Yarn selection, whether for crocheting or knitting, can be an overwhelming task. A regional yarn shop usually offers a variety of fiber structures and colors. There should be a logical way to narrow down the options. Good news – There is!
Let’s get started. Focus on your certain pattern and its function. Yarn shop personnel are usually helpful (especially independently owned shops) and can direct you to the very best yarn for your specific pattern, with consideration for drape and flow of the yarn in different stitches. But smart shoppers, like us, are always learning more about the best ways to select yarn and improve our finished work.
Baby Blanket or Snuggie
The roughness of hemp and itchiness of some wools will not bring pleasure for your hands or the baby. Look for the softest yarn available, and check the care label to ensure it is machine washable.
There is more flexibility when selecting yarn for small animal structures for infants and children. A good acrylic yarn or the stronger animal fiber yarns are generally suitable. However, when making packed animals or using a knobby or beaded yarn, make sure there are no choking hazards that might come off in those tiny energetic playing hands.
Is your product going to be used seasonally? That is, is this a summertime garment or a durable winter item like a headscarf, blanket or mittens? This will tell you whether you require a lightweight or heavy weight yarn. Another factor to think about is whether the yarn wicks away moisture like wool or absorbs it like silk. Acrylic is warm enough for winter wear but it’s not very warm when it gets damp, and it does not breathe or wick away moisture. These are all useful considerations when selecting a pattern and type of yarn.
Handcrafted clothing needs other considerations, like those time-consuming laundry issues. Even though wool and cotton hold their shape well, they both shrink and wool may felt into a strong piece of material when processed in washing machines and drying machines. Gradually, cotton tends to stretch and become misshapen. A drying board or shaping devices may be useful, for blocking garments after washing.
While color is often the easiest choice in yarn selection, remember that a multi-colored variegated yarn will often hide complex dimensional stitches. Yarn that is not constant in its thickness will also cause fancy stitches to vanish and will be challenging to frog if you make a mistake.
Ready? Let’s Go Shopping!