Hawthorne Speckle Hand-Painted Yarn by Knit Picks: Product Review

Hawthorne Speckle Handpainted Yarn by Knit Picks

Hawthorne Speckle is a delightful hand-painted sock yarn brought to you by the folks at Knit Picks. It works well for knitting, crochet, weaving, garland making, flower looming, pom-pom making, I-cord, tassel making and just about any other type of yarn craft you could imagine — except felting (also known as fulling). It doesn’t work well for felting because.it is machine washable.

What You Need to Know About Hawthorne Speckle Sock Yarn:

Fiber Contents: 80% Superwash Fine Highland Wool, 20% Polyamide (Nylon)

Care Instructions: Machine Wash Gentle/Tumble Dry Low

Knitting Gauge: 7 – 8 sts = 1″ on #1 – 3 needles (2.25mm-3.25mm)

Crochet Gauge: 21 – 32 sc = 4” on B – E hooks (2.25mm-3.5mm)

Yardage: 357 yards per 100 gram hank

Weight: Fingering

Tunisian Crochet Fabric Swatch Worked with Hawthorne Speckle Yarn

Tunisian Crochet Fabric Swatch Worked with Hawthorne Speckle Yarn

The Best Things About Hawthorne Speckle Hand-Painted Sock Yarn

Colorful Yarn Choices Hawthorne Speckle comes in a palette of 12 variegated colorways. Additionally, there’s a whole family of yarns in the Hawthorne family that can be used either on their own or together. In addition to the Speckle, there’s also a kettle-dyed version, a tonal version and a multicolored version.

So far, I’ve tried using Hawthorne Speckle on its own and paired up in combinations of two or more different colorways. In hindsight, I regret that I didn’t get some of the kettle-dyed version of Hawthorne yarn to try pairing with the speckled version. I suspect the combination will be exquisitely beautiful, and I look forward to trying it in the future.

Entertaining, Fun and Interesting to Work With, Whether You’re Knitting, Crocheting or Weaving — So far, I’ve tried crocheting, knitting and weaving with Hawthorne Speckle. In each case, I found the yarn really intriguing and fun to work with. I looked forward to each stitch and each pass of my shuttle to see what my work-in-progress would look like next.

You’re unlikely to become bored with any small or medium-sized Hawthorne Speckle project. Even a massive project like a bedspread in a repetitive stitch pattern is likely to hold your attention for quite a bit of the project if not all of it.

Hawthorne Speckle Is Surprisingly Affordable. Hand-painted yarns aren’t known for being cheap, but Hawthorne Speckle is surprisingly affordable for a hand-painted yarn. Click here to see current pricing at Knit Picks.

Hawthorne Speckle Yarn Is Machine Washable. According to the care instructions posted on the Knit Picks website, you can machine wash projects made with this yarn, and they can even be tumble dried on a low setting. Fantastic!

High Quality With No Flaws — So far, I’ve worked with 3 different hanks of Hawthorne Speckle sock yarn, and I didn’t find any flaws at all in any of them. I wound each hank of the yarn into a ball by hand, so if there had been any flaws present, I would have found them.

What to Knit or Crochet With Hawthorne Speckle Fingering Weight Yarn

Ruffled Crochet Finglerless Gloves Designed by Amy Solovay, From Delicate Crochet, Published by Stackpole Books

Ruffled Crochet Fingerless Gloves by Amy Solovay, From the Book Delicate Crochet by Sharon Hernes Silverman, Published by Stackpole Books. Hawthorne Speckle is the suggested yarn for crocheting this project.

There isn’t any limit to the types of projects you could knit and crochet with Hawthorne Speckle. However, my opinion is that it’s particularly well suited for use in making the following types of knitting and crochet projects:

  • Knitted socks; crocheted slippers and slipper socks; leg warmers; boot cuffs
  • Mitts, mittens, gloves, fingerless gloves, wrist warmers and arm warmers
  • Wraps, shawls, ponchos, capes, capelets, shrugs and ruanas
  • Scarves, cowls, neck warmers, hooded scarves and scoodies
  • Hats, headbands and head wraps
  • Clothes and accessories: sweaters, hoodies, camisoles, tank tops, skirts, dresses, etc.
  • Kids clothes: ponchos, sweaters, hoodies, hats, scarves, headbands, skirts, dresses
  • Doilies, mandalas and medallions
  • Granny squares
  • Blankets and throws
  • Pillows, cushions and pillow covers
  • Edgings and trims
  • Purses, totes, bags, pouches and wallets
  • Gadget cozies: Cell phone cozies, camera pouches, Ipad cozies, tablet cozies, laptop cases, etc. However, this is a superwash wool yarn, so be aware that it will not work for felting these sorts of projects.
  • Appliques: crochet flowers, flower-loomed flowers, knitted flowers, and other shapes.

