So here we are at Part Three of your knitting questions . . . answered!
A few weeks ago I did a second post about knitting questions most of have as we learn knitting, and even go beyond the basics. So, two or three times every month I will be introducing more knitting questions into the mix. 🙂
It’s SO helpful when there is the answer I’ve been searching for! With all of the knitting info out there, sometimes the simplest questions get over-complicated replies to the point where you can even forget what the original query was all about! (Don’t you love those forum questions that start out simple, then someone diverges into a cultural observation and all hell breaks loose!)
That won’t happen here, because I like my knitting simple! Straight-forward and step by step. I think we all learn easier that way.
So consider this to be Part Three of Your Knitting Questions . . . Answered!
What is yarn structure?
Yarn structure is how knitting yarn is made up. Yarn is made up of plies. You can knit with one ply, which is always called a single, but most knitting is 2-ply, 3-ply, or 4-ply. Usually when you knit with a smaller ply yarn, it’s to achieve a more delicate look. Singles are plied to achieve a thicker yarn. A 4-ply yarn, for instance, may be a worsted weight or a bulky yarn. Two-ply yarn is a super-fine yarn almost like a crochet thread. As yarns have multiplied over the years, I like to check out the yarn weights at the Craft Yarn Council for best information on yarn structure.
What is the best yarn to use if I’m a beginning knitter?
Not too long ago I was in a craft store and a young girl was eyeing up some very bulky yarn to knit her very first knitting project with. I kindly offered her some advice: never, never, NEVER knit a first project with anything other than a wool or worsted weight yarn. I recommend Wool Ease yarn, which is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. For 100% acrylic yarn, try Red Heart yarn. For a cotton and acrylic blend yarn that is easy to knit with, there is Cotton-Ease yarn. These yarns will allow you to learn how to hold the yarn in your fingers and hands and you won’t need a bulldozer to pull the yarn through to the next row! Again, been there, done that! 😉
What does “worsted” mean?
Well, it doesn’t stand for worser than worse! Worsted usually refers to the WEIGHT of the particular yarn you are knitting with. In fact, most yarns that are commonly used are worsted-weight. You’ll see that term in knitting very frequently! Worsted yarn knits up at about 5 stitches per inch. In yarn importance, worsted is in the medium category, not a heavy yarn, nor is it a lacy, lightweight yarn.
When a pattern recommends buying yarn all of the same dye lot, what are they talking about?
Every yarn skein comes with a label. There you will find lots of information about that particular yarn. It will tell you the ounces, yardage, what type of yarn it is, color, and show you lots of little boxes with symbols in them. Where you see the color listed, there should be numbers listed, such as LOT:9372. (Or dye lot.) If possible, buy skeins of yarn ALL with that lot number, because they are all of the same dye lot. BELIEVE ME, it matters! Even shades of white can differ. You wouldn’t believe the variations in dye colors! So subtle you can’t see it standing in a large store with their standard bright lights. But, bring it home and attach the new skein of yarn and oh boy!
So, there you have it. Some knitting questions about yarn. After all, yarn is a B-I-G part of knitting and sometimes gets forgotten in all the pattern and stitch talk.
Hopefully, Part Three of your knitting questions . . . answered has been a help.
As always, take your knitting to heart!