Yarn - Don't You Just Love It!

What could possibly be better than discovering a new yarn? Using it?Ok - you got me there! If you're anything like me I just love the myriadof colors, textures and weights you can find these days.

Whether you love the fine, smooth, glossy silks or the knobbliest, chunky slubs there's something for everyone.

Each has very different characteristics, depending on what fibersit's made from, the way it was dyed, how it was spun and whether it isblended with another fiber.

All of these things can affect...
  • the price you pay
  • the way it behaves
  • the way you should care for it
  • and the way it should be used.

Yarns or fibers are divided into different groups.

  • Man-made Fibers
    • Cellulosic Fibers (made from cotton or pine wood)
      • Acetate
      • Rayon
    • Synthetic Fibers
Wool, for example, is a natural fiber and comes from a sheep. The sheep has its coat clippedor sheared off, then the wool is separated, baled up and shipped to a mill. It is sorted, cleaned (scoured), dried, oiled, dyed, blended, carded, combed, drawn then spun. I won't go into describing the whole process here, but that's the quick version of what happens. Wool isa fairly strong fiber, but is very weak when wet.

Acrylic on the other hand is a man-made fiber. It is basically made from chemicals and then 'extruded' or stretched until it is mega-fine, then spun together with other tiny strands forming yarn. This is a VERY basicdescription. Acrylic is a very strong fiber whether dry or wet.

You can see by the brief descriptions of how these yarns are made why wool is more expensive. The wool process is so much more involved and labor-intensive.

So - before you start a project you really must think carefully about the item you want to make and how you will use it. Also check the yarncare instructions. You don't want to make a pot holder from acrylicsas they melt. Wool on the other hand would work.

My Mom used to knit shopping bags from nylon strips - they were really strong. Those bags lasted for ever. Well - one might have made it a bit longer if my brother and I hadn't dragged it back from the library full of books. There's only so much abuse nylon can take!

Look out for more information on different fuzzy strings, how to care for them and suggestions for their use.

Learn how to take care of a wool garment. Instructions for caring for your precious, expensive wool clothing.

How do you wash wool? Tips for washing wool items.

How can you use recycled wool? Tips, ideas and information.

Did you shrink a wool sweater? What you need to know about shrunken wool.

What is Worsted Wool? Interested? Then read on.

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