[handspun] Hallowe’en toque
I haven’t shared a finished objects post in a long time because most of the knitting I’ve been doing recently has been for the show. This project started last year while I was on a retreat weekend with some really good friends. I had made the batt before leaving for Hallowe’en and thought as I was walking out the door, ‘Why not? I should get it spun up.’ I grabbed it and stuffed it in my basket thinking I wouldn’t get to it all weekend. BUT! I did! I spun it up and loved the results. It’s just fun. Nothing complicated or difficult. I just wanted to play with these really fun, festive colours. Here’s a photo of the original batt off my drumcarder:
While on retreat weekend, I spun on my Majacraft Suzie Pro at a ratio of 14.5:1 and chain-plied the results:
From there, I couldn’t get this yarn out of my head. I kept pulling it out of my stash and looking at it. It’s not particularly soft or nice yarn – it’s just fun colours.
I spun it quite tightly for a nice twist angle and the black colour in there is rough Perendale – not next-to-the-skin soft. The orange and purple are nice Corriedale and are next-to-the-skin soft. The green was leftover Merino from 2007 that I’ve had in my stash. I added some sparkle and not much else. But it captured my imagination for sure! I knew I wanted to knit some sort of toque but wasn’t sure of a pattern that might work. I eventually settled on just a plain vanilla toque with a black brim from some stashed black yarn to start it off since I knew I didn’t have enough handspun to knit the entire toque. Well … I started and I immediately didn’t love the results. I don’t know what it is about straight vanilla knitting that sometimes just leaves handspun looking flat. It wasn’t the right fit. I knew I needed to find something else, but what?
I was scrolling through Instagram the next evening and stumbled on Ann Weaver’s Fixation Hat. It was perfect so I cast on the next morning and the rest is history!
This toque pattern is available in a kit with Spincycle Yarns, which look like handpsun from handpainted top but are milled to look that way. In the pattern, the knitter changes yarn every X rows for a colour-blocked striping up the body of the toque. It works really well in a gradient like this, too, because of that movement. I didn’t knit the toque as long as called for in the pattern – I started the crown decreases at 8” and omitted one pattern repeat because it was too big! The yarn was really nice to knit with, even though it was tightly twisted during plying. Because I kept the singles moderate twist, it made a fluffy, airy, lofty yarn that was nice to knit. I think it’ll be nice and warm.
Pattern: Fixation by Ann Weaver
Yarn: Hallowe’en batt; Merino, Corriedale, Perendale & Angelina/Firestar handspun
Needles: 4.00mm for both body & ribbing
I added my labels to the place on the brim that is joined for working in the round. The labels came from Sweet Pine Hills in Raymond, Alberta, Canada. They have an Etsy shop as well. They worked with me to customize my labels and I just love them! I had lost the little package that I bought, was going to re-order when I cleaned up my workspace and VOILA! found them. Thank goodness!
The flip side of my labels read welfordpurls.com and handwash/lay flat to dry. So cool! So professional!
This was a really fun project – I’ll definitely be knitting this toque pattern again. It was easy and simple and perfect for handspun. And I looooove the faux fur pom pom on the top – I think it finishes the toque nicely!
This is seriously stunning, I love it! Great batt, great handspun, great pattern/handspun pairing.
What a great hat and story! I do love that color combo in the final knit–and in the batt. Gorgeous and fun! And thanks for tipping me off to a good tag maker. I have been searching around for a few that I like :) Happy Halloween!
Happy Hallowe’en, Melissa! Thank you so much and I’m so glad about the tags!
I really need to watch some more of your videos to understand ratios. I think my Ashford Traditional wheel only has one set ratio of 6.5, and I don’t really know what that means compared to your 14.5. I’m not usually a fan of orange but love this Halloween themed hat. Cute labels too.
I’m not a fan of orange either but it seems to work in this colour combination! I guess that’s why it’s so Hallowe’en! Yes, it takes time to learn ratios :)
I really like this hat (toque) ! It looks like candy corn (which is not my favorite Halloween candy but is very Halloween).
I also really love your site. Spinning is my outlet, and I love learning about it , and about fiber. I have loved wool because my background is in Animal Science, Knitting is the way I can “see” what the spinning yields.
Like you mentioned not all knitting patterns make the best of hand spun yarn. And, because of the inexact part of spinning, judging if you have enough fiber to knit a project, it would be nice to have guidance/resources to which patterns are best for handspun.
Hi Sue, Yes I totally agree! In the Ravelry group, we’ve created a bundle (I’ll link it below) to help direct people to patterns we’ve knit or have experience with that lend themselves to handspun. I love having this library to look at every so often!
Thank you for your kind words about the site!