Pattern Support for This Yarn

Knit Picks makes some lovely sock, shawl and fingerless glove patterns available on their website through their independent designer program.

I have also designed several crochet projects with this yarn; one of them is the pair of fingerless gloves pictured above, which is included in Sharon Silverman’s new pattern book called Delicate Crochet.

Weaving With Knit Picks Hawthorne Speckle Yarn

I tried weaving a swatch on a toy loom using Hawthorne Speckle as the warp and Knit Picks Super Tuff Puff as the weft. It’s an interesting combination, but if I were going to complete a project I’m thinking the bulky version of Tuff Puff would be a better choice than the Jumbo Super Tuff Puff is. There’s a massive difference between the Hawthorne and the jumbo weight Super Tuff Puff.

Of course, I also think it will be interesting to weave with Hawthorne Speckle used as both the warp and the fill. I ran out of the yarn before I ran out of ideas for using it, so I haven’t tried that yet. I’m thinking this idea would make a lovely cell phone pouch. Those of you who have larger looms will have even more options for beautiful things to weave with this yarn. Handwoven speckled scarves would be spectacular!

Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Yarn

Every Hank of Hand-Painted Yarn Is Different — Like all hand-painted yarns, the distribution of colors in Hawthorne Speckle varies widely. The hank(s) of the Speckle yarn you get in your order are going to look different than the ones you see on this page or the product page at the Knitpicks.com website. Your finished projects are also going to look somewhat different as well — which is fantastic if you want to be sure of having a unique, one-of-a-kind look.

Lace Crocheted Using Knit Picks Hawthorne Speckle Yarn

The Look of This Yarn Can Get “Busy”. — When swatching with Hawthorne Speckle yarn and using it in finished projects, I found that it can occasionally look busy when used on its own. This is particularly an issue when using it to work complex, highly textured crochet stitches or lacy crochet stitches.

One obvious solution is to use it for working simple stitches. I found it especially appealing to use this yarn for crocheting afghan stitch (Tunisian simple stitch), which is one of the most basic Tunisian crochet stitches. It’s also lovely to knit stockinette stitch and / or Tunisian knit stitch with this yarn.

Here’s one example showing afghan stitch crocheted with 3 different colors of Hawthorne Speckle handpainted yarn. This stitch is a great use for the yarn, as it avoids the “too-busy” problem.

Another obvious solution to the “busy-ness” issue: Pair the Hawthorne Speckle up with another yarn — either a solid-colored yarn or an ever-so-slightly variegated yarn like a heathered, kettle dyed or tweed yarn. This helps to balance out all the speckles and give your eyes a place to rest.

Another less obvious solution is to pair up one Hawthorne Speckle colorway with another one. You wouldn’t expect it to help if you pile more colors on top of this already-colorful yarn, would you? But when I paired up two colors of the Speckle, I loved, loved, LOVED the results. I especially love the combination of the Sherbet Speckle with the Italian Ice Speckle. The combination reminds me of a field of spring wildflowers.

I also liked the effect of pairing the Hawthorne Speckle yarn with solid-colored silk fabric, woven ribbon or trim. To my eyes, all those speckles beg to be paired with a solid or semisolid color to balance them out. I already mentioned that I think it would be gorgeous to pair the Speckled version of Hawthorne with the kettle dyed version, but that point bears repeating.


I highly recommend Hawthorne Speckle yarn to any knitters, crochet enthusiasts and yarn crafters who are in need of a colorful fingering weight yarn. I found this yarn to be wonderfully fun to work with, and I’ve used it to create several of the prettiest crochet projects I’ve ever made. I encourage you to give this yarn a try in your own projects!

Where to Buy This Yarn

Click here to shop for Hawthorne Speckle hand-painted sock yarn at Knit Picks.

More High-Quality Wool Yarn by Knit Picks

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Socks From Around Norway: Over 40 Traditional Knitting Patterns Inspired by Norwegian Folk-Art Collections, by Nina Granlund Sæther, published by Trafalgar Square Books

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Page last updated on 11-13-2023. Thanks for visiting!