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LoveBugAngel
01-05-2012, 10:03 PM
Anyone have a favourite yarn for certain projects?

As you know I have just started out so I am JUST learning about different yarns. I still need the lady at the store to tell me which yarn I need to use for what.

I plan on making a baby hat for my newborn cousin and bought Sirdar Snuggly baby bamboo double knitting yarn, its sooooooo soft!!!

The yarn I used for my scarf is soft too but i find it gets like little pully things on it. For that I used Patons beehive baby chunky yarn.


Do you tend to stick to the same yarn for your hats, scarves, sweaters etc.... or do you use what the pattern calls for?

Teach me about yarn!

suzeeq
01-05-2012, 10:51 PM
You can use a similar fiber as the pattern does, often they're much too expensive for us regular knitters to use. Washable yarns - acrylics, super wash wools, cottons, blends - are better for baby and little kid things, or large items like blankets. They can also be used for sweaters and hats too if you prefer not to hand wash. Soft yarn of any fiber can pill (the little pully things) but it is soft. Some of that can be minimized by knitting it at a tighter gauge, but then it turns into something not so soft, so there's always a trade off somehow.

justplaincharlotte
01-05-2012, 11:55 PM
Anyone have a favourite yarn for certain projects?

I do have a few favorites. I like Knit Picks Wools for pretty much everything. Wool of the Andes Bulky for hats, love Knit Picks Felici superwash self striping sock yarn for socks. For socks I prefer superwash wool yarn only. But that's my opinion, your mileage may vary(YMMV).:wink:

I Love This Cotton! is a nice reasonably inexpensive worsted cotton from Hobby Lobby.

After so many years happily crocheting kids toys & afghans in Red Heart for durability, I find I loathe it for knitting - to me it feels like tire treads on my needles. :ick: Go figure... Again, YMMV.

Afraid I'd become a natural fiber snob:oops: , I was lucky enough to find an excellent acrylic baby yarn (almost sock weight) at my LYS called Babe. It knits up like a dream and from what I've seen it comes in a fairly extensive color palette.

My ultimate yarn is soft with a nice hand and tight twist...

Have fun learning what you like in yarn - there's so many new kinds of yarn come available just within the past good grief, 15 years? :noway: It's much like the search for the "perfect" knitting needles- there's something for everyone!:woot:

Before I forget: for those yarn pulls, I swear by a handheld garment shaver. Used with a light hand it zips those puppies right off of knitted garments and helps keep pulls from developing.

MrsPilgrim
01-06-2012, 02:20 AM
Im still very new to this but I've learned a tiny bit in my small steps. I first started knitting when I stumbled across boucle wool at my MIL's garage sale, she and I werent talking much until very recently so I didnt ask her advice when I finally started using it. The lesson learned, dont use mohair boucle as a beginner. Its very loopy and can be awkward to knit with, catching on the needles, and its difficult to see mistakes because of its fuzziness. For my next project I got as suggested by the pattern and bought some 8ply wool, just a few balls on special, and knitted up a nice scarf which Im very happy with.

Then on impulse, clearly not learning from my aformentioned lesson, I went and bought some really soft looking wool on special and you guessed it, it was boucle again...argghh. Its just so pretty and soft and hard to resist cloud9 ..... but ultimately a waste of money because I still havent knitted anything with it. It wasnt quite enough for a jumper and I couldnt find a blanket pattern I liked so its in my stash. For the jumper Im currently knitting I decided to go with the elcheapo $2 per ball polyester, mainly because if I need to rip or unknit I wont cry as I split and tangle the wool and damage it....I rip and unknit alot, also because I didnt know if I would like the end result. Its like a practice wool, if I like the end result it will be a gardening jumper and I'll invest in some nice wool for a nicer jumper. If I dont like the end result I can just rip back and try something new. I needed 8 balls of wool for this jumper and to me $5-$10 per ball of wool was just too big of an investment as a beginner.

