Think Tank: Yarn Choices

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 12, 2012 4 Comments

As you might be able to guess, the swatch above contains LOTS of different yarns.  In fact, it is a swatch for my next jacket and uses primarily leftover bits and pieces.  So I can easily say I have worked with almost everything.  But even so, I still have to say that wool and wool blends are still my favorite as they work superbly with knitted fabrics.  But, as was pointed out earlier, some folks are allergic to wool, so it is just not an option.

My answer is this, experiment!  Part of understanding how different fibers will behave is to actually use and play with those fibers.  There is no rule that says every bit of our knitting must be destine for a project of some sort.  It is completely acceptable (some might say wise) to just buy a single skein and swatch with it.  Try different needle sizes and different stitch pattern then block the fabric and discover what works and what doesn’t work.

As a rule, animal based fibers are lighter than plant based fibers causing plant based fibers to tend to stretch or grow more than animal fibers.  Personally, I find that knitting plant fibers on a slightly tighter gauge helps the fabric maintain its original look and feel.  The down side is since plan fibers do not give, knitting tightly tends to be harder on the hands. The other option is to just be very aware of how the fabric will change after blocking and based on the weight of the garment.  This is a great reason to check out knitted samples in person when ever possible!

What is your favorite fiber to work with?!

Tags: , ,