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Knitting with Homespun: A Gift-Giver's Delight

Jul 8, 2009

True confession: I've never spun a single inch of yarn. Really embarrassing  true confession: I've never wanted to spin a single inch of yarn. (I'm sure that'll change as I get to know more about spinning, right?) So why am I even talking about spinning? It's all because of the yarn, folks. The wonderful, unique, goodness that is handspun yarn. (And because of the Quant. The what, you ask? The Quant. Keep reading.)

Quant photo

I have knit with my share of homespun and I love it. There's something so satisfying about buying a skein or two (Etsy, anyone?), choosing a beautiful accessory pattern, and knitting it up. I usually use my super-special hardwood needles with homespun, just to make the experience that much more luxurious.

There's also something a little sad about giving the project away as a gift, which is usually what I end up doing.

I once knit a scarf out of the most funky, thick and thin homespun that had bits of fluff, felt, and sparkly things randomly interwoven. I ran it with a DK merino in a solid that picked up the brightest color of the fluffy stuff. This was a simple side-to-side garter-stitch pattern that really showed off the spectacle of this yarn.

Then I gave the scarf away. I've been pining for it ever since, secretly being a little mad at the recipient, and I've never been able to find the yarn again.

In the spirit of letting go of my resentment, I'm going to start some new gifts with homespun. I was flipping through the summer 2009 issue of Spin Off magazine--and there it was--the perfect simple-ish patterns that really shows off the beauty of homespun yarn: TA DA . . . the Quant, by Star Athena.

The Quant is a nifty entrelac head wrap-the perfect one-skein wonder and beginning entrelac project. It's a wonderful head scarf for late fall and early spring in Spokane. (In the dead of winter you would need about three of them to fully encase your head, leaving an air hole or two.) For me, it achieves two things: I can practice my entrelac and have some great gifts as a result.

There's something for everyone with the Quant--you spinners can spin yarn specifically for this pattern, and us knitters get another excuse to buy some more lovely homespun--maybe yours!

Just remember to at least take to take a picture of your next homespun project before you give it away.


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Comments

TinaH@14 wrote
on Jul 22, 2009 9:56 AM

What has happened to Knitting Daily?  It seems to have become almost entirely focused on trying to sell me books and subscriptions.  It's tiresome, and disappointing.  I don't welcome yet another sales pitch every time I open up my email.

Tina

PatH wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 7:57 PM

I've never spun anything. I am content at this point to "just knit."

I am really responding to the sadness of givi/ng away a project. i know/hope that this is part in jest but... if you can't give it away gladly, keep it.

I have a friend who only knits for babies and herself. She says that others do not appreciate the effort enough. They think that it is "cute" just because it is hand knitted.

Teish wrote
on Jul 10, 2009 7:46 PM

Oh dear Kathleen, are you and I both going to have to learn how to spin??? I must admit, I'm quite curious... If you start spinning and share the experience with the rest of us, I may HAVE to get my hands on a wheel and try it!

CoralS wrote
on Jul 9, 2009 1:52 PM

This is a free pattern on Knitty.com!  You don't have to download it or buy it with Spin-Off!  What a strange blog this is with the "homespun" gaffe and the "free" pattern with registering on Spin-off.  If the link below doesn't work, go to www.knitty.com, click on the link for "archive" and type Quant into the pattern search.

www.knitty.com/.../PATTquant.html

CynthiaT wrote
on Jul 9, 2009 1:01 PM

A VERY BIG THANKS to LisaD@2 who posted the link below to the original Quant Pattern on Knitty's online magazine!    I just saved a copy of the pattern easy as pie.   As the blog suggests, looks just right for my first entrelac project.

And the best part, is I don't have to subscribe to any unwanted spinning information in order to knit this featured pattern from my Knitting Daily newsletter.  

Hope the editors at Knitting Daily are reading these posts!   Accessing promoted patterns didn't used to be so difficult.   There seems to be a disconnect in communications somewhere.

Here's Lisa's post from below:

LisaD@2 wrote

on 07-09-2009 1:20 AM

Quant was originally published as a free pattern in the online magazine at knitty.com.  You don't have to register.  The link is:  www.knitty.com/.../PATTquant.html

dtjacobson wrote
on Jul 9, 2009 12:19 PM

Welcome to the fray!

Ummmm, it's "handspun," not "homespun." Homespun is a yarn marketed by Lion Brand yarns, and is periodically used by handspinners as an insult. What we spend so much time, energy, and thought on is "handspun."

You should learn to spin--it's not difficult to learn, wonderfully addictive, and you'll get really spoiled with having just the right yarn for every project.

LindaM@3 wrote
on Jul 9, 2009 11:50 AM

Welcme aboard  kathleen,  I don't spin either . But i do love home spun yarn.Linda

BethP wrote
on Jul 9, 2009 8:43 AM

Like many others, I have not been able to sign in to Knitting Daily to download the pattern; however, Knitting Daily did recognize me when I went to leave a comment.  

LisaD@2 wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 5:20 PM

Quant was originally published as a free pattern in the online magazine at knitty.com.  You don't have to register.  The link is:  www.knitty.com/.../PATTquant.html

Glory wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 3:03 PM

Response to GailD's comment about wearing this as a child.  I, too, wore something similar to this.  It was called a Swedish Jibber and I have the original pattern that my mom used.  Mine were lovingly knit in various colors of angora - white and black to wear to church on Sundays, turquiose to match my school uniform, red for play, etc.  The style I wore in the early 60's tied under my chin whereas I believe the Quant is meant to tie back behind the head - at least that's the way my teenagers will wear it!    

