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Crochet With Good Quality Yarn

You might assume that all skeins spur the same but it is not true. So, as you are stand in front of a store and see a huge collection of yarn, how do you decide which one is best for you? This article will provide you with everything you need to know beyond just reading the label.

Starting with the definition, a yarn is a textile made of animal based or plant fibers. The animal based fibers include sheep’s wool, mohair, mahogany and angora. The plant based fibers are cotton, hemp, and silk. These fibers are spun together into thicker strands. The number of interlocked fibers will affect the stitch definition, drape and general feel of the yarn.

Weight Categories of a Yarn

  • Category 0: lace. This is the lightest weight of a yarn and it is mainly used for making lacy designs and patterns or doilies. If you are working with this category, ensure you treat it gently to avoid tangling.
  • Categories 1, 2 and 3: Superfine, fine and light. This category is best suited for small items such as socks, gloves or baby wear. The fine yarn is usually referred to as sport weight.
  • Category 4: Medium. This is a common weight and knitters of all skill levels feel comfortable working with it because it provides a great stich definition in mittens, sweaters, scarves and hats. Another advantage of using this weight category is that is enhances the warmth of a fiber.
  • Category 5&6: Bulky and super bulky: this weight is ideal if you want to produce fast projects on big needles.  Such items may include blankets, heavy scarves and throws. It is also good for beginners as they can see the results of their knitting in no time. It is equally good for advanced knitters who would want to create a unique item with novel yarn.  Just remember to knit loose and large stiches for the best strike. Otherwise you might end up with uneven knits and a reduced stich definition.

Common Fibers

Wool is derived from the fleece of sheep and is one of the most popular yarns. It is affordable and easy to handle. Due to its durability and resistance to moisture, it is an ideal choice for winter garments as well as summer wear because it is also breathable. Sometimes it is mixed with other fibers to enhance its durability. Its natural color is creamy white making it easy to be dyed a range of colors. Take care of it by washing in lukewarm water as it peels over time.

Mohair is a fluffy and luxurious fiber that is one of the warmest animal fibers. It has a soft sheen and is light in weight.  This fiber is very elastic and can stretch and spring back in shape. This quality makes it resistant to sagging and wrinkling. However, due to its fluffy nature, knitting can be difficult and may not provide you with defined stiches.  In order to add weight, it is often mixed with wool or silk. Some people will find it irritating to the skin. You can machine wash or dry clean.


Cotton is the most common natural plant fiber. Its smooth texture makes it great for displaying complicated stich work. It drapes very well but its inelastic nature makes it prone to splitting as you are knitting. You can machine wash cotton.

Cashmere is of superb quality and the softness eventually improves the more you wear a garment. Its superior insulation makes it a suitable choice for making winter cardigans and accessories. This luxurious fiber is truly beautiful. It is often blended with various fibers to make it more affordable. You can stich loosely because it does not breathe well.

Angora: this type of fiber is derived from the fur of the Angora rabbit. It is warm and has a silky soft texture. As a luxurious yarn it is very expensive. Yet, it is slippery and may not be a great fit for knitting elaborate stiches. To have a firm grip you will need to choose a textured set of needles. It easily stains although it is resistant to odors.

Alpaca: this dense fiber is hypoallergenic and so if you have a sensitive skin you can feel comfortable working with it. Most of the time his fiber over-drapes and that’s why it is mixed with other natural fibers to fortify the tension. You can dry clean or hand wash.

Silk is smooth and lustrous and has a more expensive fiber. It is great for knitting lightweight garments but often clings a lot. To counter the static effect, you can choose a variety of silk that is tightly spun with a higher ply.

As the oldest man-made fiber, rayon can imitate the properties of natural fibers. It is cool and feels comfortable on the skin therefore making it a perfect choice for summer wear. It can be hand washed but be sure to check the label for additional instructions.

Understanding the Label

Each ball of yarn will have a label which informs you on everything you need to know such as the fiber content, weight instructions, suggested needle size and washing instructions. The fiber content refers to the material of yarn which is often written in percentages.

The weight is the total thickness and is measured in wraps per inch. The care instructions are provided to enlighten you on how to wash and dry your knitted garment.  The suggested needle size is the number of stiches you can make including rows.

The dye lot number indicates the color of the yarn. If you are buying in multiples, remember to confirm if the colors match. Two shades can appear to be similar when you are buying but the subtle difference can become so clear in the final knitted wear.

Finally choose a yarn that best suits your project. Consider the specific washing instructions, the weather in which you are going to wear the item, and the size and shape of the item.

Author: Digital Solutions   

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