suzeeq
01-06-2012, 10:34 AM
I'll give you hint about working with boucle - use much bigger needles than you think. The loops fill in the sts and being larger they're easier to get the needle into than with small needles. Maybe you can make a nice cozy wrap or shrug with it.

fatoldladyinpjs
01-06-2012, 11:17 AM
For baby items, my favorite is Bernat Baby Sport. Bernat is high quality yarn that doesn't split. This acrylic holds up well in the washing machine. New mothers don't have the time to handwash baby items. Despite your careful instructions, they will most likely toss it into the washer. You wouldn't want it to shrink. The advantage of the Bernat Baby sport is that anything knit from it is lightweight. You're not going to want a worsted weight or higher as it's too heavy weight wise and will be too hot for the baby. Babies are indoors most of the time in winter, and it's just a quick trip from a warm house to a warmed car. Car heaters get hot, so you'll want something light for the baby to wear in the car seat.

fatoldladyinpjs
01-06-2012, 11:28 AM
A lot of it, too, depends on your climate and the time of year. For warmer climates and summer time, lighter cottons would be appropriate. For winter and cold climates like yours and mine, sport and worsted weights would be right. I have two sets of winter gear. One for the early fall/early spring when the temps are milder but you still need to cover up. I use sport weight for these. Worsted or bulky weights get too warm at this time and you'll sweat. For cold and bitter cold weather, I use worsted weights. Sometimes I'll layer and wear lightweight store bought (magic gloves) under my worsted weight mittens. I don't like using bulky weights in the winter because they get too warm, even in subzero temps. I prefer to layer.

Knitpicks is the best price and quality. They have great customer service and fast delivery. Wool of the Andes worsted weight is one of my favorites as well. Even with shipping costs, I end up paying a third of the cost of what my LYS would charge for the same type of yarn.

Example, Cascade 220 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. My LYS wants $10-12 for a 50 gram hank. Knitpicks has an almost identical Wool of the Andes (in skeins so I don't have to wind them) at $2 including shipping. I bought the sampler pack with 15 skeins for around $30. You do the math. How many more skeins would you get from Knitpicks compared to your LYS? I got 15 for the price my LYS charged for 3.

Jan in CA
01-06-2012, 02:37 PM
My motto.. Life's too short to knit with crappy yarns. There are so many to choose from if one doesn't suit you another one is around the corner. ;)

For babies I usually use something soft and washable. I like Plymouth Jeannee or Berroco Comfort and use them a lot. I sometimes use Plymouth Encore as well.

For other things it varies on who it's going to, what it is, etc. I buy 99% of my yarn in my local yarn store. I like to support them when I can.

fatoldladyinpjs
01-06-2012, 07:22 PM
A lot of it is your preference. You'll find your favorites as you gain more experience. It has to do with what's available, too. Some local stores just don't have much of a variety. Some lines have limited colors that I don't like. I would love to buy locally rather than online, but they either don't have what I want or are too high in price.

justplaincharlotte
01-06-2012, 07:48 PM
For baby items, my favorite is Bernat Baby Sport. Bernat is high quality yarn that doesn't split. This acrylic holds up well in the washing machine. New mothers don't have the time to handwash baby items. Despite your careful instructions, they will most likely toss it into the washer. You wouldn't want it to shrink.


I really liked the Bernat Baby Jacquards when machine knitting just for those reasons, but I have yet to work it by hand. I'd cry if someone threw my hand knit wool baby sweater into a washer & dryer!:cry:

That's why I was so happy to find Babe at my LYS for half off during their end of year yarn sale - bought a whole bag of their color #6, a gorgeous buttermilk color. And I won't have to worry about it going into the wash!

MrsPilgrim
01-06-2012, 09:38 PM
I'll give you hint about working with boucle - use much bigger needles than you think. The loops fill in the sts and being larger they're easier to get the needle into than with small needles. Maybe you can make a nice cozy wrap or shrug with it.

