Usually when I’m in a fit of knitting ennui I turn to socks. This time it’s my handspun that’s saving my lazy-brained knitting ass: here’s another simple cowl, the 2nd in a series (also, incidentally, a failed Baby Surprise Jacket for the same reason. I’m not so good at guesstimating finished handspun yardage or BSJ yardage requirements). It’s just 30 stitches of garter stitch knitted until the yarn ran out then sewed together.
I have NO IDEA what the fiber is. Pretty, though. I really like the plum and olive together. Manly with a touch of fancy. The only thing I can tell you is that I navajo plied this baby. You spin a single ply then loop it over and back through itself to make a 3-ply. BRILLIANT. I love the physicality of navajo plying. In my mind’s eye I see myself gracefully dancing with string, but in reality I’m holding my wrists at awkward angles with an unbecoming expression of concentration like the one I wear when I’m driving and my kid is constantly asking me “What’s wrong?”.
I ended up with a yarn with solid chunks and short transitions between and a cowl long enough to loop twice.
I have a lot of insomnia stories – I’m great at parties, let me tell you – and they’re mostly as incredibly boring as you would expect. Like when I was pregnant the second time? And I would wake up for the day at 3 in the morning? I did so much spinning! The end.
A few years ago my esteemed parents-in-law gave me a Hansen miniSpinner for Christmas. I was so surprised and so pleased and so spoiled (linking to Hansen’s site makes me feel both unworthy and grateful all over again) and when I sat down to play with my new toy I was so completely flummoxed. What a disaster. My mother in law arranged a short tête-à-tête with Beth, the miniSpinner’s purveyor (aren’t I lucky? I’m seriously lucky) who set me on my way.
My spoils still on hand:
Yeah, I was doing a lot of not sleeping.
I had started a Baby Surprise Jacket because a BSJ in handspun is the absolute peak of knitting perfection and I’ve thought so since seeing Brooklyn Tweed’s version way back when. I’ll pause here to brag about my own successful handspun BSJs…
…because this skein didn’t turn out to be one of them. Not enough yarn. Womp womp. I set the project aside and decided I would make a cowl someday and here it is. The left-learning stitches are a sign of an unbalanced yarn, but a handspun’s imperfections are part of a its charm.