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Choosing the right yarn for the job.

Written by Maree on September 12th, 2016.      1 comments

Selecting what yarn you wish to you for your supersized project can mean the difference between a raging success or a dismal failure.  No two yarns are created equal and all have positives and negatives which make yarn selection vital important to the success of your project.  So I have complied a selection of yarns and techniques you could employ in creating your supersized projects and what to watch out for.

Sexy Sliver

Sliver Knit-312

Knitted sliver is so, so hot right now.  I can see why - lets face it, it looks stunning.  This  swatch was knitted using carded wool sliver we sell in the shop for hand spinning and knitted (very carefully) using massive 25mm needles.

The effect looks seriously cool - but that's the problem, it's very much 'Look don't touch or wear'.  After knitting this small sample I was covered in gentle halo of white fibres and even the merest handling sees the stitches starting to pill.  Knitted or hooked projects in roving like this are for editorial of display purposes only - not practical for everyday or home use beacause the fabric shed and doesn't wear well..... but it looks SO good!

Swinging Single
Texas Blanket-820

Unlike knitting sliver, which is just the carded fibre, single roving yarns have had a little twist added and have been set to make them a more durable and strong yarn in their own right.  Our Super Chunky Texas yarn is a blend of Wool and long staple Alpaca yarn.  It means it is soft, yet strong and takes no time at all to whip together a project.

The blanket above was crocheted using a 9mm hook - but you can use anything from 9mm for a denser fabric through to 15mm for something a little open and drapey.  
A little twist goes a long way with Texas, and whilst can can get a little in the initial stages, it soon settles down to produce a squishable project.  It will require some de-pilling if used regularly, but settles with wear and washing.

Lets do the Twist

If you are knitting a garment or item which is going to be worn, loved, handled, fondled and generally widely appreciated you need a yarn that is less like to require maintenance with the de-piller or leaves your clothes and upholstery in a halo of fibres.  This is where the plied super and mega chunky yarns come into their own.  They have the twist seen in the single roving, with another level of twist added again when the single ends are plied to produce yarns such as our new Tundra.

Tundra is a 100% wool tarn that is spun into soft singles and then plied to product a yarn with a great look and is a joy to knit.  I am itching to cast on a series of home wares in Tundra or a huge wrap or poncho would look incredible in this yarn.  It's natural, earthy and just begs to be touched.  Another plied yarn which we love is the Outlaw Queen Bee - bigger again than Tundra in a selection of gradient colours or vibrant brights, Queen B is the go to yarn for chunky cowls or scarves or even vibrant, lush blankets (inquire at Skeinz about special QB orders)

Perendale Bulky Blue Crochet-901

Often discounted by people as 'too hard' or 'too expensive' or they just don't even consider it - multi stranding is the much maligned option for creating a mega chunky, fast and loose yarn.  It involves taking a variety of strands of yarn to create your own manually plying at your fingertips.

I love multi stranding because it gives you so much flexibility - you can up size or downsize your yarn at will, you can play around with colour and the multiple strands knitted together provide you with a dense durable fabric making it ideal for items which will be much loved and receive a load of punishment. 

Also when you multi-strand you are using yarns with much longer meterages - so instead of having to start a new ball after every 40 - 50m, if you use DK, you have 100 plus metres of knitting or hooking heaven before you have to join the next balls.

All wrapped up!
Limbo Swift-159

That leaves me with our final  yarn on the mega chunky mystery tour - the wrap spun yarn.  This is a yarn which has had a very fine thread wrapped around the outside of it to create texture and improve it's wear, strength and function.  Limbo is our famous mega chunky wrap yarn and one I am very fond of.  It does everything you could want - wears well, looks great and doesn't shed.  Any projects in Limbo have real substance and the yarn is spun to last.

You can single strand on 15mm needles, double strand onto 25mm - 30mm, either way Limbo is so much fun to work with, experiment and leave you with a sense of joy and satisfaction.
Limbo Single Hank Cowl-945

So whatever your project, I hope this helps you in finding what yarn best suits your needs. 
Remember - be fearless, be brave, it's just yarn and when it works up so fast and loose, if you don't like it, just rip it back, pour another glass of wine or cup of tea, and start again!
Topics: fastandloose

1 What do you think?

Tania says ...
Great post, great photos. Really helpful all round, especially for those of us forced by distance to shop online!
Yarn Sheep-871

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