The original wool at the garage sale actually came with large needles, I will keep that in mind when I find a pattern I like. I did make the first boucle into a fat scarf which looks rather plain so its become a lamp dimmer/ decorative coffee table cover. I still have 3or 4 large balls of this blue boucle, much smaller loops which I would like to make into a small lap rug. I cant recall who it was but someone here suggested blanket stitch, a pattern which would stand out with boucle. Im thinking it will be a nice Autum project when I find a pattern, its mid summer where I am.

suzeeq
01-06-2012, 09:54 PM
I'm not familiar with blanket stitch, but mostly a textured pattern is going to get lost in a textured yarn. Plain stockinette, garter or a basketweave (k 5, p5 for 6 rows, then p5 k5) works pretty well. Even a yo k2tog eyelet pattern can be okay.

MrsPilgrim
01-06-2012, 10:02 PM
Ahh thats it, basket weave, I swear I have the memory of a 90 year old. Im going to cut and paste your advice into a notepad and save it in my pattern folder, thankyou for the tips Suzeeq. :aww:

LoveBugAngel
01-06-2012, 10:43 PM
I'll give you hint about working with boucle - use much bigger needles than you think.



What is boucle?


For baby items, my favorite is Bernat Baby Sport

I just bought Bernat baby breath today. Is that similar?

suzeeq
01-06-2012, 11:14 PM
Boucle is a yarn with small loops on it, like Bernat Soft Boucle (http://www.bernat.com/product.php?LGC=softboucle). This is Bernat Baby Sport (http://www.bernat.com/product.php?LGC=babysport), I don't see a Baby Breath, did you mean Baby Cakes (http://www.bernat.com/product.php?LGC=babycakes)?

MrsPilgrim
01-07-2012, 12:27 AM
Theres different types of boucle out there but this looks like the stuff I first used. The boucle I have stashed for the lap blanket is finer, with much smaller loops.

These are 3 different examples but should give you an idea I what I was talking about.

Ball of boucle
http://www.recycledsilk.com/images/orlandodyedsw.JPG

How boucle looks stretched out
http://1.imimg.com/data/F/K/MY-75965/Cutsilk_250x250.jpg

Knitted look
http://mksoriginals.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/302_pale_blue_boucle_hat.339184726_std.JPG

Shandeh
01-07-2012, 01:01 AM
Bernat Baby's Breath is discontinued now, but you can still find it in Big Balls at craft stores.

I used some of it to knit a baby blanket for Project Linus.
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5298/5485483830_0c59eb4eac.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59646927@N00/5485483830/)
Pretty & Fluffy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59646927@N00/5485483830/) by Shandeh (http://www.flickr.com/people/59646927@N00/), on Flickr

Ingrid
01-07-2012, 01:25 AM
I agree with Jan. If I'm going to invest all that time in a piece of knitting that I want to have last a while and that I can be proud of, I'm going to get a yarn worthy of my time and effort.

You'll never find an itchy merino wool. There is so much variety on line and in yarn shops than you'd ever see in the local hobby stores. They're more expensive. . . but you're worth it, daahling!

I've fondled some lovely wool in a shop and ordered it in line because the price is so much more reasonable. I feel a little guilty, but I have to stay in business, too--paying-my-bills-business.

www.littleknits.com or www.elann.com often have some really delicious yarns at greatly reduced prices.

LoveBugAngel
01-07-2012, 01:48 AM
I don't see a Baby Breath, did you mean Baby Cakes (http://www.bernat.com/product.php?LGC=babycakes)?

Apparently it's discontinued! This is it here Baby Breath (http://www.bernat.com/discontinued.php?LGC=babysbreath)


Oh and whats the deal with this Worsted Weight yarn??? I see it listed in the yarn store and listed for a lot of patterns but how does it differ from other yarns, how do you know if you are using worsted weighted?

LoveBugAngel
01-07-2012, 01:51 AM
Bernat Baby's Breath is discontinued now, but you can still find it in Big Balls at craft stores.

