FO: Handspun Francis sweater

This sweater is five years in the making.

Handspun natural grey colored wool sweater with cowl neck

I started spinning it not very long after I first learned to spin - I bought a load of wool top, and started spinning it on my toy wheel spindle.

The gray is a pool wool blend from Spunky Eclectic, and the cowl was knit from BFL/camel from HilltopCloud.

Closeup texture of handspun sweater

Parts of it are hilariously badly spun - underspun, overspun, thick and thin from super bulky to fingering. But it's amazing how knitting can even things out.
(I also alternated skeins, so the differences from skein to skein were not as noticeable. Still, the hand of the fabric is very different at the neckline than on the sleeves...)

Handknit sweater spun on a drop spindle in natural grey and brown wools

The pattern is Francis Revisited, a simple top-down raglan with a cowl neck. I made several mods, which you can read on the Rav project page. The main ones are I made the cowl bigger, and I switched out seed stitch edges in favor of hems.

It's too short, it's heavy, it's rustic, but I'm just so proud of it. I spun, and knit, a sweater. What used to be fluff, is now a garment that will keep me warm (very warm).

Spinning work in progress spindle-spinning a sweater from natural grey wool

And that wool - that wool has been with me through thick and thin (er, pun not intended). It's been with me through carpet beetles and moths, through a trans-Atlantic move, through no less than seven different bedrooms. When I first got that lovely, soft grey wool, I was living in a dorm room my first year of university. How far we have come together! And with luck, we'll go many places more together in the future.



  1. Wow, that is gorgeous! Nice work, and what an accomplishment!

    1. Thank you! It's killing me that I can't wear it yet - finished it just as we got 27C/80F degree weather!

  2. That's amazing! I have trouble keeping track of something for six months, so seven years is quite the long haul. It looks great, and not nearly as 'rustic' as I would expect from beginners handspun. Good Job!

    1. Believe me, it's plenty rustic ;) If I had focused on just spinning that, it would have only taken a few months of spinning, it's just the work was incredibly spaced out... ie I spun a skein, forgot about it for a year and a half, lather rinse repeat!