Handspun Honey Cowl

I am a largely self-taught spinning novice. I have had some pointers from friends and own a few instructional videos, but mostly my adventure with spinning is me & my wheel and a whole lot of trial and error. As I muddle through figuring this craft out, I keep one main goal in mind: to spin yarn I can knit.

Last October I completed a skein of yarn made with some Cloudlover fiber I purchased earlier in the year.

Cloudlover Illustrus navajo ply

It is an 80% merino – 20% silk blend in the Illustrus colorway. This was my very first attempt at Navajo-plying and I was really proud that it turned out pretty nice. Most exciting of all, it turned out to be yarn with which I could knit.

Like so many skeins of yarn, after oogling it for a while I tucked it into my stash awaiting the perfect time to use it. Toward the end of February I decided it was time. I tried out a few different patterns with it. I loved Rondelay it looked so good! — but I was short on yardage, so I frogged it and re-wound the skein. I was pretty bummed & more than a little stumped. The trick with handspun is that I always want to choose a pattern using as much of the yardage as I can to get the most from my spinning efforts. It isn’t always possible or preferable, but for better or for worse that goal tends to linger in the back of my head.

In any case, after staring at the skein for a few more days, it dawned on me that a couple years ago I knit up a Honey Cowl in a very similar weight of yarn with very similar yardage.  I cast-on immediately and was totally hooked on the design and the fabric I was creating.

handspun honey cowl2Just like my previous Honey Cowl, I cast-on for the longer version of the cowl & just kept going until I ran out of yarn. I just adore the stretchy quality of the fabric — that paired with the merino/silk blend makes this one of the softest, coziest cowls I own.

handspun honey cowlIn all honesty, I finished this cowl up in March. It has taken me this long to post photos because I have been wearing it almost daily (even with my plain old hoodie, as you can see!) — it’s become such a staple that I kind of forgot that I never documented it!

honey cowl handspun 3It turned out the perfect colorway for spring and has kept me warm on almost every hike over the last few weeks. I give lots of props to Natalie at Cloudlover for her mad dying skills. I’ve said it before and I will say it again — I give her a lot of credit because I think it’s her dying that makes my spinning look so good! She dyes fiber as well as yarn, offers yarn & fiber clubs, and even does custom spinning. She’s pretty much awesome. Check her website out!

For details on this project, check out my Ravelry info page.

13 thoughts on “Handspun Honey Cowl

  1. It looks great in the skein and as a cowl! I, too, am always eager to knit only projects which use all my handspun. It is actually feels like a game, or a challenge, to me to find that which will use all but a yard or two.

    1. Thank you! I am really happy (and a little surprised) at how nicely it turned out. At my stage of the game, I always feel like it takes me so long to make the yarn that I had *better* use it all up! LOL!

    2. PS – I have been spinning the last couple nights in attempts to finish up my current spinning project. I think next will be my Dyeabolical fiber — at least I’m using that as incentive to get the current project done!

      1. You are so good waiting to start it. I think I’ll wait, and then I’ll say “well, just a little piece, just to see how it spins up” and pretty soon I’ve got like 10 braids out, multiple spindles, and I am so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start.
        I am eager to see the dyeabolical stuff though. I almost enjoy seeing other people’s handspun projects as much as I enjoy making my own.

      2. It helps that I am pretty not great with a spindle (someday I will finally get it!) and I have my one wheel. I got a bunch of extra bobbins, but so far I stay pretty focused. I think it’s because I am not really confident that I can be consistent in projects if I am switching up. I did finally get the instructional videos downloaded today that I bought around Christmas! Hopefully I can learn some new tricks and start improving!

  2. Your cowl is just lovely. Does it feel even more special knowing you spun the yarn yourself? My goal for this year is to learn to spin. I can’t wait.

    1. Thank you! And yes, it totally does! I spent a long time resisting spinning, but now that I have embraced the craft — well, it has been wonderful! If you want some inspiration, check out Suzy Sells Sea Shells — it’s a blog that is mostly spinning & soooo informational & inspiring!

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