I used some of it to knit a baby blanket for Project Linus.
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5298/5485483830_0c59eb4eac.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59646927@N00/5485483830/)
Pretty & Fluffy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59646927@N00/5485483830/) by Shandeh (http://www.flickr.com/people/59646927@N00/), on Flickr
Oh this is so cute! How did you like knitting with it? All I got to do was cast on then my needles broke so I didn't really get a feel for it yet.

MrsPilgrim
01-07-2012, 02:11 AM
I agree with Jan. If I'm going to invest all that time in a piece of knitting that I want to have last a while and that I can be proud of, I'm going to get a yarn worthy of my time and effort.

You'll never find an itchy merino wool. There is so much variety on line and in yarn shops than you'd ever see in the local hobby stores. They're more expensive. . . but you're worth it, daahling!

I've fondled some lovely wool in a shop and ordered it in line because the price is so much more reasonable. I feel a little guilty, but I have to stay in business, too--paying-my-bills-business.

www.littleknits.com or www.elann.com often have some really delicious yarns at greatly reduced prices.


Living on a very small budget, knitting for me needs to be practical as well as enjoyable, paying $150 for a pure wool cardigan was just way out of my reach. I make my own sourdough breads for 1/2 of what the bakery charges, and cook all of my meals from scratch for the same reasons.

After all this yarn talk I thought I would have a look in my own backyard to see whats available online. Living in Australia its more economical to buy from here than overseas and I like supporting the locals. After getting through the first two pages of google (full of boutique yarn sellers) I did come accross some very reasonably priced wool on a few sites so Im glad this topic came up, it forced me to do research beyond the overpriced, craft, chain store I've been using down the street. Once Im done with this jumper I really can invest in some nice Aussie wool and not feel like I broke the bank. :)

suzeeq
01-07-2012, 02:28 AM
Worsted is a medium weight yarn, usually has a 4 on the label, or the little gauge icon will say that it uses size 8/5mm needles. Other yarns are thicker - bulky or super bulky and use larger needles - or thinner, like the baby or sport weight yarns which use smaller needles.

Shandeh
01-08-2012, 12:56 AM
Oh this is so cute! How did you like knitting with it? All I got to do was cast on then my needles broke so I didn't really get a feel for it yet.

Thanks! I am a tight knitter, so I had to force myself to let the yarn flow and relax my grip on it, to make it easier to stitch with. Also, I had to try different kinds of knitting needles (wood, plastic, metal), before I finally settled on the ones I used - plastic.

I've learned that some yarns work better with certain knitting needles. So, before I give up on a yarn, I try it with all the types of needles I have available.

Jan in CA
01-08-2012, 02:05 AM
There are some nicer less expensive yarns. Plymouth Encore and Berroco Vintage to name a few. Not all the stuff in hobby stores is awful either. There are some nice ones if your budget is tight. I'm just thinking you don't need to stick to Red Heart Super Saver. Even washed that stuff is not that soft. It hurts my hands to knit with it.

ArtLady1981
01-09-2012, 07:17 PM
I love natural fibers...whether they be animal-based, or plant-based.

I like some acrylic yarns. And there is a definite good case for the purchase of acrylic yarns.

Matching the right yarn to the right project is a GOAL that I swear is never fully attained! :wink:
I can still manage to blunder in this department!

However, that said...my worst blunders in the past two years have always been because I didn't use the yarn recommended. AND I MEAN WORST. My alternative choice of yarn was a total trainwreck. WRECK.

But who knew? :pout:

Advice: if you chose an alternate yarn...find your project on Ravelry...and LOOK AT all the other projects knit up. Read the knitter's notes. ALSO, find your yarn on Raverly, and READ all the notes made by others about the yarn.

A lot of problems can be avoided if you research your project and your yarn in this way.
I do it ALL THE TIME. I learned the hard way. I don't consider myself an expert at all.
So I do my homework before launching into a major project. Even a scarf is a major project
because you spend a lot of time on it!

When I read other's notes...I learn what NOT TO DO. And/or what yarn NOT TO USE.
In addition to reading the success stories!

