As a self-taught, cavalier spinner I never have a plan for the finished yarns. I just sit down with a lovely braid or ball of roving, and spin. I let the fiber tell me what it wants to be – lace weight, thick-and-thin, squishy. My default spinning thickness is rather thin, so my two-plies are usually in the fingering weight category. This took me a long time to accept, as I don’t knit with fingering weight yarns very often and I had no idea what to do with the finished yarns. Some of my earlier ones I don’t have labels on, so I don’t even know how much yardage is there.
Thus, I have several skeins of handspun sitting on my shelf. Lovely skeins, just awaiting the perfect project. One such abandoned beauty was this sky-blue fingering weight.
As you can see, I’ve tried a few times to knit with it. The yarn is consistent but thin (and of unknown yardage), soft with a nice drape. I tried socks (not sturdy enough), slippers (too thin), hats (didn’t like the resulting fabric, too drape-y), lace shawls (the lace got lost in the variegated colors). And so the yarn has been sitting patiently, awaiting an “A-ha!” moment.
That moment arrived last night. I was spinning, and it was turning out to a smooth fingering weight, and I was thinking that I was getting quite a bit of yardage out of the braid, and what the heck was I going to make??
And I remembered the blue yarn, and I thought, I really need to find a project for these skeins. The whole point of spinning is to be able to knit my own yarns, after all.
What I need is a project that I can use varying yardage for and adjust accordingly – something where you weigh the yarn and knit half, or something you cast off whenever you run out of yarn.
And I remembered that I have a bajillion patterns, and one in particular that I’ve always wanted to knit up. One that you could knit with any weight yarn (though it’s written for sock yarn), of any yardage, to get a scarf or shallow shawl. Something with drape, with movement, something that would allow the color variations to shine without being drowned in a lace pattern.
The Hitchhiker, by Martina Behm.
BOOM. A perfect match!