Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Tips and Tricks Using Homespun and Homespun Thick & Quick

December 4th, 2013

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Homespun® and Homespun® Thick & Quick® have become two of our most popular yarns because of their softness, colorways, and versatility. Whether it is the unique painterly shades or the bouclé texture, people are just drawn to it. Before trying out a new yarn it’s always good to know the best ways to use it in order to create amazing projects. Here are some things that we at Lion Brand think you should know when it comes to handling this plush yarn

Keep it Loose

We recommend that you bind off and cast on loosely, so stitches will go on and off with ease.  You can accomplish this by either using large needles, like a size 13 (9mm), or hook, like a size N-13 (9mm), which will create a loose stretch. Or if you prefer to control the tension yourself, use a relaxed tension that you’re comfortable with so stitches will come off smoothly regardless of needle size.

It’s All In The Fingers

This is the type of yarn that you really have to “feel” the stitches — normally you would look for the loop to insert your needle or hook. Another option is to use an additional strand of yarn, preferably a fingering weight yarn like Sock-EaseTM, to help see the stitches.

Note: By adding another strand, you are adding support but also thickness. So be sure to keep that in mind when considering the gauge.

Draping 101

Because Homespun® and Homespun® Thick & Quick® are so soft, they’re perfect yarns for drapey garments, like  afghans, shawls, and shrugs. Personally, I love making this V-Stitch Cocoon Shrug because the large stitches make it very lace-like, but still incredibly warm — not to mention it will finish fast.

On the Fringe

If you like putting edges and fringes on your garments, it’s best to use a looped fringe instead of a cut fringe. Scalloped edges also look nice when using Homespun, giving it a nice seamless look. Click here to see how you can make a looped fringe or scalloped edge.

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  • Elly

    I tried and tried with this yarn, but I just can’t like it. I find it very difficult to work with. I crochet. I have trouble even feeling the stitches with this yarn, and then when I inevitably to miss a stitch, I can’t frog it – this yarn tangles horribly. Unless I can substitute a yarn easily, I don’t even bookmark projects using this yarn. Sad, as it seems very popular, and it is pretty and soft.
    If fellow crocheters have any tips, I’m open to them. I traded away the balls of homespun I had.

    • Petrina

      That’s unfortunate to hear. I am mainly a fast crocheter, but when I work with Homespun I am usually a lot slower and more careful than normal. The same goes when you might have to frog it, just take it slow (even though I love crochet because of the easy ability to start over). The other thing would be to also just add another strand of a different yarn to help.

    • Pam

      I totally agree with you. The only way I can even make a scarf is to simply garter stitch it with huge needles. It’s so pretty, but impossible to work with. Pam

  • deebee

    I have used this yarn for both crochet and knit and definitely prefer to knit with it. The stitches are on the needles, you can see them. I enjoy all my Homespun projects.

  • Nadia

    I also tried to crochet an afghan with this yarn and gave up after a few rows because it is too difficult to see the stitches and ripping it out was a nightmare. I have found a knit pattern (Splendid Triangle Shawl) that uses this yarn and larger needles that I plan to try. I think knitting this yarn will be much easier since you aren’t “looking” for the stitches like in crochet. I had bought a stash on sale about a year ago and have been sitting on it waiting for the perfect project to come along. I can’t say I would buy it again because I am not an avid knitter and this yarn is too difiicult to crochet.

    • Petrina

      Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  • Mary Ellerd

    I knit only, but it took me several years after first learning to knit before I felt comfortable knitting with Homespun. Even though I knit loosely, I was apparently holding the yarn too tightly and it would seemingly “shift” as if it were sliding around a central core as I knitted. I hold it more loosely now and have no problems with it at all.

  • Melanie

    I am an avid crocheter & love working with the homespun yarn. I normally use worsted weight yarns, but this works up so nice. I came up with my own scarf pattern for it (just sc) & they are so soft & warm. I’ve made 12 scarves with it in just the last month for orders from non-crafty coworkers for Christmas gifts. The only thing I don’t like about it is you can’t use it for fringe. But I came up my own for the scarves, slip stitch in the stitch, chain 4, slip stitch in same stitch, repeat in each stitch to the end. I’ve made a couple afghans and a few baby afghans with it, but prefer to use it for things that don’t get stretched too much. Doesn’t have a great “bounce-back” factor.

  • Betty

    My problem is with joining another skein….any tips!

  • meg

    I knit a prayer shawl with Homespun, and decided to wash it before giving it to my friend. I washed it in cold water on the delicate cycle, and was astounded at the amount of “fluff” that came off it in the washer. There were wads of it. Then I put it in the dryer on low, and the whole lint trap was full. There were also more wads of fluff on the dried shawl. I had to apologize to my friend because it looked like it was 10 years old and well-used, instead of brand new.

    Unfortunately, I bought a lot of this yarn, but I don’t know if I’d ever use it again.

  • Kit

    I have found Homespun and Homespun Thick and Quick very easy to knit with IF I use aluminum knitting needles in a larger size than is usually recommended, as well as holding the yarn loosely and knitting with a loose tension. Much harder to knit these yarns on wood, bamboo, or most plastics. The yarn seems to need to be able to slide on the needle a little or something like that.

    Neither Homespun nor Homespun Thick and Quick are fast knitting yarns, but there are other yarns that slow me down considerably more than these two yarns do. I knit at about my average speed on these yarns, and I find them very easy on my hands, so I can knit for a long time at one sitting.

    I do knit mostly by feel and not by sight, which helps with these yarns as someone earlier mentioned. It helps with many novelty yarns. But the main reason I knit mostly by sight is so that I can converse or do other activities at the same time. I even knit in class when I have the professor’s permission, which is usually easy to get if I knit quietly (even on aluminum needles) and keep up with what is happening in class. And yes I do knit with homespun in class, by touch. It just takes practice and a gentle touch. Of course it took a lot of practice to get to where I can knit homespun in class by touch, but I like the yarn enough and use it often enough that I can knit it without looking and still keep a decent pace. On the other hand, I knit a lot more than most people I know who are knitters, since I take knitting with me practically everywhere and knit whenever I can, even in lines at the checkout counter.

    I haven’t noticed any particular problems with washing or drying this yarn, but maybe I have been lucky.

  • Lorie

    I LOVE the colors and the feel of Homespun. However, I, too, have a problem with the yarn “seemingly “shift” as if it were sliding around a central core as I knitted”. I have knit multiple sweaters and shawls and always get frustrated because I constantly have to “fix” the bunches in the yarn. I am a thrower and have tried a looser hold and this still does not fix the problem. Wish I could find a solution!

  • Cindy

    It’s a lot easier to knit with than crochet with.

  • Jo

    I love this yarn. It’s so soft and the colors are spectacular. But I doubt I’ll ever use it again. I crocheted a granny square afghan and the yarn is so slippery that the places where I’ve joined different colors are not holding. Knots work loose and the whole thing is coming apart. I also made a much simpler pattern and am having a similar problem. The yarn ends are constantly working loose and sticking up. Any suggestions?

    • Petrina

      It sounds like your tension may be too loose. Perhaps try a size smaller hook or tighten the tension just a bit. Also for the yarn ends a Russian join might work well for this situation if you are using multiple Homespun colors. Hope this helps

      • Jo

        Thanks! Great suggestion. I’ll try it.