Do you know when you have the idea of a sweater or a scarf, but do not know which yarn to choose?
Choosing the thread for a knitting project is one of the keystones of your knitting project. This is one of the reasons why this step is paramount. Do not take it lightly.
Today, I propose you a complete article on how to choose your yarn by familiarizing yourself with the properties of the different existing fibers.
If you first choose your yarn before selecting your patterns, you may find yourself in a hell of a galley! Finding a pattern specifically designed for a yarn is not always easy. It will be necessary to work with a yarn equivalence and make a sample to check if your yarn can fit the pattern.
Warning ! Just because two yarns have the same sample does not mean that they can substitute one another successfully. If they have different characteristics: texture, drape, fiber and color, the final garment will look completely different depending on the chosen one.
Structure and flexibility
Do you want to do something that requires some structure, but is still flexible? Some fibers are more flexible than others. Wool (including merino), alpaca and acrylics add stiffness. Cotton and linen tend to be less stiffer and more flexible.
Socks are often knitted with specific yarns.
These contain about 75 to 80% natural fibers and 20 to 25% nylon. Nylon is here to reinforce the yarn mainly. The classic sock yarns are made of wool and nylon, but you can also get other beautiful blends, such as cotton, wool and nylon for summer socks, or soft, elegant fibers like cashmere , silk or bamboo. You may have bought pure cotton socks before (like me) and you may have noticed that they tend to sag after a while and not resist well. For this reason, most sock yarns will contain a significant proportion of wool to provide a structure that is fitted and resistant.
Looking for something that is even lighter with a silky effect? Choose a thread that contains silk or viscose. Viscose was invented by French scientist and industrialist Hilaire de Chardonnet as an artificial alternative to silk. Viscose is a yarn made from a variety of plants such as soy, bamboo, sugarcane or other woody fibers. So every time you see bamboo or soy yarn, it’s viscose.
Colored and self-striping yarns are very popular. There are wool yarns that knit jacquard patterns by themselves, wool with gradual color gradients. Yarns with color variations add interest and excitement to the knitting process. When used effectively, these threads create beautiful pieces with incredible color variations. However, you need to consider how the color palette will unfold to ensure you get the results you want to achieve.
Forself-striping yarns, mainly used for socks, the stripes will only appear if you work on a number of typical sock stitches, or about 56 to 68 stitches. If you use this yarn to knit a sweater, you will not get that effect!
Be careful, the more colorful the yarns, the more the shape and the pattern of the sweater must be simple. The more the yarn is united, the more texture details and finishes will be visible.
Heat and sensitivity of the skin
Are you looking for something really warm and comfortable? Choose alpaca blend yarns or wool blends for high thermal characteristics. The mohair can also be pleasantly warm even if it is very light.
Want to create something to wear for the warmer seasons? Cotton and linen are excellent fibers for spring and summer. Both cotton and linen fibers have excellent breathability and should be your first choice for tops, cardigans and summer shawls. However, 100% cotton is a bad choice for socks or anything that requires the flexibility and structure of the wool, so for summer socks, go for a cotton-blend sock yarn.
If you have sensitive skin and you find the irritating wool. Merino, cotton and cotton yarns blended with classic wool should make you happy. Mohair and angora are incredibly soft, but fine hairs can irritate the skin of very sensitive people. These are fibers to choose with care.
Whatever yarn you choose, remember that you will see a lot! Hundreds of meters will pass between your fingers as you knit your project. Make sure your efforts will not be in vain. You do not always need to spend a lot of money to get good quality, but if you do, you’ll save yourself a headache or two, and you’ll have a nice bonus!