Sunday, August 17, 2008

What do I do with my Art Yarn!?

Yeah - a good question, isn't it? Jinx asked in her (german) podcast what we do with our Art Yarns. Do we just hoard them in dark places, take them out on some holidays to admire them but never do anything with them? Do we just sell our Art Yarns and don't work with them ourselves?

I can tell you, the last answer would be my answer of choice. I'm a lousy knitter and a poor crocheter, I can't read any pattern and have problems with knitting terms in general. But then there are these yarns we spin. Some are so soft to the touch I can't believe it and end up stroking the yarn for minutes (no joke). And some have such a unique look and I put so much effort in spinning just this special yarn I can't part with it.

And so, sometimes I can't help it and I have to try to do something with those yarns. So I'll show you what I, a poor knitter and lousy croecheter, did with my handspun yarns, and perhaps there's some inspiration for you. :)

This is the very first Art Yarn I ever spun. I wanted to try all techniques in one single yarn, so this Art Yarn is full of stuff and looks a little bit "stuffed".
I crocheted this thin scarf from one big skein. The drop stitch look comes from my super creative pattern which I invented: Every now and then I made a whole row with gigantic loops, contrasted by normally crocheted rows. There's nothing more to it, and because I'm such a poor crocheter I don't know if there's a term for this technique or if this can called a technique at all - but well, it did what I wanted it to do: It shows the yarn very nicely.
The look of both yarn and scarf is quite unique, and even though the yarn is that stuffed and full of clutter, I very much like this scarf and wear it often in winter. :)

This is a hat I did for myself. I have always wanted a totally unique hat, one that no one else has, but the patterns and yarns my granny used (and still uses, I guess) for knitting hats just didn't seem right.
So there was this really scrappy yarn, spun from lots of bordeaux red merino wool and bits of woolen left-overs in green, lilac and white. It looked really boring as a skein. But I knew that there was something to this skein... And as I had just raised my confidence in crocheting as I had completed this strange faux drop-stitch scarf, I thought: "I can do that!" and just started off.
It was a piece of cake. The yarn was very easy to work with, quite plain with some thicker parts, and as I wanted the colored pieces to stick out a bit, I varied the stitch from time to time.
I was done in about an hour - the yarn had been about 6-9 WPI or so. And I have to say: I love the hat! It's a completely unique piece of work, it's individual and a bit nerdy, but it's not the classical handspun eye-catcher, nor does it look as if it's a knitted (or crocheted) remainder from the stone ages.
Sadly I can't wear both scarf and hat, the colors don't match...

This is a neck warmer I knit. Yeah, I do indeed knit from time to time, even though I'm a veeeeery slow (and painful... sigh) knitter. I had to knit something from this yarn: It's Happy Alpaca, Yummy Lime, and I really had to try this super soft yarn! I love the colors, they're are so fresh and light! And so I knit this mini-shawl - again without a pattern (because, as I already said: I can't read patterns other than those written in plain words). I don't know how much yarn I used exactly, but it's not very much. This piece of work really taught me that crocheting just eats up your yarn, while if you knit you can easily get twice as far with the same amount of yarn! It must be about 20-30 g or even less, really not more! This mini-shawl made a great gift. :)

And here is another drop stitch scarf. And this time, it's a real one, a knitted one!
The yarn I used was quite similar to my White as Snow, Red as Blood and Black as Ebony yarn. It's of such a soft wool/silk-blend, it doesn't scratch in the slightest!
Again, as I knitted, I became aware of how much less yarn is used up by knitting than by crocheting. From one big fat skein of about 130 g I knitted not one, but two drop stitch scarves, one to keep for myself and one for my mum's birthday.
I really think drop stitch patterns show the structure of Art Yarns very well. And the best thing: Very few yarn is used in a drop stitch pattern and you knit very fast. Being a slow knitter, it took me two evenings for one scarf, but I guess if you're a bit more advanced than I am (which is quite likely!!), you can complete a thin scarf in just one evening!

So these are some of my knitted and crocheted objects. I think, the advice I can give you if you want to knit or crochet something from an Art Yarn is: Don't be intimidated by this yarn. Try something easy at first, just as I did, and choose perhaps a pattern (if you can read them ;) ) which shows the yarn off a bit, like a drop stitch pattern. And: If you don't have a larger amount of yarn, stick to knitting, as you'll get much farther than with crocheting. And: The more extravagant and stuffed with stuff the yarn is, the plainer the pattern - 'cause you won't see the beautiful pattern anyway if you use a highly complex Art Yarn. ;)

Weird posted some of her projects lately, perhaps she'll add her other projects, too. :)


  1. Thank you very much for this interesting post. ;) If you ever face any problems to read a pattern instruction, don't hesitate to contact me, I'll be more than happy to help. ;)

  2. I love this neck warmer! Okay, not the colour, but maybe I can make my own.
    Can you say me how it works? Maybe in German and by mail?

    Greetings from a big fan ;)

  3. wow, what a hat. and the neckwarmer is very fine.

  4. Die fertigen Stücke sind allesamt sehr gelungen und schön anzuschauen! Sehr hübsch geworden! :)



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