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What you need to know about the quality of yarns...

50 years ago, the yarns our grandmothers used to knit would itch. Who, in their childhood, never had to wear an awfully itchy pullover, a hardwearing pullover inherited from our elders? Sometimes, we would even undo two to knit a larger one, still itchy of course!


But today, no more scratching! Yarn is soft…


Alas, alas! Indeed, today’s yarns are softer than they used to, yet the animals that give the wools, they, haven’t changed…So what happened then? Well, quite simply, wools are more softened than in the past.At the time of our grandmothers, yarns were less soft but they would pill less too.


What shall we remember on all this? Not that it’s no longer possible to find long lasting yarns, but that you’ll often have to make a choice between a softer yarn, that will be more fragile too, and a more rustic one that will certainly last longer.


Mind you, let’s compare what can be compared. Merino wool will always be softer than “normal” wool; just like Baby alpaca is softer than alpaca or kid mohair, softer than mohair. Of course, merino or “baby” wools are more expensive than classic yarns. Quite often, adding silk to the blend makes the yarn softer.


Another criterion has to be taken into account while considering the quality of yarns. It is the “twist” of the threads; we mean the tendency of the yarn to spin around or not. The twistier the yarn is, the less fragile it is as all the threads are held together. It will certainly be more delicate to knit but, once again, you’ll be rewarded.


Generally speaking, we’d say that thin yarns (lace, fingering, sport) require more work from the knitter, but they will last longer when they are worsted. You will gain time with heavier, carded yarns but they are less twisted.


The solution ?
Take time to think of your project and choose the yarn according to what you really want:
- Do you need a classical knit that you wish to wear often and for a long time? In that case, we advise you to use a thin yarn, not too soft.
- Or, do you mean to knit something more fashionable that you don’t wish to wear for 10 years? There you can treat yourself to a heavier yarn and wear it sooner. If you really fear “pilling”, remember that it appears on friction areas. You are then less likely to see it happen on sleeveless tops for instance.


You will have understood, each type of yarn has different effects and uses. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need advice.