WHICH WOOL TO CHOOSE WHEN YOU START?
WHAT ARE OUR BALLS MADE OF?
Despite their name “balls of wool”, these are not necessarily 100% pure sheep wool. Like a misplaced and not always so soft label, the wool sometimes scratches, so it is mixed with other materials such as acrylic for a more delicate touch or spandex for lighter work of the summer.
The fleece of other animals is also used for making knitting yarns. Thus we find: alpaca wool (sort of domesticated lama), mohair (angora goat), cashmere (Indian goat) and the famous Merinos wool (Spanish sheep breed), ultra-thin and warm, ideal for baby layette and the scarves.
On the side of fibers from plants, we find cotton, soft and light, silk sulfurous and velvety.
Each label contains the exact composition of the ball as well as the grammage and length of the wool, the reference or number of the dye bath, whether it can be machine washed or not, the diameter of the needles recommended and evens the indications on the sample. You will never be lost!
However, nothing prevents you to make your own choice of natural or synthetic wool, mono material or mixed, depending on your green concerns, your feeling to the touch and what to create. Crochet clothes or accessories? We will not necessarily make the same choices.
I CHOOSE A KNITTING YARN IN CLASSIC OR FANCY WOOL?
The balls exist in different colors, plain or multicolored. In store, it feels like being in front of a stall of ice cream!
For the texture (translate knit: spinning technique, criss-cross weaving), some are smooth, these are the classic son when others are a little hairy (woven effect), glitter, or curly. These are the fancy threads.
WHAT GOOD WOOL TO CHOOSE WHEN YOU START?
Choose a clear, plain colored, medium-sized wire to go with your first pair of needles. With a fancy yarn or dark color, it is less easy to count his stitches, or even to check in what direction we knit when working a stitch jersey.
In fancy yarns, nebulous balls or Frimas, which are made of coarse yarn, very comfortable to use, are good wools that are very suitable for the first works.
WHY AND WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KNITTING MATERIALS?
Why and what are the different Knitting Materials?
When you start in the world of knitting or crochet, you start with any wool that you leave or that you get at a cheap price and you don’t know exactly the composition, where it comes from and especially the consequences of knitting with one material or another.
Well, I do not want to get tragic with this, but I have seen projects of hours and hours of work ruined because the wool that has been used was not suitable for the work so if you want to save yourself dislikes it is better that you have some basic notions of materials used in the composition of the threads and how that affects the fabric. If you are starting in the wonderful world of tricot or crochet work you may be interested:
BASIC STEP BY STEP TO LEARN HOW TO CROCHET
The first thing you should think about when knitting a new project is that you want to weave material, you can make a very simple sieve considering the type of work that you will knit, woolen garments for winter, cotton garments for summer.
But sometimes it is not as simple as that, so I will explain a little about the different materials, what they normally serve and how they “behave” when knitting them.
Again, for tastes, colors, that nothing prevents you from knitting the material you want the work you want, I only give you some guidelines to guide you when choosing materials but the decision is made by you, prepared?
Surely when you think of knitting with two needles, socks or knitting, the first thing that comes to mind is a ball of wool. Taking into account that in the past, especially cold clothes were woven, it is logical to think of wool for knitting; however there are different types of wool.
Wool is defined as a natural fiber that is obtained from sheep and other animals such as llamas, alpacas, or rabbits through a process called shearing.
The most commonly used wool is sheep and alpaca wool.
In wool clews it is usually specified what animal it comes from, even today there are vegan wool created from vegetable fibers that perfectly simulate the original wool.
Wool, in general terms, is a warm, fluffy, breathable and easily tamable material, this means that when knitting a project you have to take into account that in the block the size of the work can increase considerably and that in the garments, put on, the fabric can be “given by itself”, it is because of its flexibility that it is ideal for knitting warm and resistant garments such as socks, hats, scarves, etc. etc.
On the left you have an example of two different wool clews.
The blue ball is a ball of 100% Drops Big Merino wool, the merino comes from the wool of the Merino sheep and is an elastic wool, super soft and fluffy. It is a resistant and warm fiber, made from different twisted strands, has weight and with the washing and blocking it returns to its original form, that is, it does not “give its own”.
On the right you have a ball of Drops Eskimo, 100% felt wool, what does that mean? which is a wool that at high temperatures the fibers become entangled and compacted. It is a single thick strand, this strand if you stretch it hard can be broken, woven is chubby, super hot and, yes, it stings a little, except the merino all 100% wool itches a bit, since they are natural fibers. When you wash and block the work, it increases in size considerably, so you have to take this into account when knitting our project.
As in wool clews, cotton clews also have different treatments and composition.
Usually, cotton is used in summer and halftime garments.
It is light, it allows the skin to perspire very well, warm to the touch and super easy to knit, which becomes, for me, one of the favorite materials for knitting summer clothes.
Cotton comes in different sizes and with different treatments.
It is usually very comfortable even for the most sensitive skin if it is 100% cotton.
When knitting it is a thread that slides easily through the needles, brings weight and body to the work and, when washing and blocking, the size does not increase excessively, this means that the result of the work woven and already blocked is not too different, with which when you are knitting you already get an idea of the size that the work will be.
Unlike wool, 100% cotton is not very elastic when it comes to knitting, that is why it is so true to the result, it does not occur and does not deform easily.
Two very similar examples of cotton
On the left we have a ball of Drops Paris, which is a 100 & cotton thread, with a special treatment that allows washing in a washing machine, it is a thread formed from multiple finite strands which provides resistance to the fabric, at the time of knitting you can that when you slide the points you lose some of those hebritas so you have to be aware. The result of the garment before and after blocking is usually quite faithful.
On the right we have a ball of Drops Safran, which like Paris’s little brother, is a 100% cotton thread with a strand also formed from multiple finite strands.
It is strong and resistant, it is not clear and, being such a fine thread, it is light and perfect for summer clothes or for knitting amigurumis.
When you are looking at different balls and in the composition you see polyester, acrylic or nylon, among other components it means that the materials with which these balls are made are not of natural or animal origin such as wool and cotton, but are threads manufactured through a chemical process of components derived from oil, plastic, and other materials. Therefore they leave an environmental mark.
There are different types and thicknesses, usually soft and soft threads, but do not sweat as well as cotton.
Many threads have a percentage of synthetic fibers mixed with natural fibers, it is another alternative to take into account.
In the image above we have a ball of Drops Cotton light, whose component is 50% cotton, 50% polyester. In this case the polyester gives the yarn a stability next to the cotton which allows weaving durable garments, which perspire well and very resistant.
The small bobbin on the right is a coil of Drops Glitter, a 60% Cupro, 40% Metal thread, serves to beautify different fabrics using it combined with other wool or cotton.
These would be the three large groups where all the materials with which you can weave could be included, say they would be of animal origin, such as wool, merino, alpaca … of plant origin, such as cotton or linen, or jute. and of synthetic or chemical origin such as polyester, elastane, acrylic and other materials created through chemical processes.
Today there are a thousand materials with which you can knit, but it is interesting to know the origin they come from, if they serve us for the work we want to do or if we want to try different versions before buying