Yarn stores are beautiful, aren’t they? Once you’re inside, you feel like you want to buy all of those wonderful threads and make gorgeous clothing for your loved ones. You touch them, feel them and want to sink in the comfort they provide. However, things might not be as exciting and straightforward for beginners. There are so many different colours, materials, sizes and shapes to choose from, so they might find themselves on crossroads hesitating which brand and type of yarn to choose.
There is a number of reputable brands on the market that sell yarn. However, some are more adored among knitters than others, and there are some very good reasons for that.
This brand is one of the most treasured among experienced knitters. It focuses on texture and colour – the company believes that texture is important to show off the colour. They have a range of diverse yarn collections.
- Vivacious is a collection made of 100 % Merino wool. This high twist Fyberspates yarn is a strong, dense, warm thread which has an enjoyable texture. It’s hand-dyed and comes in a stunning variety of colours from saturated bright colours to soft gentle greys and blues. It is ideal for stripes and colourwork. You can use it for knitting sweaters, shawls, socks and other accessories. Even though it’s wool, it can be machine washed on a low temperature and is safe to tumble dry. It’s a multi-purpose yarn, ideal for both adults and children.
- The Stolen Stitches collection is a blend of Merino wool, yak and linen. This yarn blend is soft, squishy and very versatile. You will love its silliness that comes from the yak. In combination with linen, it becomes very strong and durable. This yarn is non-superwash, therefore, it is a lighter yarn with a bit of more bounce. This makes blocking easier and it helps garments to maintain their original shape.
- Scrumptious Lace is a wonderful blend of silk and merino wool and it is the ideal Fyberspates yarn for lace lovers. It comes in a range of beautiful colours which nicely show even the most difficult patterns. Choosing yarn from this collection will emphasize texture and add delicacy to your lace knitting. It’s also a strong yarn due to the silk component which can withstand a strong blocking and holds its shape well.
Fyberspates create yarn that makes people happy – from the moment they touch it, to knitting with and to wearing the final garment.
This is another popular yarn brand made in Italy, but with fibre sources coming from Australia and New Zealand. They offer full kits, like Baby Blanket Kit Knit/Crochet which contains wool yarns and comes with the pattern you’ll need to knit this perfect baby blanket. They offer seven balls of Bellissimo 100 % extra-fine merino wool, and you can choose from 4ply or 8 plies.
The colours are pre-selected, but you can also make your own mixes. This yarn can be knitted or crocheted. It’s an ideal option if you need to make a quick present for your family or friends. Bellissimo yarn collections are made of 100% combined gassed and mercerized cotton that can be used for all the types of knitted and crocheted garments and accessories. This yarn has a very nice stitch definition and comes with no fuzz or excess lint on the tread, so your garments will have a smoother appearance.
Knit or Dye
This one is another Australian brand which is inspired by the natural world, especially animals, plants and landscape native to Australia. Their yarn is hand-dyed, and they sell some amazingly soft, practical and tricky combinations. At Knit of Dye, they know how important a good quality fibre is for knitting, so they have created their collections with that in mind. They have blends of superwash Merino wool and nylon, perfect for making socks, shawls, hats, and similar. Garments made with this yarn should be hand-washed.
Certainly the most popular and most affordable of all, wool is spun from the fleece of sheep. Wool is a great yarn choice because it is a combination of four essential features:
- Durable – While knitting, you’ll be tempted to pull or put pressure on the yarn but even if you do so, wool won’t get destroyed. It’s an extremely durable material with which you can create pieces that will last.
- Stretchy and elastic – Wool is very easy to knit with as it slips across the needles quite fast.
- Comes in many colours – Wool yarn comes in a variety of lovely colours. When you find a yarn you like, you’ll most likely find it in your favourite colour. From bright hues to soft gentle greys and blues, wool is the perfect yarn for a variety of knitting projects.
The only negative side of wool is its tendency to pill over time. To avoid this, your best bet is using Merino wool. It may be a more expensive option but it is also a great alternative for sensitive skin. As wool can shrink, a nice way around this problem is to pick one blended with nylon or other artificial fibres.
This is inexpensive and easy washable yarn made of plant-based fibre. Cotton is a bit slower to knit than most yarns, but it’s worth trying as it perfectly shows intricate patterns and clear stitches. However, you need to know that cotton may split easily. You can unravel once, but after the second frogging, it losses its original beauty. Cotton is also not very stretchy and doesn’t forgive mistakes easily. If you’re a beginner, don’t opt for cotton yarn. Better go for a blend of bamboo or nettle. On top of that, cotton doesn’t have a great ecological footprint (actually, by far it is the worst of all fibres). So, if you like going green, consider this aspect before buying it.
Polyester & Nylon
If you aren’t a fan of synthetic materials, then you won’t like these two. Breathability and how it feels on the skin are main issues with polyester. Wear a synthetic sweater just for a while, and you’ll feel like in a sauna. Most synthetic yarns are also flammable, so even the tiniest spark can leave a big hole in your efforts. Considering the price, synthetic yarns are very affordable but think twice before you go for this super option.
Alpaca is way softer than sheep wool and gives quite a luxurious feel. It is widely known for its hypoallergenic properties. However, alpaca is a bit harder to knit and you’ll need the experience to create uniform stitches. If you aren’t a pro, go for blends with wool and other natural fibres.
Cashmere pullovers and shawls have been trending ever since they appeared on the market, so picking cashmere yarn is obviously a great choice. Be careful though, cashmere can be very delicate. Knit it a little bit too tight, and it will tear. Pure cashmere can be very expensive, but you’ll get the quality you paid for. If you’re looking for blended options, always check the label to see how much cashmere content it has. Often, blended cashmere might not be much softer than regular wool, therefore it’s better to stick to merino or alpaca wool. When knitting with cashmere, you’ll realize it is very fluffy and easy to work. Cashmere looks best with simple stitches, like the stockinette stitch.
These are the best yarn materials to start your knitting projects with if you are a beginner. There are many other beautiful options out there like Mohair, Angora or Silk on which you can practice later on.
Yarn Weight & Colours
When it comes to the thickness of yarn, it’s usually labelled as weight. Think of it like this – the thicker the yarn, the heavier the end product will be. The thinnest yarns are labelled as lace, they are used for making dollies and other lovely lace designs. Superfine, fine and light yarn weight categories are suitable for small items like socks, gloves, hats and baby clothes commonly known as “sport weight”. Medium weight, known as “worsted” is popular among knitters of all skill levels as it provides a great stitch definition in sweaters, scarves and mittens. Bulky and super bulky weight yarns are good for beginners. You can knit loose, large stitches to achieve optimal loft and get your project done relatively quickly.
Another thing you can notice about yarn is that it comes in different shapes. The three most popular ones are balls, skeins and hunks.
- A skien and a ball will show a difference only in the winding method. However, commercially available yarn usually comes only in skeins.
- Hanks look very beautiful as you’ll be able to see the texture and colour of the yarn (especially if it’s multi-coloured) much better. Unwinding hank yarns might be a tedious job which requires special tools, and is best to be left to advanced knitters.