Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn

Blossom Lady
May 06, 2021 10:25 PM
Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn

Picking the right yarn to use for a crochet project can leave you full of questions. After all, if you’re going to put all that time into crocheting something, you want to be sure to choose a yarn that’ll keep its color, be durable enough to stand up to use and wash, be soft (or stiff) enough, yet still be enjoyable to work with. I’ve put together the most common questions beginners have to answer and help you learn the yarn basics. This is especially true if you’re buying yarn online (which I guess we all do in 2021).

What are the best-known characteristics of cotton?

Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn
A: Cotton is inelastic, heavy, absorbent, and non-insulating and takes dye well. It has a tendency to stretch, although it may also shrink when washed. It is usually machine-washable and is stronger wet than dry.
11

What’s special about alpaca?

Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn
A: Alpaca fiber is soft, strong, breathable, and water-­repellent. It is more insulating than wool fiber, so it is warmer than wool of the same weight. It comes in many natural colors, as well as dyed colors.
13

What makes synthetics so useful?

Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn
The range of synthetic fibers is so vast that it is necessary to generalize. Manufacturers continually attempt to make synthetic yarns that mimic the best properties of the natural fibers. Synthetics are usually durable, water-resistant, strong, non-breathable, non-wicking, and non-insulating. Many synthetics are machine-washable. Most are very sensitive to heat and melt or burn at fairly low temperatures.
6

What makes mohair so appealing?

Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn
Mohair is durable, resilient, strong, and soil-resistant. It accepts dye well and is very warm for its weight. The staples are long and lustrous.
6

What do I need to know about yarn size?

Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn
For years, yarn manufacturers have attempted to come up with meaningful classifications for the size of yarns, and knitters and crocheters have attempted to pigeonhole yarns into these classifications. Most recently, weight has been the determining factor, but we must be careful with the term because it is used in this case to mean thickness, or the yarn’s diameter. (Yarn diameter is also called grist.) In reality, how much a yarn actually weighs is less meaningful than its diameter and loft. The diameter of the yarn is one of the most important words we can use in effectively describing yarns, yet we still call it weight. Some yarns, such as brushed mohair, have a relatively small diameter compared to their loft (the amount of air between the fibers, or the amount of space the yarn occupies). In other words, the fuzzy bits of the mohair make it a heavier “weight” yarn than it would be without fuzziness.
6

How do I measure wraps per inch?

Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn
Make two marks exactly 1 inch apart on a pencil, dowel, or specially made wpi tool. Wrap the yarn evenly around the pencil or dowel between the marks or inside the notches of the wpi tool, taking care to wrap the strands parallel and adjacent to one another, not too tightly, not too loosely. The number of wraps you can count in that 1-inch space is the wpi. For more accuracy, wrap over 2 inches and divide the resulting count by two. You can also use a ruler, although it is harder to wrap evenly around a ruler.
6

I’ve heard yarn described by its “wpi.” What’s that?

Crochet Basics: Questions About Yarn
Spinners and weavers use the abbreviation “wpi” for “wraps per inch,” which is a way of determining yarn size (weight). The more wraps per inch a yarn has, the smaller diameter it is. The wraps-per-inch measurement helps take into account the loft of a yarn as well as its diameter, although it is a somewhat subjective measurement and various resources disagree on which wpi measurements fit into which weight categories. Wraps per inch should always be used in conjunction with other information in determining yarn characteristics.
7
Like!1
Add to bookmarks
Assign tags
Loading...
No comments