The last you saw of my first finished skein of handspun was rather unceremonious, so I'm going to give it some more attention now. I bought a Subtle Stripes Kit from Cosymakes for the BF. Ever since Cosy was here back in November, the BF had admired her SOAR hat. He loved the colors in it and wanted one for himself. I told him that she had spun the yarn herself and in order for me to make one for him, I'd have to learn to spin, at the time I couldn't.
So the stars aligned (Okay, well, I learned to spin and Cosy started making kits for her SOAR hat) and I purchased a kit. Basically the kit comes with one 2 oz braid of one type of roving, and four 1/2 oz bundles of different colors (explained better at Cosy's blog on the SOAR hat link). You spin the 2 oz on one bobbin (or cop, if it's a spindle), and the for 1/2 oz bundles onto another bobbin and then ply them together.
Cosy suggest either doing a sequence of 4 or 8 (diving the bundles in half).
Now, my wont was to spin the fiber a heavy worsted weight and evenly, with a hot to cold striping pattern. The BF was having none of this. He wanted his hat to be unique and funky, and I certainly think that was the result. I spun the singles thick and thin, the 2 oz color had a lot of slubs, while the striping portion had only a few.
For the colors I let the BF choose the sequence, ultimately he decided to split the green color in half and from top to bottom have it green-blue-green-red/orange-brown/yellow/white. I had a decent amount of the 2 oz left over after plying so I andean plied it and kept it in case I needed extra yarn to finish the hat.
The BF, just to be difficult, decided that he wanted to wear it with the purl side out. It does look pretty cool with the purl side out, the slubs stick out more.
I didn't use a pattern. I started this had top down so I didn't have to do a gauge swatch, although I did have to restart. I started knitting it on US size 10.5 needles, but the fabric was very dense and I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish it at that gauge. So I switched to size 11 needles and went on my merry way.
I cast on 4 sts, and kfb the first row and I did spiral increases, *k1, m1* the first round, *k2, m1* the second, etc until it was the right size. I did switch back to 10.5 needles for the ribbing at the bottom of the hat, though.
I also did need the extra bit of yarn I made by plying the base back on itself. You can tell the bottom of the hat is a pretty silvery gray.
All in all I'm very pleased with the whole process, I think it took just over a week! Ahh, just in time for summer. ;-)