Deciding on  
Knitting Wool

Choosing some knitting wool is usually predetermined when picking a pattern to knit an item. The size of the item is also a limiting factor as a baby cardigan would not be knitted in chunky wool. Just like an outdoor winter jumper would not necessarily be knitted out of fine 3ply wool. Larger items can be made with fine wools but will take quite a while to knit.



Knitting Wool Origins

There are many different types of sources that the wool can be made from either plant based, animal based or synthetic.

Plant Based

These are the cotton and linen based wool and can be mixed with other fibres to get different qualities. Pure Cotton tends to be a bit coarse but good for items like bags and placemats. There are different types of cotton such as Egyptian or American.

A less common plant based yarn is bamboo.

Animal Based

This is what most people would see wool as "coming from sheep" but other animals have wool made from their fleece and with different descriptions.

Angora Hair or Angora Fibre is produced by the Angora Rabbit.

Alpaca comes from Alpacas

Cashmere comes from Cashmere goats

Mohair comes from Angora goats

Lopi is wool from Icelandic sheep

Merino wool comes from Merino sheep and is one of the softest wools

Silk is made from cocoons of insects.

Synthetic 

Acrylic is a well known one and can feel as soft and warm as pure wool. The advantage of acrylic is that it is machine washable so is great for baby items and pet items.

Nylon is usually mixed with other fibres to give added strength and it isn't usually used on its own.

Rayon is made from cellulose and made into threads.



Types of Ply

Different countries describe the thickness of the wool as "ply" or categories. 

Ply - 3ply, 4ply, double knitting, aran and chunky

Categories - Superfine, fine, light, medium, bulky and superbulky


Buying wool

When walking into a wool shop, the varieties that are available is sometimes quite confusing. There are the pure wools, acrylics and varying mixtures in between so it is best to have an idea of what is needed before purchasing.

There are a lot of on line outlets such as Hobbycraft.

Wool is usually bought in balls of different weights, it can also be bought in skeins or hanks but then wound into balls at home to stop it all getting tangled up.

There are also a lot of tools to help stop the wool from falling off a surface and traveling around the room.



Enjoy choosing your wool and beginning your project.


Return from Knitting Wool to Knitting Basics

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