitting with handspun, please leave them in the comments bellow.

Looking for handspun yarn? I have a fully stocked Etsy shop full of different wool breeds and yarn weights! 

Next week I'll have project suggestions for handspun yarn, stay tuned.

Have fun and happy knitting! 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...