Spinning and knitting a warm winter hood

Spinning your own wool to knit for yourself or your friends is special. A knitted hood (also called a wimple or snood) is warm in winter, looks attractive and is a simple first project using a small amount of yarn.

Spinning and knitting a warm winter hood

What you'll need

Some measurements for equipment are given in both imperial and metric sizes in the event that metric-sized tools are unavailable. You will need 150 g (5 1/2 oz) plied yarn and a circular needle, size 4.00 mm, 8 (English)

What you'll do

  • Cast on 136 stitches, taking care not to twist cast-on edge
  • Tie first stitch with contrasting thread to mark beginning of each round
  • Knit two, purl two, repeat to end of round
  • Continue in 2/2 rib for 50 centimetres (20 inches)
  • Cast off loosely in rib

Variations

This knitted tube has many variations. The hood can be knitted in stripes or, if it is knitted as a möbius strip (with a twist), it sits well under the chin as a neat pleat forms. The twist can be made as you cast on or the hood can be knitted on two needles and the twist put in as you sew the join together.

Another possibility is for the tube to be knitted in two sections, half the stitches in each portion on two needles each, for 12 centimetres (five inches). Then the hood can be completed on the circular needles. This will leave a slit in the tube and, when the knitted hood is worn with the slit under the chin, the two edges form a collar which sits well.

Don't spin out of control

Spinning is an art, and you may experience some difficulties when you first begin. Keep an eye out for these common pitfalls:

  • Letting the twist get past your front hand into the drafting area so the wool fibres cannot slip past each other and drafting stops. When this happens, release the wool in the back hand, let it untwist and start again.
  • Not pinching the wool at the correct place. Make adjustments so that the pinch occurs exactly at the area where the twisted wool meets the untwisted wool.
  • Using carelessly prepared wool that does not flow smoothly. The spinning method should be a smooth, continuous movement. As you draw out one draft of fibres, the wool scales cause the moving fibres to catch on and pull out the adjacent fibres. Do not worry about the lumps and bumps that form in your yarn at this beginning stage. Simply getting a thread moving on is a great achievement at the start of spinning, and the lumps will eventually disappear with practice.
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