Crafty Stories

I like to tell stories through the creative arts. I may be slightly obsessed with books, movies, TV shows, yarn and fiber. Wanna hang out?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Put on Your Party Hat


I'm sorry I haven't been good at blogging regularly. Life is insane here, with school just starting and lots of goings-on at Storied Yarns Central that I'm not quite yet ready to reveal.

I have been plenty busy playing with yarn, though, so don't worry about that! I've got a Hunger Games themed update planned for Saturday in the Storied Yarns Shop. To keep you busy until then, today and tomorrow you can save 16% using code BigTen in honor of my 10th wedding anniversary on August 16th!

Most of the knitting I've done lately is still in top-secret stages of development. However, there is one project I recently started and finished that I'm ready to share!

I should preface this with a brief apology. The only other person home right now is 3 years old and not so great with a camera, so I had to take some not-so-fantastic self portraits in my bathroom today, ha! I'll try to get better pictures later, and I might even weave in the ends first! ;)

Anyway, here's my recent FO - a slouchy hat:

One of the things I hear a LOT in the knitting community is that nobody knows what to do with 4 ounces of handspun yarn. They take one look at the uneven gauge or the low yardage and they run for the hills. I think this is a real crying shame, because one of the greatest joys of my life is knitting with handspun yarn (oh yeah, and motherhood and all that stuff, lol)!

It IS the uneven gauge that I find so interesting about handspun. You can take a basic stitch pattern and instantly transform it into something magical and awesome with the use of a fabuous yarn like the one pictured above. The fiber I used to make this handspun was from the Fiesta Spin-Along from CraftyPuppyLover's shop, and this yarn was definitely a party to spin. Just look at the way the texture worked up in the stockinette fabric of the hat:

There were only 68 yards in this skein of handspun, and it weighed in at 3 oz. I added just .6 oz of a 2ply superwash merino handspun to make the brim, so overall the hat still weighs under 4 oz.

Here are some tips I've learned about knitting with handspun yarns. These are tips that apply specifically to knitting a hat like this one:
- Use needles that are bigger than you might think you need based on the yarn's weight. This yarn was a pretty standard bulky weight, but I used size 15 needles. This gave the thicker parts of the yarn room to spread out in the stitching and also helped only 68 yards of yarn go a lot further.
- Knit hats from the top down. This helps with customizing the size as you can just stop increasing when your hat is wide enough (or too wide, if you want it to be slouchy like mine). Also, if you happen to run out of yarn then you can use a contrast yarn for the brim and not the top.
- Don't be afraid of the yarn! Embrace it for all its beautiful and unique properties. Put it together with a simple stitch and a basic pattern and watch it become something extraordinary.

Hopefully by now you're all fired up to work with some awesome handspun, too! I challenge you to put some handspun on your needles this weekend. I promise you, it'll be an instant mood lifter (trust me, this week I know a mood lifter when I see one!). If you don't have a big drawer full of handspun like I do, I happen to have a shop full of yarn that can help you out with that. (Don't forget the coupon code, and remember I offer spinning service if you buy my fiber!)

If you're not sure what to make, PLEASE feel free to ask! I'm happy to help you pair up a gorgeous skein of yarn with just the right project. Just leave me a comment here or on Ravelry or Etsy!

I'll leave you with one more photo of me posing like a nerd. HA! Happy stitching, everyone!!


  1. Wow!! That's some beautiful handspun and it worked up into a really cute hat :) Thanks for the tips on using handspun yarn too.

    ShortkneePanda on Rav

  2. I love that hat in that yarn.

    I think a simple hat with thick/thin crazy yarn is just about the best. :-)