LoveBugAngel
01-12-2012, 10:24 PM
So if a pattern calls for a certain yarn, how do you know what alternative you can use?

suzeeq
01-12-2012, 10:49 PM
You can look on www.yarndex.com and search for something that gets a similar gauge. Or on ravelry you can find the pattern's page, then there's a button to search for other yarns people used for the same pattern.

LoveBugAngel
01-25-2012, 10:36 AM
So if a pattern calls for Pattons Shetland Ragg (100 g) do I just need to look for a yarn that is 100 g?

justplaincharlotte
01-25-2012, 11:27 AM
So if a pattern calls for Pattons Shetland Ragg (100 g) do I just need to look for a yarn that is 100 g?

LBA, if I searched correctly on the yarndex site, you're looking for a bulky yarn that is 75% acrylic, 25% wool that gives you about 121 yds. to 100 g and on the label knits 15 sts to 4 inches on 6 mm (size 10 US) needles. Since this is a Ragg yarn, you're also looking for a 2 color twisted yarn to get about the same result. Take a look at the About This Yarn box on yarndex.com for my search results on Patons Shetland Ragg. http://www.yarndex.com/yarn.cfm?yarn_id=4023

Whenever you're substituting yarn, that's the box with all of the info to make a reasonable substitution. Here, if you use Shetland Chunky Multi in any color combo you like it should substitute easily size wise but you may not get the look of a ragg because they're variegated, not a 2 color twist. To sub for a local wool that is Ragg, I'd go with the gauge results in a 2 color twist( i.e. 2 plies natural, one pile brown).

Shandeh
01-25-2012, 12:12 PM
So if a pattern calls for Pattons Shetland Ragg (100 g) do I just need to look for a yarn that is 100 g?

No. 100 g is just how much the yarn weighs. You need to substitute a yarn that is the same THICKNESS.

Antares
01-25-2012, 02:09 PM
I'm just thinking you don't need to stick to Red Heart Super Saver. Even washed that stuff is not that soft. It hurts my hands to knit with it.

Jan, several years ago I made a camera case out of Red Heart Super Saver and have been using it frequently. The other day I was surprised to find that the case is now very very soft.

However, I have to agree with you: in general, that stuff is scratchy, and since wearing it out like I did doesn't work for most projects, I would only use it for rugs or other non-clothes items!!

I use a lot of Caron Simply Soft for baby blankets and such. One friend with three kids (and, subsequently, three baby blankets from me) swears by that yarn as she has machine washed and dried the blankets gazillions of times, and they always come out looking brand new! Caron has lots of interesting colors, too!

I'm very interested in buying my next yarn from elann! Thanks, Ingrid, for the link to the other online yarn store. Does anyone know of any others besides what's already listed in this thread?

suzeeq
01-25-2012, 04:40 PM
The 100gr is the weight of the skein; when we talk about weight of a yarn that's whether it's fingering, dk, worsted or bulky. Many yarns are put up in the same 100 gr skein but 100g of lace would 880 yds, sock would be 440 yds and bulky would be about 120 yds or so. So you need something that will knit to the same gauge as the original yarn, which sounds like a bulky yarn. You need the same yardage, no matter how many skeins that would take of your substitute

suanough
01-25-2012, 05:33 PM
ArtLady1981, Your FO is stunning! Was it a pattern or is it freehand? Thank you for sharing...

LoveBugAngel
01-26-2012, 07:13 PM
No. 100 g is just how much the yarn weighs. You need to substitute a yarn that is the same THICKNESS.

So why doesn't it say how thick it is in the pattern? Seems kinda dumb!

LoveBugAngel
01-26-2012, 07:15 PM
Ps. The baby breath yarn that I was talking about earlier in this thread that I said I bought. I absolutely hate it. I can't knit cables with it, it gets all messed up. I'm actually considering donating it to my aunt who wants to learn to knit. I can do garter stitch with it fine, but it was not what I was looking to do with it. Unfortunately I bought 5 friken balls of it. Ugh

suzeeq
01-26-2012, 07:59 PM
They want you to use the same yarn in the pattern, that's how you derive the thickness of it. To substitute you would look for something that knits to the same gauge (stitches per inch) on the same needles.

