The knitting yarn is one of the most important pieces of equipment, if you can call it that, used in the craft of knitting. The yarn, specially made for hand-knitting, is sold in the form of balls or hanks, giving you an easy surface to use it without getting it entangled. Without knitting yarn of the right variety, not only will you have problems in putting together something of note, you will also find it hard to create garments of high quality.
Picking the right kind of yarn for your projects is very important and if you want to take up knitting as a hobby or as a profession, you need to know how to get your hands on the right kind of yarn. Here's a look at some of the things you need to know about knitting yarn.
Characteristics of Knitting Yarn
When buying knitting yarn, the label will tell you everything you need to know about the material you are about to buy. The label, by regulation, has to carry information about the weight of the yarn, the length of the string, the lot number in which the yarn was dyed, the details of the dye colour and composition, instructions to wash the yarn, the kind of needle you need to use with it and more.
The best way to ensure that you create a uniform and good looking dye is by ensuring that the dye lot is the same for all the balls or hanks you buy. The dye lot being same ensures that the quality of the yarn going into the dye, the duration for which it was in there and, therefore, the quality & colour of the yarn will be the same as what you've used earlier. Yarn from different lots may appear absolutely the same, but there are always differences when you look closer into things - which isn't going to look good on the final product because when you knit their stitches together, those small dissimilarities would become more pronounced and ruin your design.
When you buy knitting yarn and use it, you will find that handling it depends on the kind of yarn you bought and, in the end, it is the yarn that will decide how good your final creation will be. You may use the world's best knitting techniques in the most perfect ways, but if the yarn isn't strong enough or has been mixed up in terms of colour, you can forget about finding something interesting at the end of your hard work.
As mentioned earlier, the dye lot can affect the colour of the strand and, when compounded, will ruin the look of your outfit. Similarly, the thickness of the knitting yarn also plays a massive role as does its weight. These two factors combine to tell you what the gauge of the yarn is and, therefore, will also tell you how many stitches you can put into a row and what kind of area you will need to get that kind of a stitching pattern.
The thickness will also determine the kind of needle you will need to create something out of that knitting yarn. The thicker the yarn is, the thicker your needle will need to be to handle it. However, thicker yarns will also require lesser time to complete projects because they take up a lot more space and, therefore, cover more area in fewer stitches. However, when it comes to patterns or designs, you will find that thinner yarns are a lot better in showing off minute detailing on the garments you design. The thicker the yarn, the bolder the effect will be but in terms of sharpness, the design will be quite diluted.
Working with Knitting Yarn
There are several elements that decide how you should handle a particular yarn in a particular way and why. Its ability to trap air, the tension that it allows you to create while staying elastic, the durability against water or even abrasion, and more, are just some of the things that determine how you need to use that knitting yarn and what you should make out of it.
The yarn's weight is also a determining factor when it comes to using it because how it comes together is important in judging the kind of garment you can make out of it. There are some yarns that come with the in-built capability to untwist themselves and, therefore, are more resilient to strains and problems. Twisted yarns are a variety that might be stronger than regular yarn, but are harder to manoeuvre when it comes to handling with the needle.
There are positive and negative characteristics to all kinds of yarn and while one may suit one type of project, something completely different will be needed for something else. Depending on the kind of project you are looking to work on, your knitting yarn needs to change. There is no other way of finding out about the kind of yarn you need except by practicing with as many varieties as possible and learning as much as you can about them.
Your experience with knitting yarns will always be unique and personal to you and no one else can handle or experience them in the same way. Use your time and money to identify the variety you love working with so that you know what to get the next time you take up a project or head down to the store looking for knitting yarn.