Sunday, November 22, 2015

Knitting my handspun

Last time I promised you I was trying to turn over a new leaf and actually knit with my handspun. I haven’t done it often, but I always love it when I do. So today, I have THREE projects to share!IMG_9483

First up, Christmas gifts for my nieces. They live in balmy Texas  so I didn’t want to knit anything warmer than fingerless mitts. I intended to use Susan B. Anderson’s Waiting for Winter pattern (for mittens and fingerless mitts), which indicates size as the hand is measured around the knuckles. So I obtained knuckle sizes from my SIL: 5.75” and 6.5”. (For comparison, Boy 2 is 6.25” – he was my fitting model –and I am 7.25”.) IMG_8438 I decided to use this handspun Dorset Down, which I just made in September. It was the first shipment of the Sheepspot Fiber Club (and breed school). I had 90 grams of yarn and wasn’t worried about getting two small pairs of mitts from it.

I started knitting and found that my gauge wasn’t close enough to Susan’s to use her pattern. In the end, I mashed up some patterns and kind of winged it. This is the first pair, which is the larger one. The CO number is 28, which is conducive to 2x2 ribbing at the edges. The finished mitts weigh 32 grams:


I love that the mitts coordinate but aren’t identical. I hope they do, too! To make the second pair a bit smaller, I only cast on 26 stitches… which is why they feature 1x1 rib. I also figured this would help them know which mitt belonged to which girl. This pair weighs only 25 g: IMG_9485I have about 30 grams of yarn left… so I didn’t use it all, but I made a good effort. I’m very pleased to have turned this fiber into yarn and then a garment so quickly. Here is a shot of Boy 2 modeling the larger pair:mitts crop

Next up, another pair of fingerless mitts made from handspun. These are for a friend who had surgery last week. Some of us arranged to leave little gifts each day in a basket on her front porch. I made these to go in our family’s contribution to the “smile” basket.

mitts crop

The pattern is Lambing Mitts (free!) and I love how rugged and handsome these are. The garter edge can be flipped up for more coverage of the fingertips, or flipped back for more finger function. I figure this would be as helpful for a mom wrangling kids with car keys in hand as for a farmer birthing a lamb. I spun the yarn from Jacob roving about a year ago. Even though it is “just” brown, it has a depth of color and richness that is hard to describe. It is so alive. My friend has an aggressively plain personal palette and this brown is so her.IMG_9468 The finished mitts weigh 52 g and I have 36 g remaining.

In other knitting news, my next priority is to finish S1’s Christmas sweater. All the parts are knitting and blocked (I finally blocked the sleeves yesterday, which had been sitting for a couple weeks) and now I need to tackle the button band. I’ve decided to experiment with a sewn-on button band instead of the usual. I can update you on that next time. In the meantime, here’s a blocking shot for evidence of progress: IMG_9521


  1. I love your blue mitts -- your handspun and the FOs. The lambing mitts look very warm and squishy, and I think S1 is very lucky !

  2. JUST brown? There's no such thing! I love all of these things -- especially the lambing mitts. Can't wait to see that sweater all put together.