Choosing a Pattern For My Texel Handspun Yarn

Over the last few weeks I’ve been engaged in a sheep to sweater project. I’ve completed spinning and finishing the yarn and have also knitted some test swatches. Now that I know how the yarn behaves as a knitted fabric when knitted at different needle sizes I feel prepared to choose a pattern.

Texel yarn4

Based on the results of swatching in my last blog post, I think I have ruled out using this yarn with size 7 needles: the fabric comes out a bit too stiff for my liking. I have also ruled out using this yarn with size 10 needles: the resulting fabric is too loose and fluid for what I’m looking for in a sweater. Plus, at size 10, the irregularities in my handspun, especially where it gets a little thin, really stand out. I want my sweater to look solid, not have unintentional bits of almost-lace.

Here are my sweater contenders:


I love the simple style of this three-quarter sleeve sweater. I feel that the pattern would also be very forgiving of any rusticity in my handspun. I would get a lot of wear out of this sweater. I’m bound to knit it, whether or not I use this yarn.

Greenwood by Ann-Marie Jackson as seen in Wool People Vol. 6 and on Ravelry.


This pattern offers two options: with or without a hood. I think I prefer it sans-hood. This sweater looks loose and oh-so-comfortable. The original yarns used in the pattern were heavier than my handspun, so I have some concerns that my finished sweater might not drape or hang the way it does in this photo.

Ease by Alicia Plummer as seen on Ravelry.

Such A Winter’s Day

You know how I said that my gauge using size 7 needles was too tight for a sweater? Well, it is. For most sweaters. But this sweater is designed to be structured and a bit stiff. And it’s stunning. If I used my yarn, it might work really well. And the tight gauge would help camouflage some of the inconsistencies of my handspun.

Such a Winter’s Day by Heidi Kirrmaier as seen on Ravelry.


This sweater has a rustic look that I think would work well with my handspun. The only thing I question is the color of my yarn. I am not confident that natural white is the right color to bring out the texture of this pattern. Swatching would help answer that question, but I haven’t done that yet.

Rook by Kyoko Nakayoshi as seen on Ravelry and in Wool People, Vol. 6.


Another Wool People pattern. I know, I know.

This pattern is all simple, elegant lines. I think it would work well with my yarn. And the gauge recommended for this pattern was also the optimal gauge for my handspun.

Asilomar by Amy Herzog as seen in Wool People Vol. 5 and on Ravelry.

So what do you think? What should I choose?


  1. Ease looks really pretty but I think it’s the pretty colours more than the pattern itself- I could see Greenwood more easily in the white. Once again you’ve made me want to cast on a sweater. Although it’s the middle of summer and I still haven’t finished the one I started last year.

  2. I vote for Such a Winters Day. It’s modern looking and having made so many of Heidi’s sweaters I would bet that it will turn out perfectly. Very nice spinning by the way. I am looking forward to seeing the yarn knit up.

  3. I vote for such a winter’s day? Heidi’s patterns are always so modern and stylish. I think your yarn would be perfect for that sweater. Very nice spinning by the way.

  4. Well, I’m a Lisa Lloyd fan (you remember her book A Fine Fleece all in handspun?) so I’d go for the cables. Plus it will make your handiwork look stunning. Otherwise I think Greenwood is a very interesting looking sweater too! Happy choosing! All the patterns you’ve pointed out are nice.

  5. One of the strong points of handspun is it’s unique texture. I wouldn’t hide that in a sweater that has cables or an allover texture. I like Greenwood best for your handspun because it will showcase your yarn while having a little more interest than Ease. My second vote goes to Asilomar :). BTW Yarn looks great!

  6. Greenwood. Such a Winter’s Day is already in my Ravelry faves but the 3/4 sleeves on the Greenwood tips the scales for me here with that creamy yarn.
    It would look great on you!

  7. After reading what you say about your yarn, I would choose one of the last three patterns. All the patterns are lovely, but the close textured ones would probably look the best, in my opinion. Do let us know what you decide.

  8. I love a bunch of these, particularly Rook, but I think Greenwood would suit your yarn best. The wearability is also definitely important for something you put that much love and effort into.

  9. Greenwood would be my hands down fav. I very much like Such a Winter’s Day, but I think Greenwood will look great with your yarn and is much more wearable.

  10. FWIW, I think Asilomar would be the best choice for your handspun. I think it would show off the “rustic” qualities of handspun in the best possible way, and I think it would also be a sweater that is easy to wear.

  11. Nice job at spinning. The need to set your ply may indicate a soft twist on the single and makes me think it might be a fairly soft ply too (closer to a 60/30 degree angle, as opposed to a hard twist of 45 degrees). A soft twist, as you likely know, drapes well, so why choose “ease”? I love a woolen spun garment because it’s so much warmer, and a consideration in your design choice (long sleeved & open front to take on or off). The white would show off the cables of the “rook” pattern beautifully. I wouldn’t want to cut off the pills from the Winter’s Day sweater, after a few washings (the disadvantage of woolen spinning — you can’t have both warmth and no pills). It’s been fun to see your knitting and spinning.

  12. I vote for greenwood, a consideration might be the wool/yarn, is it scratchy then a layering piece might be better than a next to skin.

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