Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two cowls and a hat (all handspun).

I'm finally catching up on pictures of projects that I've finished recently...well, at least the ones that don't require any "modeling" (I'm feeling even less photogenic than usual lately). I've been knitting a lot with my handspun, and all three of these projects are handspun.

The first cowl, the brightly striped one, is from some Polwarth fiber that I recently spun. It was my first time Navajo plying, and I didn't end up with much yardage (approx. 138 yards), but I managed to squeeze this little cowl out of it. I used up every bit of the yarn to do so. :) It's small, but it's warm and I feel like it's not quite as bright in real life as it is in the photos. The Polwarth was so soft, and this was a simple, quick knit.

With the second cowl, I basically had the opposite experience. I used my first real handspun, which was done on my drop spindle because at the time, I didn't have a wheel. I also dyed the yarn naturally, using staghorn sumac berries and then doing an iron afterbath, which turned it from brown to gray. It seems to have faded a bit since then, since in these pictures it looks like some of the brown is showing through again. Anyway, this yarn was so unpleasant to work with. I don't know whether it was the way I spun it or if something changed during the dyeing process, but the yarn was so rough and scratchy and had almost no stretch. And the pattern, which is really nice in itself, features a lot of cables (there are two more of those cabled sections on the back of the cowl), which was not fun with stiff yarn. Also, I made an in-between size because I had more yardage than the shorter cowl called for but not enough for the longer one, and it turned out to be an awkward size...just a little too short to wrap around my neck twice comfortably. Honestly, I'm just glad that this cowl is finished. :)

The hat is not for me- it's to sell! :) I might be attending a small local craft festival this fall, and if I go I'll actually be there as a spinning...demonstrator? I don't know if that's the right word, but basically, I'd be there with my spinning wheel showing people how it works. Which is both exciting and terrifying to me, because as I told the person who asked me if I'd be interested: I still feel like such a beginner at spinning. Anyway, if I go, I'd also be able to set up a table with things to sell. So I'm starting to work on some knitted items, mostly with an emphasis on using yarn that I've spun or dyed myself. This hat is from the Barley pattern, and it's knitted from my second handspun on my wheel. I also dyed this yarn with Kool-Aid and food coloring, and it turned out bright green, so I later overdyed it with some other Kool-Aid, and it's darker and more variegated now. The Barley hat is super easy and fun, and I'm hoping to make some more soon. (I really want one for myself, too, out of some handspun.) This yarn actually stretched further than I was expecting (it was only about 120 yards)...I thought I'd end up with a child-sized hat, but it's the pattern's adult small size. However, it does have a lot of stretch: I have a big head (just being honest- it seems the average woman's head is something like 21 or 22 inches and mine is 24) and it technically still fits me, though a bit snugger than it should. :)

As usual, more details on the project pages: Folktales Cowl, Gray Handspun Cowl, Green Barley Hat.


  1. what pretty creations! Hey, what fair are you going too? I would love to attend!

    1. Thanks! I sent you a message on Ravelry about the craft fair. :)


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