Knit A Bit

Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting & Crocheting

Selecting The Right Yarn For Your Knitting Project

If you use the yarn that was used in the original pattern, the designer has selected the appropriate yarn for you. But what if you are designing your own project or want to substitute?

What type of stitch pattern are you using? Is it a complex series of cables or other complicated knit/purl stitch? You want them to pop out. Choose a smooth yarn in wool or perhaps cotton. This will help your stitches to really stand out, known as stitch definition. All those cables and stitches tend to get lost when knitting with highly textured yarn.

What colors do you prefer? Or is for someone else? If so, think about their favorite colors. You might love yellow but maybe it washes out the person that will receive your gift.

Is it for a baby? Unless it is Superwash wool (treated wool that allows you to machine wash and dry the yarn), it will have to be hand washed. People don't often have the time for that, especially with new babies.

Are you going to felt your project? Only protein based fibers will felt, such as 100% wool that is not Superwash.

Finally, consider the drape of the yarn. How will it hang? How will it feel knit up? Does it drape gracefully or is it sturdy? A long flowing coat in wool will not hang or drape the same when worn when knit in a heavier fiber such as cotton.

My book, The Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting And Crocheting (3rd edition), is a comprehensive resource. You'll learn all the basics and then add additional skills that will take you well beyond the beginning stages.

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