Judee wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 2:50 PM

Yes the pattern is available for free on our SpinOff website.

You do need to register (email address and username) and log in

to access the pattern.

Here is the home page http://spinningdaily.com

Make sure your logged in and then click here

http://spinningdaily.com/media/p/2267.aspx

If you are having access issues for SpinOff (or Knitting Daily), please check in

with our Customer Service Department.

custserv@interweave.com

Danielle wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 2:49 PM

At this point, if you'd like to download the Quant, by Star Athena, you will need a Spin Off site login.  We are working toward a better solution for you in the future and thank you for bearing with us!  Rest assured, the KD site along with the rest of our sites will continue to get more and more user friendly!

on Jul 8, 2009 1:57 PM

Hi Folks.

Thanks for the education on homespun vs. handspun. Note to self: HANDSPUN! (And thanks for the one-time pass.)

Regarding the pattern, the link should take you to Spin Off magazine, which is one of our sister magazines here at Interweave. All I had to do was sign up with a quick email address. I don't know why some of you are being sent to Paradise Fibers, although it's interesting because Paradise is located here in Spokane and is a fab yarn and spinning store!

I'll contact our customer service gurus and ask them what's up.

Yours in HANDspun,

Kathleen

KathyJo@2 wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 10:54 AM

There have been far too many free patterns lately that are available only to members of sites other than Knitting Daily. I don't want to become a member at those other sites, and frankly, I don't want to hear about free patterns from Knitting Daily UNLESS they are FOR Knitting Daily members and can be downloaded without registering somewhere else.

If this trend persists, I will not only continue to refuse to register at these other sites, I will also unsubscribe from THIS one.

GailD wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 10:06 AM

Wow!  I haven't seen this style since I was a child, and that was a long time ago!  Mine weren't entrelac, and I don't remember whether they were knitted by hand, but I had several some 55 years ago.  I still tend to think of the style as being one for small girls.

Kabira wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 9:48 AM

Will this free pattern offered through Knitting Daily be available for a download with a Knitting Daily password?  or will we have to sign up elsewhere (I'd prefer not to).  Thanks,

on Jul 8, 2009 9:24 AM

OK, Kathleen, you're a newbie and don't know any better, so I'm just gonna lay it out for you.  :)  HOMEspun is either a branded yarn (as in Lion Brand Homespun) or it's cloth, as made by the southerners - remember the homespun uniforms the confederates wore towards the end of the war?

The excruciatingly correct term for yarn made by hand on spindle or wheel is HANDspun.   We spinners call it that, and would prefer that you who write about it do likewise.  After you get the yarn right, we'll go into the roving vs top controversy.  :)

Sande

ReneeB wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 9:14 AM

Please tell me that one of your gifts is a quant for yourself. And who is going to appreciate it as much as you do? You know will be kicking yourself the next day if you don't. lol

Linda@305 wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 9:07 AM

Hello---Sorry, but I cannot get the FREE Quant pattern either !   Apparently you have to have an account with Paradise Fibers.  I get the message---INVALID USER CREDENTIALS   ---- when I sign in using the Knitting Daily info.   I really do want the pattern, so any help you can give to those of us that cannot access the pattern will be most helpful.  

Thank You

L A --- TEXAS

KathyB@76 wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 8:56 AM

I tried spinning and liked it ok until I realized that I could be spending that time knitting, and there is really no contest which I like to do better!

AngelaD@15 wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 8:05 AM

I have a problem with the download.  To get it, I have to sign up with Paradise.  It would be nice to just use the Knitting Daily Info to get the pattern as I used to.  But, as an experienced Entrelac knitter, I'm always looking for new patterns using the technique.  And the head scarf looks so cute.  A direct link using Knitting Daily login would be bliss.  Thanks, Angi

on Jul 8, 2009 7:59 AM

Is the Quant a free pattern?  I went to the site and put in my Knitting Daily password, and it didn't accept it.  Now I see that MaryBK had the same problem.  CaroleH

AnnB@19 wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 7:21 AM

Arrrkkkkkkkk !   Another gentle FYI regarding homespun versus handspun here.  We will give you a pass this time, but see below.  (~_~)

homespun (?), a. 1.Spun or wrought at home; of domestic manufacture; coarse; plain. Homespun country garbs. W. Irving.

2. Plain in manner or style; not elegant; rude; coarse. Our homespun English proverb. Dryden. Our homespun authors. Addison.

homespun , n. 1.Cloth made at home; as, he was dressed in homespun.

2. An unpolished, rustic person. (Obs.) Shak.

BeatrizM wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 6:53 AM

I receive KnittingDaily for more than a year, with the same login and password, but I'm not able to download the Quant pattern. It would be great if you tell us how to download it.

Glory wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 6:41 AM

I'm not a spinner either although I love working with yarn that others have lovingly created.  I saw the Quant pattern in the summer issue of Spin Off and had to have the magazine for that reason.  I'm relatively new to entrelac but the Quant will be a wonderful Christmas gift for my daughter who is in college in Rhode Island. Of course, there is also a great article on Lithuanian knitting that peaked my interest since I may be one of a hand full of knitters in Pennsylvania with a Lithuanian background!

MicheleR@6 wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 6:41 AM

Hi, Kathleen, and welcome to your new job. Just a gentle FYI--spinners generally refer to what they make as handspun yarn, not homespun. If you read Spin-Off, I doubt you'll ever see the word homespun used.

MaryBK wrote
on Jul 8, 2009 6:34 AM

I have signed on for months with the same e-mail and password and now I am locked out from downloading the Quant pattern. Do I need to join under Spin Off in addition to Knitting Daily. This is very confusing and frustrating!

MaryBK