How To Choose Knitting Yarn
How To Choose Knitting Yarn. A great short material on the best ways to choose knitting yarn including the yarn shape and size, yarn material and colour, yarn weight, and how best to care for your yarn. Expert knitter Lucy Bennett shows you how to choose knitting yarn.
Step 1: Yarn Shapes and Sizes
Yarn comes in lots of different shapes and sizes. There are balls of yarn and there are hanks of yarn, depending on the yarn material.
Step 2: Yarn Material
Yarn is made of fibres derived from a number of different places.
Animal-based fibres such as Lambs wool is a very popular choice as it has good insulating properties, is very absorbent, holds its shape well and is very hard-wearing. Lots of scarves and socks are made from lambs wool.
Plant fibres like linen or cotton are soft, strong and very breathable and are great for making summer and children's clothes.
Man-made fibres such as polyester or nylon are cheap and easy to wash and can be an ideal choice for baby clothes and fashion items.
Mixtures of animal, plant and man-made fibres are also all widely available, so the choice of texture is really up to you.
Step 3: Yarn Colour
Yarn comes in all the colours of the rainbow and it is up to you which colours you choose.
When choosing a colour pay special attention to the dye colour. It is important that you buy all your yarn from the same dye lot. Otherwise your knitted pieces will be one shade of colour at the start and a slightly different shade at the end.
Most yarn shops will allow you to return unused balls of yarn so remember to buy extra.
Step 4: Yarn Weight
Most yarn comes in a variety of thicknesses, called weights. Here are some of the most common yarn weights.
4-ply yarn is a very thin weight of yarn and is good for making light, fine garments such as lacy shawls.
Double-knit yarn is roughly twice as thick as 4-ply and is a good weight for knitting socks and children's clothes.
Aran yarn is the most common weight and is a great choice for beginners. It's twice the thickness of double knit and is good for making scarves and hats.
Chunky or bulky yarns are twice the size of Aran yarn and knit up quickly on large needles making them great for heavy jumpers.
Step 5: Yarn after care
Washing instructions can be found on the label of the yarn that you have bought. Following the washing instructions will allow you to preserve the quality of your yarn allowing it to last for a very long time.