Tuesday, May 5, 2015

LunchTime Lessons! Tuesday---Must be time to Knit!

So I have been receiving emails from people asking if it's okay to print out their LunchTime Lessons or transfer them to folders to keep each craft separate>>>>>  OMG Thank you so much! I am so thrilled that you are enjoying my series of classes.......

Today we are going to learn about yarn thicknesses and appropriate needle sizes to use with each yarn.

Here is a handy chart with the yarn thickness:

Let's start with Lace weight yarn...........wow talk about being fine!  This super thin, thread-like yarn makes the most beautiful shawls, sweaters, and much more!  usually it is worked on a larger needle to give a more lacy effect to your work.........many lace weights are in wool or mohair yarns. Don't be afraid to have fun with this size. And if you want, you can always ply more than one strand together to make a thicker yarn!
The intended needle size for Lace weight yarn is 000-1 needles.......yes they are tiny.

Next up we have fingering/sock/baby weight yarns...........yes they are all fingering weight. The most common items are of course sock, baby sweaters, fine baby blankets and more... Most sock yarns are in wool with a nylon added for strength............some sock yarns are 100% wool and will come with a separate matching nylon to add to the heels and toes for durability. Baby fingering yarns can be anything from 100% wool to 100% acrylic and every combination in between.  Usual needle sizes range for size 1 -3.........

Fine weight yarn also known as sport weight yarn is great for baby items, sweaters and lots more. All fibers are available in this weight also. Wools, Alpaca, acrylics and more. Recommended needle sizes range from sizes 3-5.

Then we have DK/Light worsted weight yarns. This size has become quite popular for those who don't want to work with really tiny needles, and make a quicker but yet beautiful item. Needle sizes range from 5-7.

and now we come to the most popular yarn thicknesses. Aran/Worsted/Afghan weight..... this is the weight we use to make blankets, sweaters, baby items and so much more that your head will spin! Common needle sizes are 7-9 with Aran using the 7's, worsted most commonly the 8's and many times afghans are done on  9's or even on 10's if the worsted is a bit thicker.

Bulky weight yarns are great for Sweaters, afghans and more. They work up quickly on sizes 10-11 knitting needles and can be doubled up to create the Super Bulky yarns!

That brings us to the end of the chart for Super Bulky yarns! Commonly worked up on sizes 11 and up depending on the thickness of the yarns. So now you ask what the heck do we use that weight yarn for?>>>?? So glad you asked! Commonly used to make very chunky, clunky cowls (say that three times fast!), quick afghans and some great patterns are out there for lush rugs! (yes you can knit a rug!)

Are you confused?  It's easy to get confused by all the types, sizes, colors, and more of the yarns on today's market!

Notice one thing regarding needle sizes for the various yarn weights.......you will notice that they are variable. That is because just because it's labeled as one weight, if you take the same weight from two different yarns, you will notice that they seem to be different weights.........some DK's and sports are interchangeable, some Worsted and Chunky are so close that they could also be interchangeable. And forget the thickness of the various bulky and super bulky yarns!  Sky's the limit and if you use a LYS (local yarn shop) to purchase your yarns, they will be very happy to help you with size, weights and types of yarn to use..........

Read the yarn label for all the info you need to know..........every yarn label gives you (not all will have a little symbol with the number in it!) the recommended needle size, the suggested gauge for that yarn, the stitches per inch and the care of that particular yarn. The label also includes the fiber used to create that yarn and the yardage and weight in ounces and grams.

Please keep in mind that so many patterns are written with a different needles size than we are accustomed to........example:  mohair is indicated as a lace or fingering weight yarn and many times uses a size 10 needle.  This gives the yarn and item a much more lacy effect and keeps the mohair from matting down.

Well that is it for today! 
See  you tomorrow for our Crochet LunchTime Lesson! 

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