THE YARN FIBERS
The merino yarn is spun by wool from the merino sheeps’ long, soft fur. The wool is strong and elastic, it breathes and gives good isolation. A garment knitted with merino wool is very soft, warm and has got a nice and firm surface. It is useful for most knitting projects.
The alpaca originally comes from South America and belongs to the family of lamas. The fibre from the alpaca wool is shiny and long but shorter than the wool from sheep. The yarn thereby somewhat more bushy compared to yarn from sheep. The yarn is incredibly soft and when you knit with alpaca yarn you get a garment that is even warmer than one knitted with merino yarn.
Mohair yarn is spun by wool from the angora goat. The mohair fibre is very light and warm. It is not as elastic as the sheep wool but apart from that it has got many of its qualities. The light fibers often need to be spun together with for example nylon, silk or sheep wool to better stay together.
The cashmere goat lives in the mountains in China and Tibet. The cashmere fibre is taken from the belly of the cashmere goat. It is not cut off but combed off once a year. Since the production rate thereby is slow, cashmere yarn is considered very luxurious. It is extremely soft, very elastic, keeps the warmth in cold weather and cools in warm weather. The cashmere wool is often blended with other fibres, such as sheep wool, since it is so expensive but also to make the yarn stronger.
The angora fibre comes from the angora rabbit and is incredibly soft, warm and fluffy. The fibres are short and to keep the yarn together, it is spun together with other fibres. However, it is still common that projects knitted in angora yarn shed some fibres.
Silk is a shiny and soft fibre which belongs to the animal fibres even though it is not composed of hair but is produced by the silk worm. This is since it has got a protein structure, similar as hair. A project knitted in silk yarn is not very elastic but it has got a fantasticly nice lustre, becomes at bit crispy and falls with a nice heaviness.
THE YARN STRUCTURE
The longer the fibre the less it needs to be twisted to stay together. Thin yarns often need to be more twisted than thick ones. Yarn can be composed of one thread, spun only with one thread or with more than one thread where two or more threads are twisted together.
TO CHOOSE YARN
Sometimes you find a pattern you would like to use but you wish to knit the project with a different yarn than the one recommended. Most often this is just fine and something that mormorrut wants to encourage. It is more fun to work with just the fibre and colour that you personally like the most. It is easiest though to use a yarn with similar thickness. However we would like to remind you that different fibers and twistings can give the yarn different characteristics. Therefore it is a good idea to knit a test piece to check the gauge before you start with the actual project.
Is also called fingering, lace, baby wool etc. Recommended needle size is approximately U.S. 1-4. Projects knitted with thin yarn are light, thin and flexible. If you knit with thicker needles than the ones recommended in the pattern you get a more “airy” knit. This can be perfect for for example lace and shawls. Using two threads of a thin yarn is similar to knitting with a thicker yarn and you then subsequently also need to use thicker needles.
Medium thick yarn
Is also called sport weight or DK (double knitting). Recommended needle size is approximately U.S. 3-6. Knitting with a yarn of this thickness gives a light and soft but more compact result.
Is also called worsted weight. Recommended needle size is approximately U.S. 6-10. Knitting is fast with a thick yarn and it is very suitable for for example warm scarfs and hats. A warm sweater can (especially for the impatient knitter) be fun to knit with a thick yarn since you get a quick result.
If you would like to use another yarn than the one recommended in the pattern
First you need to find out how much yarn you need. Read in the pattern how many balls or hanks of the recommended yarn are needed and how many meters a ball or hank contains. Multiply number of balls or hanks with number of meters to receive the total amount of meters needed. Divide the answer you get with meter per ball or hank of the yarn you wish to use to receive the number of balls or hanks of that one you need. Round the result upwards to and even amount of balls or hanks. Plan so that the yarn you use really fits for the type of project you are to knit. Remember that it is good to knit a test piece to adjust the gauge and choose right size of needles.
We are mainly focusing on yarn treated as little as possible.
To give your knitted projects an as long and nice life as possible, we would like to give you the following care advises:
– Do not wash too often. Woolen clothes are resistant towards dirt. The dirt often stays on the surface and it easy to brush or wipe off. A good way to freshen up a woolen garment is to let it hang, out in the wind for a wile.
– When washing, do it by hand in cold water and if possible with a detergent specially for washing wool. Do not rub the garment, to avoid to wool fibres to become tangled. To keep the yarn’s nice quality it is important that the detergent does not contain bleaching agent. Squeeze rather than twist the water out. Reshape the garment to its original shape and let it lie flat on a towel to dry. The towel might need to be changed once in a while.
– The fact that a yarn is burling or shedding does not necessarily mean that it is of bad quality. On the contrary, a yarn of natural fibres will always shed fibres. Be careful to Att ett garn noppar sig eller fäller betyder inte att det är av dålig kvalitet. Tvärtom, ett garn av naturmaterial kommer alltid att släppa ifrån sig fibrer. Be careful to remove burls and the garment will eventually stop burling.