View Full Version : Yarn Question
11-24-2007, 01:04 PM
Hey everyone. I have been knitting for about one-and-a-half years. I have only been knitting with the regular worsted weight yarn. I am not familiar with the other yarn, so I was wondering if there was a site that talks about all of the yarns and what they are good for. Thanks in advance to everyone! :grphug:
11-24-2007, 01:38 PM
Well, it sort of depends on a lot of things. Because it's not just the yarn thickness ("weight"), but also what it's made of, how tightly it was spun, that sort of thing. Not to mention the pattern-- you can make mittens out of the thickest and thinnest yarns. You say you've only worked with worsted weight-- what have you made? What I'm thinking, is that if you'd tried socks, you could try a pair in sock yarn, which is much thinner than worsted. Or you could knit a sweater out of bulkier weight yarn. If you've done color work with stranding, you could make an Icelandic sweater, which uses a somewhat bulkier yarn, called Lopi. Or if you haven't done anything other than scarves, you could try making them in other yarn thicknesses. If that's the case, I would check out www.knittingpatterncentral.com or www.knitty.com to check out their vast selection of free patterns. You could choose something that would be of a yarn weight you haven't worked with before. As I said, it also depends on that particular yarn itself. There is a wonderful sports weight yarn (thinner than worsted) by Lion Brand called Microspun. But it's extremely soft and slippery and will come out very differntly than a yarn of equal weight which is all wool and stiffer and rougher. When you work with different yarn weights, you will also need to use different sized needles, as if you use the finest yarn, lace weight, on 6mm needles, you will get a very, very loose, "holey" fabric. Whereas if you use a super bulky yarn on 6mm needles, you will get a very dense, thick, stiff fabric. A good way to experiment might be with my favorite hat pattern. It's simple and fairly quick and this pattern gives you the directions for many different yarn weights, so that you could make a few in different yarns and see what you think and like, etc.: http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/Knitting/Projects/Accessories/LW1268+Gotcha+Covered+1.htm.
Hope this hasn't just confused you more:) !
11-24-2007, 01:41 PM
Wow! Thanks so much! You really were a big help to me!
Jan in CA
11-24-2007, 01:55 PM
I dont' know of any site that specifically lists what yarn weights are good for what. The problem with this is that all the yarns can be used for different things so it's more complicated.
Here are some yarn related sites that might answer some questions though. They are good ones to bookmark for future reference.
This one doesn't tell you what they are good for, but it's good for finding fiber content and different yarns of one weight/content, etc.
Standard yarn weight tables as well as other good info
Yarn care and maintenence labels
Reading a yarn label
Estimate yardage for various projects
When you do stranded work you have to remember that you end up with a warmer item. I once spun the yarn and made a beautiful sweater that fits great but I have never worn it because it would be useful in a blizzard but it is too hot to wear for anything else! For (stranded) indoor wear I stick to fingering yarn which come out about as warm as worsted when it is stranded.
11-24-2007, 02:05 PM
You're so very welcome! When I was writing it out, I thought, this will either help, or be so confusing that she'll run screaming from her computer:rofl: . Jan's list of sites are the very best ones for general use, but also, if you run into trying to "translate" from Australian and British yarns, this can be helpful: http://www.yarnforward.com/tension.html
And Kime is absolutely right as well-- the only difference is that with traditional Icelandic pullovers, the stranding work is just at the bottom and cuffs and yoke-- the majority of the body and sleeves are worked in 1 color. But if the entire sweater is stranded, you really end up with almost double the thickness of the sweater.
11-24-2007, 02:26 PM
Another link to try is www.yarnmarket.com (http://www.yarnmarket.com).