Not Your Classic Hand Knitting Yarns

“Textile Fiber: any material capable of being woven, knit or otherwise made into fabrics.” In recent years “new” fiber sources have hit the yarn scene. Most of the ones described below have a plant or animal source, but require a synthetic process to break down the cellulose or protein to form filament fibers that are…

Novelty Yarns – A Perfect Name For These Unusual Yarns

The way that fibers are spun and twisted determines a yarn’s structure. Yarns are grouped into simple and novelty (specialty) yarns. Simple yarns consist of single or plied yarns that are uniform in size, smooth and have an equal number of twists and turns along the strand. These yarns are the knitter’s classic staples. Unlike…

You Can’t Knit Without Needles!

Just as a painter uses brushes to achieve strokes and textures, a knitter uses needles. As you gain more experience, your needle collection will expand. My collection is huge, from trying different needle types and materials, in search of the best needle for the job. They come as straight, circular and double pointed needles, and…

Buttons – More Than Just a Practical Closure

Charming, whimsical, elegant or simply practical, buttons add the finishing touch to your knitting projects. Buttons have an incredibly long history as a garment fastener. They have been produced from every natural material imaginable, carved ivory, wood, leather, even gold, silver and precious stones. Buttons do more than simply hold a sweater together. They can…

Blocking Wires

Knitting gadgets and accessories are as abundant as for any other craft. Most of the time, the basics are all that’s required to get the job done. Recently, I splurged or rather indulged in purchasing a blocking wire set. Historically, lace knit shawls were blocked using thin wires or even strong lengths of cotton thread,…

Not sure what synthetic fabrics are?

Sometimes when we are knowledgeable about a topic, we may make the assumption that others understand what we’re talking about. I came to this realization when a customer asked a retailer a textile science question. This retailer sells laundry bags that collect microfibers released  into the washing machine from synthetic fabrics. The customer’s query was…

Updated e-book – It’s All About The Yarn

That beautiful ball of yarn goes through many transformations before you find it in your hands. I have updated It’s All About The Yarn , an important guide to understanding fibers, and all the other elements involved in the manufacture of hand knitting yarns.  

Bamboo Fiber – Fact vs Fiction

Consumers are being duped by misleading claims touting the environmental attributes of bamboo yarn and textiles. These products are being sold as “eco-friendly”. The premise that bamboo textiles are environmentally friendly is based on the self-sustainable nature of the plant. The following takes a closer look at the manufacturing processes used to form bamboo fiber,…

The Pros And Cons of Knitting With Cotton

Summer is usually the time knitters think about making a project with cotton. There are always pros and cons to the fibers that make up a yarn. Cotton is no exception, and there are characteristics about cotton that make it desirable to knit with, if you choose your project accordingly. Cotton Pros Tightly spun yarns…

Silk – The Fiber Wooed For Centuries

Legend has it that silk was discovered by a Chinese empress, when a cocoon fell from a tree into her tea, and extruded its fine filament. Thus were the beginnings of this brilliant fiber that has been wooed, prompted thievery, and created the longest road in China, the ancient trade route between China and Rome….