Jan in CA
01-26-2012, 08:31 PM
That yarn isn't too bad, but cables generally look best in a smooth yarn. Boucle tends to hide pattern and details.

New knitters often choose the soft, fluffy or boucle yarns, but it's easiest to learn with a smooth, light colored yarn. If you like the yarn otherwise you could save it for a project where detail isn't important. Like a garter stitch baby blanket or something.

Shandeh
01-26-2012, 11:51 PM
So why doesn't it say how thick it is in the pattern? Seems kinda dumb!

Every pattern will tell you which yarn to use, and they will also list the gauge (stitches per inch) you should get with the yarn and the size needles they require.

Also, it helps to look at a photo of the finished product. You have to look closely at the stitches, to see what kind of yarn was used. You'll want to use a similar type of yarn as the designer used for their item.

If you want to substitute a different yarn, you should first look up all the information you can find about the yarn the designer listed on the pattern. It might say that it is "worsted" or "sportweight" or "bulky" or "super bulky". Usually, you can find the website for the brand name of that yarn, and you will see a webpage just for that specific yarn.

After knowing all you can about the required yarn, you should then try to find a suitable substitute. You'll want to look at the label on the yarn, to see the details of the type of yarn it is. Here is a website that will walk you through how to understand the information on the yarn label.
http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/label.html

Before long, you'll be able to grab just the right yarn to make substitutes. It just takes a little time and experience. Don't give up! :thumbsup:

Shandeh
01-26-2012, 11:58 PM
Ps. The baby breath yarn that I was talking about earlier in this thread that I said I bought. I absolutely hate it. I can't knit cables with it, it gets all messed up. I'm actually considering donating it to my aunt who wants to learn to knit. I can do garter stitch with it fine, but it was not what I was looking to do with it. Unfortunately I bought 5 friken balls of it. Ugh

You might want to hold on to it, and use it for a different project later. Lots of knitters hold onto yarn, and save it for future use. (I'm one of them! My yarn stash is HUGE!!)

All yarns have their purpose. Some yarns are very thin, and are perfect for knitting or crocheting tiny baby designs....or doll clothes. Other yarns are very thick, and can be used to create finished projects very quickly.

You'll find fluffy yarns, which are fun to make scarves and blankets with. And you'll also see some very silky yarns, that are nice for making tops and shawls. Standard worsted weight yarn has it's purpose as well.

Within all the weight categories (fingering, light, dk, sportweight, worsted, aran, chunky, bulky, super bulky), you'll find several different types of yarn. You'll see about 20 different kinds of yarns that are worsted weight. Some are fluffy, some are smooth, some are silky, and some are rough. They each have their purpose, and you'll eventually learn which yarns work best with specific projects.

Hang in there. Getting to know different yarns is fun! :)

LoveBugAngel
01-27-2012, 05:32 PM
Ahh I see. So maybe I should try using it for garter stitch rather than doing cables with it. I actually bought it because the pattern on the lable is a cable blanket and looked so nice, but I think I will save it for another project or try using it for garter stitch. I appreciate all your responses! I'm really enjoying learning about all these yarns!
If anyone is interested I have a knitting store up the street from my place and this is the selection they sell, http://www.yarnfwd.com/#

it looks as though you can order it online :)

suzeeq
01-27-2012, 09:22 PM
It may be okay in a cable pattern, but you need a little larger needle than you think, crossing the sts can be kind of tight with a yarn like that.

LoveBugAngel
01-30-2012, 01:14 PM
So I am now using the dreaded yarn that I didn't like to make a baby blanket but instead of doing cables with it I am doing garter stitch. But since I just learned how to knit on the diagonal (like a dish cloth) I have decided to knit the blanket this way! I have just started the decrease and it's sooo much easier than to try and knit cables with it!

suzeeq
01-30-2012, 01:17 PM
Yes, if you have a textured yarn, a plain st shows off the yarn better. Textured sts are better with a smooth yarn.