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Knitting with Handspun Yarns

Whether you are a handspinner using your own yarn or an experienced knitter, once you have tried knitting with handspun you may get spoiled. Personally, I find it much more satisfying to knit with handspun than the “perfect” commercial yarns.

Even for the novice knitter, using handspun isn’t difficult. The occasional irregularities of the yarn can hide the less than perfect tension that sometimes occurs.

I find it best to use a 2-ply handspun yarn for knitting. Whenever a yarn is spun as a singles, it has a tendency to try to unspin itself. If knit up as a singles, the yarn will still try to untwist and the garment may stretch or sag. If the yarn has been plyed with another singles (2 ply), the yarns will be untwisting on each other, creating a balanced yarn that should have less of a tendency to stretch out of shape.

Although handspun yarn has some bumps and irregularities, if well spun, it should be of a consistent weight throughout the skein. Knitting with this is similar to knitting with a commercially spun textured yarn.

When choosing a pattern for knitting handspun, it is really important to spin and knit a large test swatch to get an accurate gauge. The needle size or number of stitches may have to be adjusted in the pattern.

For non-spinners who would like to order handspun, but the yarn is too thick or too fine for your project, ask the spinner if another weight is available. Perhaps they can spin a sample for you in 2 or 3 slightly different weights.

Handspun Yarns
If you would like to knit with handspun, but aren’t a spinner, our Subject Library lists some sources for handspun yarns.

Handspun Knitting Projects
A collection of project ideas for using your handspun.

Kool-aid Mittens
Here are some mittens that were dyed with kool-aid and then spun handspun.

Handspun Hats
A free pattern for knitted hats.

Felted Mittens
Try this free pattern with handspun yarns.

Spiral Socks
Knit some spiral socks – no heels to turn.

Knitware Design
This is one of my favourite programs for designing sweaters. It works great for handspun yarns. Just knit a test swatch, type in the gauge, and select the sweater design.

Handspinning Books

The Whole Craft of Spinning: From the Raw Material to the Finished Yarn
Everything you need to know from set-up to finished product in order to create distinctive yarns for use in knitting, weaving, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, and macrame.
UK: Whole Craft of Spinning

In Sheep’s Clothing
A comprehensive look at the characteristics of wool of 100 breeds of sheep, this guide gives special attention to fleece characteristics, methods of preparation and spinning, and best end use.
UK: In Sheep’s Clothing

The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber
The vast world of sheep and their wool into the language and context of knitting.
UK: Knitters Book of Wool

more Handspinning books..

Handspun Yarn

 

Ebay Finds

Recycled Sari Silk Hand-Spun Ball Himalaya Yarn Multi Color - Current price: $9.88

Sale New 1Skein x50g Worsted Soft Warm Wool Rainbow Chunky Hand Knitting Yarn 13 - Current price: $2.64

SPINNING FIBER - FELTING WOOL Super Soft Merino Combed Top Roving for Hand Wet - Current price: $32.87

Blue+Green SOLIS 150gr Skein Malabrigo CARACOL Soft SPRWSH MERINO Wool SBky YARN - Current price: $24.00

SUNSET 150gr Skein Malabrigo CARACOL Soft SUPERWASH MERINO Wool S-Blky SOFT YARN - Current price: $24.00

FLAMA 150gr Skein Malabrigo CARACOL Soft SUPERWASH MERINO Wool SBlky x-SOFT YARN - Current price: $24.00

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This page last edited on June 10, 2013

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