Tips For Using Handspun Novelty Yarns (by Jennifer Green)

January 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Yarnz

It’s gorgeous, but what do I do with it? …OR… Tips for using those fabulous handspun novelty yarns

We have all drooled over the simply stunning, handspun, novelty yarns available by all kinds of talented spinners these days.  Coilspun, Beehives, Boucle, Tailspun, yarns with added sequins, ornaments, doodads and ribbons.  They capture your attention and light up your creativity!  But, what exactly, do you DO with these fabulous work of art?  Why you use them, of course!!

So many of us are in love with these yarns and absolutely at a loss when it comes time to decide what to make with them.  I’m here to tell you that not only are these yarns fun to work with, but they are meant to be made into treasured objects!  Here are some tips to get you started down the road to crafting with handspun art yarns.

The first thing to do is Keep It Simple.  Any project you decide to make out of these yarns will be best if you are showcasing the beauty of the yarn and not the tricks you are doing with your stitches. 

This is the time to pull out those fun and easy patterns that feature garter stitch, stockinette, simple rows of single or double crochet and simple elegant lines and shapes.  We want our eyes to be drawn to the intricacies of the yarn itself.  

The next important thing in working with these yarns is Keep It Loose.  This is not the time to bear down on your handwork and make those stitches tight.  Take a deep breath, relax and let the yarn lead you in the work.  If there is a cool doodad hanging from your yarn, take a moment to push it to the front of your work so that you can enjoy it. 

Make sure you aren’t pulling the yarn so tight that your beehives and coils are being pulled out of shape.  Give the yarn an opportunity to go the direction it wants and you will find some exciting things happen in your finished fabric. 

Take It Slow.  This is not the time for speed stitching!  You will need to slow down your needles and hooks so that you can use the yarns to their best advantage.  This is not to say that your knitting or crocheting will become painfully slow and boring. 

Quite the contrary.  You will find that you are enjoying the journey all the more because the yarn will entertain you in ways you never imagined along the way. 

By slowing down, you will have opportunities to manipulate the yarn and show off the special areas within your finished piece.

Here’s your chance to Make It Bold!  Most of these yarns are bulky and super bulky weights.  Here is your chance to pull out the really big needles and hooks and make a bold statement in rough, oversized stitches.  You will find these projects go faster than you think and that working in a large gauge gives you a new perspective on the actual creation of the stitches.  I am delighted by the process of the stitches forming and by the raw, almost industrial, feel you get in a project created with super large needles and hooks.  (Yes, I do giggle like a school girl while working on these types of projects!)

In case you needed a little push, I’m here to tell you to Take the Plunge!  Grab hold of one of those eye popping yarns and just jump right in.  Stop waiting for the perfect time, project or person.  This is one of those ‘just do it’ moments!

Above all else, Keep It Fun!  Once you get started working with these yarns, you will likely find that your crafting becomes something of a party.  Go along with it and have a great time.  If you loosen up and have fun with the process, it will show in your finished garment and everyone who sees it will be infected with the spirit!

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