Hand Spun Taffy

Pattern: totally made it up (details below)

Materials: Camellia Fiber Co.'s Handspun Taffy Merino Wool, DPNs-9 & 10

I am so pleased to introduce you to the first batch of Handspun Taffy yarn by Camellia Fiber Co. exclusively for Craft South!  Isn't it yummy?

We were already happy enough to be selling the beautiful, ethically sourced, and naturally dyed yarns by our friend and Nashville neighbor, Rebekka Seale for her brand Camellia Fiber Co.  Every month we will be receiving a fresh and unique dye lot of yarns- often mill spun and in a few shades and weights- that are an absolute dream with which to knit, crochet, or weave (check the shop for all of them so far).  But what an immense delight to be able to exclusively share this hand spun variety of merino wool that she dyes and spins just for us.  The skein shown above is dyed with pomegranate, copper and madder root.  We were deliberating on what to call it, and when it was just an idea that had not yet materialized Rebekka and I kept referring to it as "funfetti", you know like cake sprinkles.  But when I received the first skeins I shouted "IT'S TAFFY!"  And Taffy it shall remain.

Obviously I had to immediately whip it into something, you know the drudgery of product testing.  I am a newish knitter, but a hat I can manage.  We have a smaller and a larger put-up of this yarn.  One is 2 ounces and approximately 80 yards, and the other is 3.5 ounces and approximately 175 yards.  I was anxious to see what I could eek out of the smaller skein.  Sort of like my little bitty dress sewing challenge with the small cuts of Liberty of London.  And because I was in mini-wardrobe mode for Mary Anna already, I decided I should give the bub a little noggin topper. 

The recommended needle size for this yarn is anywhere from 9-13 depending on the style of cloth you'd like to knit.  I decided I should try to go a little denser (smaller needles) and warmer since it's a hat after all, knowing that the thick/thin nature of the yarn would still give it a lot of variety.  I cast on 60 stitches, closed the circle and went for it, just making the whole hat a simple 1x1 ribbing.  I did the first 4 or 5 rows with size 9 needles for edge snugness.  Then I switched to size 10 for another 4" or so of knitting, keeping an eye on the shrinking ball of yarn.  When it came to decreases I switched back to size 9 needles.

I made up the decreases in a simple fashion:

  • the first round, every other purl stitch, I k2t (knit two together) with a knit stitch. 
  • now I think this left me with a funny ending to that row, as I recall, like two knit-togethers in a row, but I was not afraid 
  • then I knit the knits and purled the purls on the next row or two
  • then I k2t all remaining purls with a neighboring knit for a row
  • for the rest of the decreases I just alternated a regular knit row with a k2t/k1/k2t/k1...... etc. row
  • I believe there were just about 12-14 stitches on my needles (and very little yarn left) when I cinched them all up with a sew through and knotted on the inside

With what remained of the yarn, I made a furry little pompom, which I do feel was required by this creature-like little hat.  So I would caution that if you have a kid or non-kid person that would like a hat that is older than two or so, you may want to go with two of the smaller skeins or one of the larger sized skein.  Mary Anna loves hats and this one is no exception.  She is the dream-child that will actually leave them on her head in delight.  Only 2 out of my 7 kids have left a hat on their head.  I understand this to be a good ratio.

Happy Knitting!  The skeins are in limited supply, but we will have a new batch every month! xo, AMH

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