Everything You Need To Know About Yarn

Written by Sarah

One of the very first steps to creating your own beautiful knitted items is choosing the yarn. When you shop for yarn it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer choice out there. We’ve compiled a handy guide to the different types of yarn that should help to make choosing the right yarn for your project a little less scary.

Often the project you are making naturally dictates your yarn choice. Some natural fibres are not only very expensive, but require a lot of care. If you’re making an everyday throw for an armchair, for instance, ditch the pure angora – it will shed like crazy and you’ll be devastated if your best mate spills a glass of red on it! You might need to think of something a little more hard wearing.

Some yarns are much harder to knit with than others. While they may look brilliant, an eyelash yarn can be totally infuriating, as it’s incredibly difficult to keep track of your stitches. Many yarns on the market are blends of natural and synthetic fibres and these can be a great, as they combine the luxurious qualities of natural fibres with the more practical benefits of a synthetic.

Quick Reference Guide:

Hard-wearing

Synthetic Yarns (viscose, nylon, polyester, acrylic)
There’s a huge variety of textures in these yarns, with different properties according to the composition – the best way to know what you like is to go to a yarn shop and have a squeeze of a few!

Blended Yarns
Again the property of the yarn depends on the split of fibres and materials, so you’ll need to try some different ones out.

Pure Wool
The knitter’s number one choice of yarn for a reason – made from sheep’s wool and easy to knit with. Creates a warm and textured fabric.

Cotton
A natural fibre from the cotton plant, cotton comes in a huge array of colours including vivid brights.

Linen
Originating from the flax plant, linen is usually blended to soften its natural rough texture. It usually comes in a muted colour palette.

Luxury

Mohair
Mohair is fine and light and spun from the coat of the Angora goat. Kid mohair is the softest.

Cashmere
Very expensive in its pure form, cashmere blends are common and retain their glorious softness. Sourced from the fleece of the Cashmere goat.

Alpaca
Alpaca is the more affordable cousin of cashmere. Coming from the coat of the Alpaca, it is deliciously soft and luxurious.

Angora
This extremely fluffy yarn is made from the coat of the Angora rabbit and is super-soft. So much so that it often is blended with other yarns to make it more user-friendly.

Silk
Coming from the silkworm larvae, silk is soft with a natural sheen. Again, look for silk blends for a touch of luxe in your knitting.

Novelty

Chenille
A soft, fuzzy yarn supposed to resemble the fur of a caterpillar!

Eyelash
As the name suggests, eyelash yarn has long or short strands that jut out from the main yarn strand when knitted up to form an ‘eyelash’ effect.

 

Boucle
This is the name given to the yarn and the fabric effect it produces. It’s made of lengths of loops of a similar size.