Picking Up Another

Posted in FO, knitting, made with handspun, spinning by tchemgrrl on June 25, 2012

I never used to knit the same pattern twice. Even plain socks–I’ll try a different toe or make a minor change in the ribbing.

And now my past two FO’s are exceptions to that. I fully plan on knitting another Braided Ball soon, and two of my past three knitting projects have been Hitchhikers.

Like my first one, I also made this Hitchhiker from some handspun yarn I’d made last year. I never blogged about this yarn, but it’s four ounces of yarn composed of 2 2 ounce batts from two totally different sources. The first batt was from Bob at Winderwood Farm, composed of llama, angora and at least one other thing, and with a uniform light color. The second batt was from Susan at Spinning Bunny, layers of cream and cinnamon, and which also contained a whole bunch of different fibers (the only one in my notes is cashmere.) The multicolored batt was torn into strips, held so that the colored layers were spread across my hand rather than being sandwiched together, and then spun back and forth across the tip, to intentionally give some color variation (each stretch of color ended up being somewhere between what you’d see in a hand dyed yarn and a yarn with longer dyed-in-the-wool stretches like Noro). I had just shy of 400 yards for 4 oz, somewhere around sport weight. Loosely spun, with a little extra plying twist.

natural closeup

The only modification made to the pattern was to work this primarily in stockinette rather than garter. I worked the 5 stitches at the sawtoothed edge in garter stitch, so that each sawtooth actually reads more like a little square. I like the effect.

Handspun Hitchhiker

Early into the shawl, the stretches of darker yarn pooled in an odd way that read very strongly as an animal print.

I’m really not an animal print person, and hoped that my eyes were just playing tricks on me. So I showed it to several people hoping they’d contradict me and encourage me to continue, but every person said the same thing.

“It really does look like that. How strange!”

I kept knitting anyhow, and the tiger print disappeared about 1/3 into the shawl. Phew.

I really wanted the far edge of the shawl to have the same sawtoothed border, but after trying 4 or 5 different ideas, I changed my mind. The direction of the stitches would be different and they seemed to be even more noticeable than a plain flat edging. I knit as many rows of garter stitch as there were in each sawtooth and bound off.

Handspun Hitchhiker

I really like how this shawl came out. It seems like a sign of a good knitting design that it can flexibly lend itself to variations well outside the purview of the pattern itself. I really like the rhythm of this particular pattern, and while I do feel like my yen for knitting it has been sated for the time being, I’m sure it will be at the top of my mind the next time I have a nice skein of yarn that doesn’t seem right for anything I pair it with.


One Response

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  1. Without a Net « Fiberlog said, on August 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    […] seems that this is a year for doing things I don’t normally do, craft-wise. I knit two of one pattern, I shed some old unpleasant possessions, I did a ridiculous amount of knitting and spinning for […]

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