Tuesday, 10 August 2010

TUTORIAL: How To Choose The Right Yarn

Hey girlies! I'm on a yarn infested crochet mission today - to get FIVE, yes FIVE lovely crochet / yarn related tutorials up today!!

This is the first, then I will be doing 4 others including - How To Crochet a Granny Square, How To Double Crochet, How To Half Treble, and How To Treble.

I've started with "How to choose the right yarn" as I myself have been faced with this yarn dilemma before (many times!

My process normally goes as such when arranging myself for the start of a new project;
  1. Who is it for?
  2. What colours do I want to use?
  3. Does it need to be machine washable or hardwearing?
  4. What is the project?

Who is it for?
This is always a HUGE question - is it for a baby, a child, a teen, or an adult? The reason it needs to be considered is in case of skin conditions, changes in favourite colours, thickness of the yarn and it's durability, and finally whether they would use it regularly.

For example, a friend of yours has given birth to a new baby and needs a newborn set that they can still use through the Autumn/Fall and Winter. As it's a baby it needs to be soft, and machine washable. It would need to be tightly worked so it's a lovely warm fabric.

What colours do I want to use?
Normally when choosing colours, I tend to stick with my favourites. This way I'll know that if it's for yourself, you'll enjoy it more.

At the moment I'm going with a lot of random colours - but sticking within the rainbow spectrum. Give yourself a set of colours and use: Biscuits and Jam Random Stripe Generator to give you a fun stripe set!!

Does it need to be machine washable or hardwearing?
The key thing to look at when considering it's durability or whether it can be machine washed; is the actual fibre it's made from.

Acrylic can be machine washed, and is durable. It is also rather kinder on the bank aswell as there are so many yarn brands that offer this as part of their selections.

Cotton is another yarn that can be machine washed, and is very durable! It makes it perfect for things that you need to wash on a HOT wash, or for people who suffer from skin complaints as it's soft on the skin.

Superwash merino - the yarn most widely used by knitters for socks; is under the catagory of "durable", but you do have to wash it on a slightly cooler wash to ensure it doesn't  "bobble".

What is the project?
The final hurdle any new crochetter or knitter needs to think of! You need to think long and hard, after colour choices, who's it for, and how long you want your hard work to last for.

A very popular project this year has been blankets. As there has been so many new babies born, and many families trying the handmade route, this is sometimes one of the best projects to start with!

Resources to look into!
A great place on the internet for free and "paid" patterns called Ravelry. It is a knitters, weavers, and crochetters haven for project ideas and with lots of different groups to dicuss dilemmas with your new hobby!

Another place I would always reccommend is your local yarn shop (abbreviated as LYS). They will have ladies, or gents, in there happy to help you through the daunting process of purchasing your first lots of yarn. Plus the appropriate accessories to accompany your new project.

If you do get any questions, feel free to drop them on here or on Ravelry: NaturalistDesigns < my Ravelry account name.
Good luck and feel free to look at my patterns!!

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