24
Feb
2015
0

A handspun, handknit sweater

handspun handknit sweater

handspun sweater

handspun handknit sweater

I love spinning, and took up spinning pretty quickly after I started knitting. This is the first time I’ve ever spun enough yarn for a sweater though.

And while, I probably won’t turn into a knitter who knits exclusively with handspun yarn, going from fiber -> yarn -> sweater was pretty damn amazing.

This is a sweater knit entirely out of handspun yarn. Yesterday I wrote about the process of spinning the yarn, now details about the sweater itself.

handspun handknit sweater

MATERIALS:
Yarn
– 250 yards (228.5 m) – 2 oz (56.5 g) – handspun heavy lace weight grey BFL
– 250 yards (228.5 m) – 3 oz (85 g) – handspun heavy lace weight alpaca
– 500 yards (457 m) – 9 oz (255 g) – handspun worsted weight alpaca

All the yarn are super basic two ply yarns – the lace weights are much more even than the worsted weight, mostly because I’m more comfortable spinning lace weights, but also because the worsted weight was my first experience spinning on a Hansen miniSpinner (it was amazing).

Needles
– US #6s (4.00 mm) circular needles for the lace weight
– US #10s (6.00 mm) circular needles for the worsted weight

PATTERN:
A basic top down raglan pullover, with short row shaping at the back of the neck, to help keep the neckline from pulling up. I striped the two lace weight for the yoke, the bottom half of the sleeves, and a bit around the bottom hem. Then I used the worsted for the main body, and the sleeves.

I wanted a pattern that was simple enough to let the yarn shine, and was flexible enough that if I started running out of yarn I had options.

handspun handknit sweater

WHAT WORKED WELL:
I just had enough yarn, and I loved knitting an entire sweater out of handspun yarn, though I can’t say it’s something I’d do all the time. Grace does it a lot – and I don’t know how she does it.

This is the first sweater I’ve finished that includes short row shaping for the back of the neck, and I have to say I really like it – I’m playing around with it in the purple yoked sweater I’m currently working on, and it’s probably a feature I’ll be adding it to most of my future sweaters.

handspun handknit sweater

WHAT I’D DO DIFFERENTLY:
I’m not sure I’d do anything differently per say, but this is the third top down raglan sweater I’ve finished and I don’t love all of the excess material it produces at the underarm. That material under the yarn ends up bunching weirdly – which I’m not a fan of.

So, I think I’ll lay off the raglan shaping for awhile and explore other types of sweater yoke shaping. I really, really love yoked sweaters (like my boring black sweater & handknit sweater dress), and I want to try some more sweaters with set in sleeves (the Moonstruck Cardigan had sewn in set-in sleeves, and my Versio sweater had seamless set-in sleeves). I’m interested in experimenting some more with seamless set in sleeves – Andi Satterlund’s guide to seamless set-in sleeve sweaters looks interesting.

spindle spun ball of yarn

striped knitting

handspun handknit sweater

8 Responses

    1. Holly

      Thanks Alicia! The short row shaping at the back of the neck, makes the back of the sweater slightly taller than the front, which helps keep the front of the neck from pulling up as you wear it. Does that make sense?
      On this sweater I kept the shaping really subtle and only worked an inch or two of short rows.

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