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  • Customer Crochet Handspun Yarn Project and Yarn Review

    Designed To Create Custom Yarn Project

    Back in September I posted about a yarn project I was working on for a customer. I was originally contacted by Zach, who writes about his creative adventures on his blog, Designed To Create. He recently learned how to crochet and wanted to attempt a project using my handspun yarn. Always willing to accept a good creative challenge and collaboration, I set out to see if I could spin up some yarn that would meet his requirements. I asked him to provide me with some pictures - a sort of "mood board", so I would be able to see what colors and style he was going for. His focus was on earth tones - rust, sand, and browns. I don't often make yarn with only natural colored wool, so this was a refreshing color palette and style for me:

    Custom Handspun Yarn Project Mood Board and Palette

    Yarn project mood board

    I went through my stash and grabbed some gorgeous cinnamon colored baby alpaca from Rivanna River Alpacas and some gray and white llama fleece I bought at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival last Fall. I mixed in some other wool and spun a single worsted/chunky weight yarn.

    Fiber Stash

    Fiber stash 

    Here's what it looked like after I spun it:

    Finished Handspun Yarn on a Niddy Noddy

    The Finished Skein of Yarn

    Finished Skein of Yarn

    Zach's Finished Crocheted Rustic Beanie

    Today I was thrilled to see Zach's finished work - a beanie he made for himself from my handspun yarn. I really think he did an excellent job, even though he had some challenges with the pattern and working with the handspun yarn. I especially like the way the natural variances and bands of colors came out. All in all it was a great learning experience and a fun collaboration for us both. Here is his review of the yarn and post with his hat's work-in-progress (WIP) pictures.

    Rustic Beanie: A Yarn Review

    Designed To Create - Handspun Yarn Crochet Project WIP

    Designed To Create Handspun Yarn Hat WIP

    Designed To Create - Rustic Beanie WIP

    Designed To Create Handspun Yarn Hat WIP

    Designed To Create  - Handspun Yarn Finished Crocheted Rustic Beanie

    Designed To Create Handspun Yarn Finished Hat

    The full review here:

    Rustic Beanie: A Yarn Review

     *This post continues where part one left off*

    In part one, I explained how I chose to purchase yarn from 222 Handpun Artisan Yarn. This post will be a review of the yarn and a look at what I made with it.

    This was halfway through.
     After inquiring about a custom yarn order, Elysa, owner of 222 Handspun, asked me what colors I was interested in. I sent her links to two pictures for color inspiration: Here and here. I wanted really manly, earthy tones - especially browns and tans, with some gray and cream as well. With that out of the way, I sat back, eagerly anticipating the pictures Elysa promised to send me when the yarn was done. When I saw the yarn for the first time I was very impressed; it was spot on with what I was envisioning and the inspiration photos I sent.

    Now to begin the crocheting. I searched around and found a free slouchy hat pattern - just the look I was going for! Hook flying through the variegated fiber with stitch after stitch, a hat began to take shape. This pattern is unique in that it is crocheted in a tube. Once the tube is long enough, you pinch the top and stitch it closed, forming four points. You turn it inside-out, and voila! A hat!
    The tube taking shape.

    Gorgeous color! Fabulous texture! *drool*
    And here's what it looks like "finished":
    It matches my coat and gloves!
    Doesn't this group look cozy?
    I put "finished" in quotations because it IS finished, and yet it isn't. You see, the hat ended up not fitting my head like I wanted it to. I learned that when you crochet with handspun yarn you have to make up for the tightness of the twist by using a hook one or two sizes larger than what is called for. Fortunately I haven't cut the yarn or sewn in the end, so I can undo the hat and re-stitch it. Lesson learned!

    I couldn't be happier with the yarn. Going from store-bought to handspun yarn was a breath of fresh air. The different textures of each of the fibers that make up the yarn were interesting to discover - the cream color is very satiny and smooth, the grayish color is a little more coarse, the rust color is soft and plush, etc. The yarn also varies at times in thickness, creating a more rustic, organic finished piece. I highly recommend 222 Handspun artisan yarn! If you'd like to see some pictures of the yarn spinning in progress, check out this blog post from 222. It's really cool to see a project go from a pile of loose fibers to a completed hat!

    I do want to point out that 222 Handspun generously discounted the yarn for me in exchange for my review. However, all the opinions I expressed in this and the previous post are my own.