Sunday, April 12, 2009


1. What it is made of

natural fiber
could be soft or scratchy, depending on how it is made
shetland, mohair and angora are all wool yarns
washing instructions: wash by hand in cold water with mild detergent (Woolite). Rinse and gently squeeze out excess water. Roll in towel. Spread flat on thick towel and move into desired shape. Dry away from direct heat or sunlight. Some wool yarn has been especially treated so it can be washed and dried by machine. If so, turn garment inside out and put in a zippered laundry bag before washing.

man-made fiber (acrylics, polyester)
not so warm
could be soft or scratchy, depending on the material
less expensive
washing instructions: many can be machine washed and dried. Others are more delicate. Read the label.

Cotton and silk:
natural fiber
cotton is relatively inexpensive; silk is more expensive
not very elastic
strong, not particularly soft
often mixed with a synthetic yarn (to make it more elastic and softer)
washing instructions: same as for wool. Most can be machine washed and dried, but check the label.

2. How fat or thin it is

Bulky: heavy sweaters and afghans (small blankets)
Worsted: sweaters, afghans, hats, toys B a very popular weight
Double knitting (DK): sweaters and afghans, hats, mittens
Sport: lightweight sweaters, baby blankets & clothes, socks, mittens
Fingering: baby things
Lace: fragile scarfs

3. What color it is

Most yarn is dyed in large batches. Each batch is called a Adye lot@ and is assigned a number that is listed on the yarn label. The color of the yarn may be a little different in a different dye lot. This is especially true of wool, silk and cotton yarns.

Some yarn sold in large chain stores is made of synthetic fibers that are color controlled so the dye lot is not so important.

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