Table of Contents
1. What is the difference between a yarn and a wool?
When we knit or crochet projects, our raw material is yarn or wool. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the two? Did you know at first glance that the two are not the same? Indeed, we really must make a distinction. The objective of this article is to introduce you to the differences and henceforth allow you to use the correct term as appropriate.
Let's start with wool. This refers to an animal source fiber mainly obtained from sheep or other animals such as goat, alpaca, etc. A ball of wool is very rarely made up of 100% animal wool only. Therefore, it is important to read the product label and check the composition. Often, manufacturers will add other types of fibers such as silk, nylon, acrylic, etc. This allows among other things in the case of nylon to increase durability and resistance. An example is Scheepjes Métropolis wool. This is made from 75% merino wool (a breed of sheep native to Spain raised mainly for its wool) and 25% nylon. This yarn is ideal for knitting or crochet projects such as stockings, socks, scarves, toques, mittens, sweaters, or any project that requires a soft, warm, breathable, resistant, and ultralight fiber.
Here are some varieties of wool (the most popular):
- Merino: Produced by merino sheep.
- Angora: Produced from the long, fine hairs of the Angora rabbit
- Mohair: Produced from the mohair hair of Angora breed goats
- Alpaca: Comes from the alpaca breed llama.
- Shetland: Comes from a breed of sheep raised on the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland
- Kashmir: Produced by goats from Kashmir, India
In general, we can consider a ball of wool that which is mainly composed of wool, coming from an animal fiber as mentioned above.
Now that we have explained the wool, let's analyze the yarn. This is made up of fibers other than animal. It can be synthetic or natural. If it is synthetic, we will find materials such as acrylic, polyester, polyamide, nylon. If it is natural, we rather find their materials such as linen, bamboo, cotton, silk. Again, manufacturers can use combinations of synthetic or natural fibers. An example is the Scheepjes Softfun yarn. This one is made of 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. The yarn can also be made exclusively of natural fiber like the Scheepjes Catona made of 100% cotton or else exclusively of synthetic fiber like the Scheepjes Furry Tales made of 100% polyester. These fibers allow manufacturers to create an impressive variety of yarns with different textures, sizes, and appearance.
The yarn is therefore composed only of natural fibers, synthetic or a combination of both.
We all tend to talk about balls of wool, but it is not necessarily wool and quite possibly other materials that make up your raw material for the making of your projects. We hope this article consolidates both terms and that you use them wisely.
2. How do you determine the size of the yarn when you don't have the label?
We all lose the tag of our ball of yarn from time to time, just as it can happen that we receive a batch of yarn that have already been used from those around us and which no longer have their tag.
IThere is a very simple technique to measure lthe size of yarn. This technique is called WPI or « wraps per inch » » ---> en français « enveloppements par pouce ».
The techniWrap your yarn around a ruler on 1 inch length. Everything should be snug with no overlap or space between each strand. It is important not to pull too hard on the yarn to avoid getting a bad measurement. A good way to check your tension to perform this technique is to practice with a yarn of which you know its size.
Keep in mind that WPI is subjective, and results will vary depending on the degree of wire wrap. Always work on a sample before starting a project.
|0 Lace / Dentelle||30-40+|
|1 Super Fine / Super fin||14-30|
|2 Fine / Fin||12-18|
|3 Light / Léger||11-15|
|4 Medium / Moyen||9-12|
|5 Bulky / Épais||6-8|
|6 Super Bulky / Super épais||5-6|
|7 Jumbo / Géant||1-4|
* CYC : Craft Yarn Council
3. Is there a chart for the categories of threads, the different tensions, the size for the needles and the recommended hooks?
There is a standard sizing system for yarns and wool. You will find the information below.
The categories of yarn and wool, the different tensions, the size for the needles and the recommended hooks.
* GUIDELINES ONLY: LThe above reflect the most used gauges and needle or hook sizes for specific yarn categories.
** Lace weight yarns are usually knitted or crocheted on larger needles and hooks to create lacy, openwork patterns. Accordingly, a gauge range is difficult to determine. Always follow the gauge stated in your pattern.
*** Steel crochet hooks are sized differently from regular hooks—the higher the number, the smaller the hook, which is the reverse of regular hook sizing.