What is yarn? Knitting Editor Kandy Regis tells all

Balls of yarn

If you told a non-knitter that you were knitting with yarn for your latest project, they might think you mean that you’re using wool.

It’s a common misconception referring back to the time when most yarns were made from 100% wool (fleece from sheep).

Today, wool is simply classed as just one of many yarns.

And we’re sure anyone will be interested to learn that yarns are made from such a wide variety of fibres like acrylic, polyester, bamboo and even soya today.

Our resident knitter Freddie Patmore has even worked with pineapple before. She used the quirky fibre to make a bag.

‘It was pretty scratchy stuff, hard on my hands so I don’t think I’d bother again,’ she recalls.

‘When it was finished I had no idea how to care for but presumed it would be the same way as you would a linen.

‘But knowing it had come from a foodstuff made me feel a bit nervous about getting it wet.’

Going to be using yarn for your next knitting project? The team of experts here at The Knitting Network HQ have put together a list of things you need to know…

Keys points to remember when knitting with yarn

1. Avoid pushing your knitting needles through the ball of yarn as this splits the fibres.

2. Always complete the row you’re working before putting your knitting away. This way, you’ll avoid stretching the fabric.

3. If you’ve left your knitting untouched for a length of time, we suggest undoing and reworking the last row – the stitches may have stretched overtime.

4. It’s important to store natural fibres separately from man-made ones. The latter can be quite harsh and cause pilling – something no knitter wants to see on their work.

For handy hints on how to avoid pilling occurring, take a look at our article here.

5. We’d also advise keeping natural fibres in plastic bags and away from direct sunlight.

6. Always match the dye lot on the ball band and keep one for care reference.