Following on from our last post where we discussed the composition of yarn, we move on to yarn choices. Choosing yarn really is the fun part of the project and this guide should help you with your selection.
Synthetic yarns include acrylic, polyester, nylon and viscose. These yarns are man-made and often cheaper. They can be a good choice for beginner knitters, however we suggest moving onto natural or blended fibers once you’ve got the knack.
An incredibly popular knitting yarn, made from the fleece of sheep. Works well for winter garments as it is warm and durable, but also is moisture-wicking and breathable for summer-wear. Easy to clean, can be dyed in a range of colours and is usually affordable. A great knitter’s staple.
A natural, plant-based yarn, cotton is soft, versatile and breathable. With it’s easy-care properties, cotton is fantastic for baby clothes and blankets, as well as spring/summer garments and household goods such as dishcloths.
Linen is derived from the flax plant and usually comes as a blend as it has a rough natural texture. It is incredibly strong and durable and produces cool, absorbent fabrics that come with a wrinkled finish; perfect for light spring wear or a bed throw.
Mohair is spun from the hair of the Angora Goat, making it a luxuriously soft and fluffy choice. This wool has excellent insulating properties and is good for summer or winter. Due to the fluffy, elastic nature of the fiber, it can be challenging to knit and is more expensive than wool.
Cashmere comes from the Cashmere Goat and is expensive, luxurious and very soft. Incredibly, it gets softer with wear, however is not as strong as sheep’s wool. Perfect for knitting beautiful winter jumpers with its insulating properties.
Alpaca is spun from the fleece of the South-American Alpaca. This wool is a little more expensive and warmer than regular wool. It is hypoallergenic, very waterproof and super soft, guaranteeing it a wonderful choice for winter-wear.
Super-soft and fluffy, Angora comes from the coat of the Angora rabbit. Due to its extreme fluffiness it often comes blended, making it easier to work with. Seven times warmer than sheep’s wool! It is very expensive.
Strong, shiny and expensive, silk is produced from the silkworm larvae. Perfect for knitting lace or light summer clothes, however keep in mind it is slippery which can make it challenging to work with. Silk blends can be a good choice to get that luxurious feel.
Yarns are often blended to offset undesirable characteristics and to promote certain qualities. For example, you may choose a cashmere blend to help reduce the cost of 100% cashmere as well as boosting its strength.
Soft and fuzzy, chenille falls under the novelty yarn category and can be tricky to knit with. It is made to resemble the fur of a caterpillar, making it a unique and fun choice for the more experienced knitter.
Eyelash yarn has jutting strands forming an ‘eyelash’ effect. Relatively easy to use, the resulting product will have a whimsical fuzzy appearance.
Boucle yarn is made from three plies with one thread looser than the rest. This gives a looped, bulky look. Since it is produced from different threads it is usually colourful and produces distinctive ringlet curls.
What are your favourite yarns to work with? We would love to hear! Tag us in your current knit project and let’s continue the discussion.
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Image credits: Les Triconautes