I love single-ply lace, and, as a beginning spinner, made it my ambitious mission to come up with a skein of my own. I only had the patience for about 300 yards of the super-thin pink stuff, but it was just the right amount for a lacy Estonian-inspired cowl. And dipping the finished yarn alternately between hot and cold baths during setting made sure it would all stay together.
I spun it on my drop spindle as I unfortunately don’t yet have a wheel. There’s also something extremely satisfying about making very thin yarn on a drop spindle, and I enjoy the rhythm of it. My drop spindle is very light (18g) so can handle spinning thin singles very well as long as the staple length is long enough, and I spun it so it ended up still soft spun, quite a bit like Malabrigo Lace. It was definitely a learning experience and really resulted in my first usable handspun yarn, and I’m quite proud that it turned out so well. I must say that this project has made me a spinning convert, and I foresee many hand-spun items (and a wheel!) in my future.
If you’re blessed with the patience for extra yardage (or are using a commercial yarn), you may want to add an extra repeat of the Lace Pattern for a cowl that will fit snugly over your head. (See pattern notes.)
Experiment with chopping and changing colors in hand-dyed roving to create a flash of self-striping pattern. If nupps and hand-spun, singly-ply yarn (understandably) scare you, why not add a scattering of beads instead?
The stitch pattern used in the cowl is a classic Estonian pattern called Spruce and Diamond, and “Kuusk” is Estonian for spruce. It’s pronounced, roughly, “koosk”, but with an alluring Scandinavian spin.
Suggested yarn is alternative to the handspun merino lace weight shown.