My spinning is getting better. I can knit with the result and produce something that looks pretty good. There's still a few bits that are too thick, or too thin, but the result is rather nice. I chose, for my first proper item knitted from my own handspun (the first one was a coaster which now lives underneath a vase on my coffee table), this hat from Knitty. It was designed for handspun. I started with this yarn:
Like the lazy knitter I am, I didn't swatch. The hat pattern knit up very quickly, and a couple hours after I started it, I took it to Knit Night, planning to finish the decreases. Everyone swiftly pointed out that it was too big. I hadn't had the greatest day and was grumpy about it. It took me another half of a row to admit that they were right. I frogged it, right then and there. I apologize to my friends for the grumpiness, and I apologize to the hat for the words I called it. I took out 4 repeats of the base pattern (2 repeats of the decrease pattern) and re-knit it on Wednesday. I magic-looped it for the decreases because I didn't want to go out and buy more DPNs. I don't think I'm going to take to magic loop for sock knitting, but I'll use it for hats, mitts, and probably sweater sleeves (haven't knit any sweater sleeves yet so this is guesswork). I found it very easy to do, and the top of the hat looks fine, so I believe I did it right. Here it is:
I like it very much. It's light-weight, it stays on my head nicely (although I did use clips to anchor it in place yesterday), and it looks pretty. I actually put it on this morning, absent-mindedly, after braiding my hair (my hair is waist-length when braided so it stays in braids most of the time), and was surprised a few hours later when I glanced into the mirror and saw it on my head. That's how light it is. And the colour is wonderful. The roving ranged from a deep, deep indigo blue to a very light, almost undyed blue. This has resulted in much of the yarn being dark blue, or a few light shades of dark blue, with a few sections that are reminiscent of denim.
I've started a new project with the rest of the yarn. They're mitts, with cabled ribbing. I'm almost to the thumb opening on the first one. They're on hold while I finish a pair of socks up for next week. Classes start next week, and I began these socks with wearing them to the first day in mind. When I finish them, you'll get the whole story. It's a long one.