Lots of Non-Wool Yarn

Filed in Just Stitches by on July 9, 2015 0 Comments

If you read Kellie’s newsletter you know we are looking at non-wool yarns this month on EduKnit. Which is interesting because both Kellie and I really like wool — A LOT! But not everyone does … and we understand.


Even though I am a fan of wool, I also like understanding and playing with lots of other fibers as well. And interestingly, all I have been knitting on for the past month or so has been non-wool fibers. Each has been very different and they are all being used in very different projects. Hopefully you will find my insights on those choices as interesting as I did while working on them.

Indigo from Berroco

Technically I haven’t knit with this yet, but I will be swatching with it by the time you read this. However, it is VERY similar to another yarn that I have knit with previously, so I am expecting similar results. I didn’t actually choose this yarn, it was chosen for me by the magazine editor. Needless to say, I can’t say much about the design, as it is contracted for a magazine – but I can say that it is for a skirt design.

As a mostly cotton blend, I know that it will work great in a skirt. The key will be to knit it to a relatively tight gauge to minimize stretch or droop. However, even if it does grow at bit, it really won’t be much of a problem. However, it also means that I probably won’t design this much beyond knee-length. The weight of the fiber combined with gravity always results in some level of stretch. The longer the skirt, the more it will grow in length. On the plus side, the easy care makes it the perfect choice for a workhorse garment like a skirt!

Glanz Punkt from Zitron (distributed by Skacel)

Made of a silk and Tencel blend, this yarn is extremely durable; just what is needed for a beading project. The friction that comes from sliding every inch of yarn through a couple hundred beads can easy result in abrasions or – worse yet – a break. This is a particular concern with wool or wool type fibers. The luster of the yarn combined with the iridescence of  beads makes this the perfect choice for a simple piece of knitted jewelry.

This piece is destined for our Two Sides – Two Points pattern line in August. Yes, you guessed it, the topic for EduKnit next month is beading. The yarn and needles were small, but the simplicity of the design and the minimal amount of yarn required still made it a really fast knit. I have a lot left even after making a number of variations. Because the yarn was so wonderful to work with, I look forward to designing with it for something a bit larger.

Tee Cakes from HiKoo (distributed by Skacel)

The Tee in Tee Cakes actually stands for the T-shirt type material from which this “yarn” is made. My bright orange was more like light weight polo shirt material, but the basic fabric characteristics were definitely the same as T-shirts. It had been a long time since I pulled out my jumbo needles, but the extra bulky weight of the yarn had me using US #17 & US #19 needles. So the project didn’t take long, but manipulating the large needles after working on much smaller sizes for so long took some getting used to.

Between the yarn and the stitch pattern, the finished project is super stretchy, but that was the goal. I was looking to make a string style bag that would be airy and stretch to hold my swimming equipment. After a couple of days’ use I have decided that firmer straps are needed (those should be added by this weekend), but otherwise the design is good. I made up the stitch pattern which uses a quadruple wapped yarn over. Where those types of stitches can sometimes be a problem, the stretchiness of the yarn made it a non-issue. My goal is to get this pattern ready to go in the next week or so, once I have tested the new straps to make sure I am happy with the final design.

What non-wool yarns have you used and what did you like about them?

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