Hand-Spun Three-Ply Becomes a Hand Knitted Cowl

Two weeks ago I plied my first hank of yarn.

*Dramatic music…think trumpets*

I didn’t go for anything fancy, just a simple 2-ply yarn. It was a modest success, and that’s all I was hoping for when it came to my first plied yarn. Heck, I was happy that it didn’t end up a tangled spaghetti-noodled mess!

Anybody know of a good pattern for 176 yards mostly worsted (although occasionally fingering and sometimes veering in to chunky) weight 2-ply New Zealand wool, a bit on the prickly side?

What I am much more proud of, right now, is my first three-ply yarn. I spun up three bobbins of merino that looked like this:

Then I plied them into 380 yards of three-ply, mostly worsted yarn.

This time, my variation in thickness was less pronounced. Some sections are definitely on the chunky side and some are definitely more sport weight, but I’m proud to say there’s not a single inch of lace weight. Simply achieving this degree of consistency is a big achievement for me.

I just discovered the perfect use of this glorious new hand-spun. I’m going to knit a cowl to thank the lady who lent me her Louet wheel (although I did not buy it) and who gifted me with a large sack of fiber and a whole stack of her old spinning books (including the much-recommended The Intentional Spinner).

Here’s the pattern: Cupido Cowl, by Hiroko Fukatsu

It was on her Ravelry favorites list and I think this simple pattern will highlight the “beauty” of the hand-spun nicely. The vagaries of my yarn will hopefully come across as “texture.” Plus, I think this pattern will draw attention to the lovely color variations in the yarn.

Cupido Cowl by Hiroko Fukatsu, as seen on Ravelry

Wish me luck. I’m knitting my first project with my own home-spun. Let’s hope I don’t screw it up. Because I care a lot more about this yarn than I usually do about my yarn. Even the really, really, pretty, expensive stuff that I keep in a box and visit when I’m lonely.


  1. YAY spinning! You’re making amazing progress already! Love the cowl pattern! And as for your wonky skein (wonky is definitely a term of endearment, I promise. I have several in my own stash), I found Wendy Johnson’s Super Slouch Hat pattern extremely forgiving of random weight yarn. The lace pattern eases some of the thick to thin issues because it’s a little more open and the yardage being more worsted would probably allow you to eliminate a repeat of the pattern and come out fine.

  2. Looks lovely! I think it will be great knit up. I’ve lost track though of what kind of wheel you’re spinning on. I thought you borrowed a Louet. But parts of your wheel in the photo look a bit like my Lendrum double treadle so I thought I would ask.

      • My first spinning wheel, in the mid-1980’s was a single treadle Lendrum. I upgraded 3 years ago to a double treadle and I love it. I really love the portability too — it’s great for taking to workshops!

      • That’s good to hear. I’ve been wondering if I would need to invest in a travel wheel one of these days. Of course, the Lendrum wouldn’t work as a carry on, but for regular car travel it’s probably ok. Need to find something to carry it in. Any recommendations?

      • I used to have these folding commuter bicycles that came with large heavy duty bags so they could be carried on the bug. Turns out my Lendrum fit into one of those and that’s what I used. I don’t think it was a good idea though as it wasn’t padded. I tried to be careful but I think I was pretty hard on the wheel when I took it travelling. I think now I would just put it into a large, wheeled suitcase.

  3. the yarn is gorgeous and the pattern’s choice is perfect, it will be a most treasured knit, can’t wait to see it. enjoy Enjoy knitting your own yarn it might be fabulous

    • Thanks. So far it’s turning out pretty well and the variations on thickness of the yarn aren’t a big deal.

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