One of the best
things about knitting is working with beautiful yarn colors and
textures. Today one can find just about any texture in any color
they desire. There are many local yarn shops, on-line yarn shops,
and plenty of local craft and sewing stores that sell a wide variety of
Yarns come in different thicknesses
or weights. Located on most yarn labels is the word "ply", that means how
many strands were twisted together to form the yarn. The same goes
for embroidery threads.
Just like fabric is made of fibers, so is
yarn. The fiber content tells us what the yarn is made of. There are
basically two kinds. One is a natural fiber which would be cotton, wool,
and any type of animal like lama, rabbit, etc... The other type would be a
synthetic which would be a man-made fiber like a poly, or an acrylic. The
man-made fibers turned into yarn are a little easier to wash and they may
work better for some people who may be sensitive or allergic to the
natural animal fibers like wool. But on the other hand, some cheaper
synthetic yarns are uncomfortable to work with and wear.
I want to mention that natural yarn that
comes from animals like, lamb, rabbit, lama and many other types of
animals. The yarn comes by brushing the animal, or shaving the animal.
Then the animal hair is brushed and cleaned, and then spun on a spinning
wheel to form a skein of yarn. The animal is not hurt in anyway. I
had a student once who was upset with me because when I bought rabbit and
lama yarn from a local farm, she thought that the animals had to be killed
for me to get the yarn spun. This is simply not true and all. In fact, the
animals love to be brushed and shaved, especially during the summer months
when they are hot and need to have it done.
Yarn made from
lambs wool and then dyed from natural products like berries and
chestnuts. (a natural yarn)
Synthetic yarn (a
When deciding what yarn to use for your
project, think about the color, texture, and thickness of the yarn before
you buy it. Yarns come in thicknesses from baby which is also known as
fingering, to sport, to chunky, and even bulky yarn.
All skeins of yarn that you
buy at a store will have a label on it. On the label it should tell
you some information you will need to know, like: what type of yarn it is,
how to care for it, how much is there, how many ply it has, and the fiber
content. Some labels even have free patterns on them.
by Judi Harris