How do I use handspun yarn?

10/03/2021

This is by far the most asked question when I am holding workshops or trunk shows and sales stands. The answer is pretty simple: you can use handspun yarn for most things you use commercial yarns for. Here are some tips and things you have to think about before you use handspun yarn in your knitting.

Handspun (100 m/50 g) in a design that recommends Finull yarn (175 m/50 g)
Handspun (100 m/50 g) in a design that recommends Finull yarn (175 m/50 g)

Working with handspun yarn demands a bit of adjustment as to how you think about yarn. Many of us want to follow the yarn recommandations to the letter, or at least try to find a yarn type that matches the yarn weight used. I'm here to to tell you that you don't need to be too strict when it comes to yarn weight and fiber type.

As long as you keep the yarn within a relative weight, you can use what you have on hand. My handspun yarn usually has a meterage of about 100-150 m / 50 g, or 200 - 300 m /100 g. This means that my yarn is close to the weight class of Hillesvåg Ask, or somewhere between Tinde and Sølje (or Sol and Vilje). It's thicker than Rauma Finull PT2 (350 m / 100 g). Still, I use my handspun yarn together with all of these yarntypes - and it's totally fine!

Rent Oppspinn (150m/50g) - Værbitt Venull Røslig (290m/50g)
Rent Oppspinn (150m/50g) - Værbitt Venull Røslig (290m/50g)

The simplest way to find what you can use your handspun yarn with, is to compare the length of your yarn with commercial yarn. If you've spun a yarn with the length of approx. 100 m/ 50 g, you find a design that calls for a yarn with the meterage of about 80 to 120 m / 50 g. 

What you should know, is if you have enough yarn for the project you are starting on. In stead of thinking about how many grams I have, I calculate how many meters the design calls for to find out if I have enough. Either I'll find a project that calls for the amount of yarn I have, or I'll spin up the total meterage the design calls for. In my own designs I will write up how many meters you'll need, rather than how many grams.