Hand Spun Yarn Becomes Hitchhiker Shawlette

Someday I’ll look back at the uneven yarns I plied when I first started spinning with such fondness. Fondness and despair.

I’ll never spin yarn with such character again!

My yarns are smooth and even.

When washed and dried, the hanks hang in perfect parabolas.

I try to over- or under-ply my singles, but my hands will not obey me.

Oh woe is me.

Yeah. Boo hoo.

There’s definitely room for improvement in the yarns I’m spinning right now. But I’m proud to report that I’m finding good uses for them anyway.

Here we have about 1200 yards of 2-ply.  Spun from 2 4-oz braids of hand-dyed BFL from Frabjous Fibers in the Cathedral and Potash colorways.
Here we have about 1200 yards of 2-ply. Spun from 2 4-oz braids of hand-dyed BFL from Frabjous Fibers in the Cathedral and Potash colorways.

This BFL is a good example. I got a lot of yardage out of two 4-oz braids, but now I realize I should have plied them a bit tighter.

This yarn is a little bit uneven and not suited to just any project. It needs a pattern that will forgive and even celebrate its slight irregularities.  And it needs to be used for a garment that benefits from a bit of droopiness.

Hitchhiker to the rescue!


I’m knitting this cute little shawlette as a gift for the friend who will be  photographing my wedding. She won’t accept money in payment, so I am making her something special instead. The rustic texture of my yarn seems to work well with this simple pattern.

I’m only going to use up a few hanks of this batch of hand spun in the making of this hitchhiker. But I’m enjoying the process so much and liking the results so well that I may knit up one or two more. It seems like the ideal gift to keep on hand. Plus, it’s a wonderful travel project.


    • Thanks! I’m really pleased. These hanks of hand spun are little Pandora’s boxes. I’m not sure exactly what’s going to come out and if I’m going to like it. This time it’s good.

  1. That’s a perfect pattern for that handspun! I am jealous you’ve managed to get so much yardage too. I’m trying hard to wait til I move to buy a wheel, but you make it awfully tempting…

    • I hope you don’t have too long to wait.

      A wheel does take up a bit of space. I think that must be one reason why the sidekick is so popular.

  2. Glad you are able to find a great pattern to use for your hand spun, I seem to have an ever growing stash of hand spun, but can never seem to find the right pattern for any of it. Great idea to keep a couple of FO’s around for surprise gifts.

  3. That yarn looks pretty good to me, way to go! I love that little shawl, I’m a big Hitchhiker’s Guide fan and hadn’t seen that pattern, or the three that accompany it, before, I’m so glad you shared it!

  4. beautiful. I have a hitchhiker in my bag right now because it really is such a good travel project. Its such a simple pattern yet it looks stunning.
    What a thrill to use yarn that you spun yourself.

  5. Your yarn is beautiful! And it’s so thoughtful of you to make something so personal for your friend. I bet it will mean so much to her that you took the time to make this for her during such a busy time in your life! It will be much more special to your friend than any payment! 🙂

  6. I was laughing about this very dilemma over the weekend. I have a hard time spinning anything above a heavy fingering weight anymore. UNLESS I change to something I’ve never spun before like Alpaca or flax. I borked the crap out of some flax this weekend! And I get some interesting results with carding my own wool. But otherwise yeah, mostly consistent heavy fingering weight no matter what I plan to spin!

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