As many hand spinners know, roving for hand spinning usually come in 4oz increments. But, what to do with 4 oz of yarn? And, seriously, if you were able to get more than 4oz, is using a whole garments worth of handmade yarn really the best way to highlight that yarn? Art yarn…such awesome texture can just get lost when it is knit up in a stockinette fabric.

Here are my top 5 techniques for working with handmade yarns (and by handmade, I mean hand spun and hand dyed)

 

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1. Playing with textures. Combining yarns is one of my favorite ways to show off hand spun art yarn. Super textural yarns look awesome next to smoother yarn, play with contrasting colors. I give lots of tips about doing that in my stash buster shawl pattern. Check it out, it is a free download.

2. Feather and fan. A super simple stitch that is a great go to stitch for blending hand painted yarns. It is also great for stash busting. Jane Thornley wrote an awesome guide that break down how to use feather and fan to blend yarns. (that is her image above btw).

4. Elongated stitches. I love elongated stitches. It is super conservative with the yarn and shows of textures nicely. Here is how to do it.

3. Scribble lace. A super thin yarn mixed with a super textural yarn. You will need a double pointed needle for this one. Here is a free scarf pattern that outlines this technique.

5. Freeform crochet and knitting. As I have mentioned I have a new found love of free form crochet. Prudance Mapstone has some awesome tutorials that will get you started.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what I know. Next week I will show you some tips for combining yarns.

Do you have a favorite technique for working with handmade yarns? Share in the comments below.

 

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I have been using these tips and more to design pattern-free intuitive sweaters with my hand spun and hand dyed yarns. I call it BiOKnitting. Think like a fiber artist, design like a fashion designer. Wanna learn how?

 

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