Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Knitting without a net

Knitting with handspun is an interesting proposition, because unless you're really good (and I'm not), the yarn simply isn't a consistent size.  And an inconsistent yarn means inconsistent gauge - both for width and height.

Gauge not being a factor you can completely rely on for handspun I didn't even bother to do a swatch for this particular piece, looking instead to 'just a little smaller needle than the last time I knit this pattern,' since this yarn is generally the same weight as what I'd used that last time.  The project calls for something hardwearing and the only way to get that with my fluffy, slightly underspun yarn would be with small stitches. 

Like I said: interesting.

Ribbing stitch does remove some of the Yikes factor - after all, it's more forgiving than straight stocking stitch when you measure width.

And 2x2 ribbing is the most forgiving of all, apparently.

One big perk of knitting with handspun on faith and nice needles alone is that it looks beautiful.  This stuff in particular - you may remember it as 'Lakeside,' from Waterloo Wools - is so lovely I can hardly believe I had the patience to spin it into a sport-ish weight.  What a gift that was to the future Me, and I couldn't be more pleased.

If you're not just knitting with handspun but turning it into one of two things that are supposed to match, it's more interesting still.  Suddenly you have more to consider, like whether the two will fit the same, once you've established that the first one fits at all.

 And whether or or not the stripes will fall into the same place when you get to the second part.

And how long you can get away with making one, so as to be sure you have enough yarn for the other.

64 grams in all... and how much yarn left at not quite long enough at the top of the glove, never mind finishing the thumb?

Ah. 32 grams.  Let's hope those needles weighed down the scale a bit, shall we?

In fact let's be hopeful in general, because the last few warmer days everybody I know seems to have been enjoying suggests that at least some things might be getting nicer soon.  Take care of yourself, work on something cheery, and I'll see you tomorrow!

p.s.: this project is another pair of Ferryboat Mitts - extremely abbreviated this time in anticipation of a yarn shortage - from Churchmouse.  I'll show you the other when I get around to finishing it, ahem.


Unknown said...

Love the mitts. I finally joined a fiber club -www.paradisefibers.com. Turns out I spin lace weight naturally. I'm using a light weight square top spindle. then I ply to the weight I'm looking to knit. I've been spinning about nine months. maybe some. day I will get a wheel, loom, lazy late ......

Mary Keenan said...

Karen, I can't even *imagine* spinning laceweight. On a spindle, no less!!! You must be an amazingly peaceful, patient person :^)