Knitting with Homespun: A Gift-Giver’s Delight
True confession: I've never spun a single inch of yarn. Really embarrassing true confession: I've never wanted to spin a single inch of yarn. (I'm sure that'll change as I get to know more about spinning, right?) So why am I even talking about spinning? It's all because of the yarn, folks. The wonderful, unique, goodness that is handspun yarn. (And because of the Quant. The what, you ask? The Quant. Keep reading.)
I have knit with my share of homespun and I love it. There's something so satisfying about buying a skein or two (Etsy, anyone?), choosing a beautiful accessory pattern, and knitting it up. I usually use my super-special hardwood needles with homespun, just to make the experience that much more luxurious.
There's also something a little sad about giving the project away as a gift, which is usually what I end up doing.
I once knit a scarf out of the most funky, thick and thin homespun that had bits of fluff, felt, and sparkly things randomly interwoven. I ran it with a DK merino in a solid that picked up the brightest color of the fluffy stuff. This was a simple side-to-side garter-stitch pattern that really showed off the spectacle of this yarn.
Then I gave the scarf away. I've been pining for it ever since, secretly being a little mad at the recipient, and I've never been able to find the yarn again.
In the spirit of letting go of my resentment, I'm going to start some new gifts with homespun. I was flipping through the summer 2009 issue of Spin Off magazine–and there it was–the perfect simple-ish patterns that really shows off the beauty of homespun yarn: TA DA . . . the Quant, by Star Athena.
The Quant is a nifty entrelac head wrap-the perfect one-skein wonder and beginning entrelac project. It's a wonderful head scarf for late fall and early spring in Spokane. (In the dead of winter you would need about three of them to fully encase your head, leaving an air hole or two.) For me, it achieves two things: I can practice my entrelac and have some great gifts as a result.
There's something for everyone with the Quant–you spinners can spin yarn specifically for this pattern, and us knitters get another excuse to buy some more lovely homespun–maybe yours!
Just remember to at least take to take a picture of your next homespun project before you give it away.