Commercial Yarn…Understanding it from a crafters point of view…

Ok…I know we buy a lot of yarn, because we use a lot of yarn. I myself have been buying more than I have in the past five years, because a) all my hand spun is committed at the moment and b) my shoulder is not allowing me to spin as prolifically as it used to…SIGH and pout…

I’ve been going to various LYSes in Oregon and Washington, and looking at all the yarns that I read about in magazines and hear about online…Most of which I wouldn’t bother buying. It seems that poorly made yarn seems to be derigeur… Some of the most expensive yarns are plied unevenly (and aren’t being sold as novelty yarn), the wool is scratchy from over processing. Folks, Merino is not the only soft wool out there, loads of breeds have soft wool, and unless it’s from a Scottish Blackface or similar breed, most wool isn’t as scratchy as what we find in these yarns when you work with it before it’s had the life scoured out of it…SIGH…Shaking head…

The good news for crocheters is that even these poorly made yarns can be used in most projects. I would imagine many a knitter is disappointed after spending big bucks on a project only to have the sweater or worse afghanfall apart after a wash or wear… (explain why one knits afghans, again? Is it the challenge? Just wondering, not a criticism…My best fiber buddy wants to know the answer to that one too, and she’s primarily a knitter…)

Now, the best yarn for a knitter to use for socks or a sweater is a nicely plied (tight ply, with the ply evenly distributed…if you take the hank and suspend it out in the air it should have very little twist on itself even if it was twisted up in the store…), It should look firm and tight. If you are using that kind of yarn in crochet, a sweater or pair of socks may not be the best bet, because it will without at doubt become kevlar.

Balanced skeins are fine, really tight plies make for really tight crochet stitches. Look at some crochet thread sometime (the kind for making lace) that is not the kind of ply you want for traditional sweaters, socks, most hats and scarves (unless you are making it out of thread and or a lacy pattern) …you want it slightly looser…and almost guarenteed a knitter and a crocheter will have opposite opinions about a yarn being good for the SAME KIND of projects. Why? Because in knitting you untwist the yarn as you work the stitches, and in crochet you add twist. That simple…

In the Crochet Liberation Front First Ever Book, I’ll be putting a whole chapter from the Secrets of Yarn Book: Crochet Edition for you to enjoy all on this very subject…It’s a short chapter, but packed with information…

Yes, the CLF book will happen before my book does…why? Writers block 🙂 Bad shoulder, and a committment to the membership of the CLF…once I get that book under wraps, I’ll go back to finishing the last three chapters. 

For now you can enjoy this blog! Thanks to all who read here 🙂


About thegoldenme

I love crochet and hand-spinning. I am visually impaired, and thus extremely tactile. I love texture and color, and creating things that feel good, and look good has made life richer and warmer.
This entry was posted in Articles, CLF, CMHS Yarns & Designs, Cool Stuff, crafts, Creativity, Crochet, Crochet Groups, Crochet Liberation Front, fiber art, Handcrafts, knitting, Laurie Wheeler, patterns, stash, The Secrets of Yarn (c) Project, thoughts, Yarn, yarn review. Bookmark the permalink.

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