My polwarth spinning project is progressing. I have a few finished skeins to show off and, while I’m not done with the spinning, I’m far enough along that I’m thinking about patterns. Any pattern I use for a handspun yarn has to be flexible, workable in any weight of yarn, and easy to modify to suit the amount of yarn I actually have. Here are some patterns that have what I’m looking for.
Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
I love this pattern. About 20,000 other knitters love this pattern too. You can grab your copy (its a freebie) at the link above from kitty.com.
Clapotis is a drop stitch wrap. Those dropped stitches are perfect for showing off the beauty of a handcrafted yarn. I’ve made three of these myself and helped plenty of others with theirs. You can make these in virtually any size with any type of yarn. Here is how:
- The wrap is made in 5 sections, each with its own set of instructions.
- Sections 1 and 2 are the increase sections. You work those until your wrap is wide enough. Then measure (by weight) how much yarn you’ve used up. That’s how much you set aside for the decrease sections. (I tack on an extra 10% just to be sure.)
- Work Section 3 until you’ve used up all your yarn…. except what what you have set aside to decrease with. This gives you the length of the wrap.
- Finish off with Sections 4 and 5 (the decrease sections).
Ta da! If you follow this method you’ll use up practically every foot of your gorgeous handspun. Because this pattern is so popular, there is plenty of help out there on how to make it, like this handy tip sheet that was posted to Craftster.
Viajante by Martina Behm
You know Martina Behm. If you’ve spent any time on ravelry browsing patterns (when you should be knitting), you know her uber popular Hitchhiker pattern. She is a very talented shawl designer and I’ve been eyebaling her Viajante.
Martina has also uploaded this graphic to ravelry which shows you just how its constructed. Seems to me that it would work in any size yarn. As long as your gauge is big enough to get the small end over your head and around your neck, you’d be good to
go knit. Then you work the stockinette part until you have … oh say a third of your yarn left? Then make the mesh section until you’re out of yarn.
Yes. I do think that pattern would work just beautifully.
Now for my hookers. You didn’t think I wasn’t looking at crochet did you? Oh no. Crochet does use up the yarn faster and that’s why I normally go with a knit for my handspun but…. I ever commit to a pattern too soon!
Dawn in the Woods Shawl by Elaine Phillips
I haven’t made this shawl abut I’ve made numerous others with this method of construction. They are a sure sucess when you have a one-of-a-kind, I’ll-never-get-any-more yarn. This shawl starts with a small cast-on at wrist, increases in a triangle shape as you work towards the center of the back and then decreases it way to the opposite wrist. If you work increases until you are halfway through your yarn, you’ll have the perfect amout to do the decrease half with! Shawls like this take the guess work out of sizing. And this version is gorgeous! I just love that bottom border. Its a freebie so you should go grab a copy.
Make a Big Granny Square and Turn it into a Shrug
Umm… That’s really all there is to these garments. You make a granny square. Use any version of granny square you like. Make it big. Make it until you are out of yarn. Then sew the corners together.
You can put an edging on the arm openings or around the center. Or not! It works with a raw edge too. There are lots of versions of this pattern. Moses Ramos offers a free one with his Granny Square Shrug.
That’s what I’m thinking about for my polwarth handspun. This is the fiber I’ve been spinning in my Cowgirl Boots videos. I have about 300 yards finished so far.
Its been inspected and tested by Feline Overlord…
…. and measured…
…and knitted up in a sample.
But I am jumping the gun. I’m not ready to start a project with it because I still have all this left to spin!
That doesn’t stop me from wasting time on ravelry browsing for patterns though. Nope.