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Monday, May 9, 2011

W is for WOOL


I am probably the worst person to write about wool as I have a sensitivity to it and cannot wear it against my skin. However, I can and do knit with wool because it is the most wonderful fiber of all to work with. I made my son a scarf out of Cascade Venezia which is a great mix of silk and wool. The yarn was flexible, but not too soft and made up into a wonderfully warm scarf. Wool yarn is easier to keep an even tension with and your stitches just look better than in some other yarns. I knit a lot with cotton yarn as I make easy things like dishcloths and the difference in flexibility is amazing with cotton seeming much stiffer than wool.

Wool of course comes from animals and most of us think of sheep as the most common wool giver, but alpaca wool has become quite popular and is said to be great to work with. Wool comes in most of the usual yarn weights and with colorful dyeing the colors of wool are without limit. The wool pictured on the blog is Noro Kureyon yarn which is known for the wonderful colors that blend into beautiful knits.

The final thing that I want to say about wool in this brief blog is that it hasn't been around for centuries for no reason. Many wools can repel water and of course hold in warmth, hence the wool fisherman's sweater. Wool and silk blends are even warmer than 100% wool is because of the properties of silk that block out heat or cold. Wool should be the first fiber you knit with if you are beginning as it is more forgiving than some of less flexible yarns. Also it will make some of your first projects things that you will be proud of for years.

3 comments:

  1. My daughter knitted me a wonderful alpaca hat and scarf last winter. They are soft and truly beautiful...and itch like hell. (Don't tell her...)

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  2. I don't think I've ever knitted with wool. I have heard good things and would like to try. The selection where I live is lacking. =(

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