Help me pick a sweater yarn!

Hi everyone! I’m about to attempt my first sweater! Okay, I really need to finish those birthday socks for my mom first…but then I’ll start!

I haven’t settled on a pattern yet, but I’m looking at doing a nice fitted cardigan of some sort that I can wear in the summer when it is cool or over layers in the winter. Can you all help me with yarn suggestions? I went to my LYS yesterday and it all looked so yummy (and expensive!) but I just don’t know what works well/holds up/etc.

Here’s what I’m looking for, generally:
*I haven’t picked a pattern, so weight can be pretty much anything (probably in the DK/sport/worsted range).
*Natural fibers or a natural fiber blend (wool/alpaca blends, or?)
*Very soft (maybe even a little fuzzy?)–but I don’t want it to pill like crazy. Pills drive me batty! But I’d like a fuzzier look rather than a lot of stitch definition.
*I’d prefer something I could machine wash (my seven-month-old just can’t help herself with those sweet potatoes!).
*I’m looking for an icy blue or blue-gray, but as long as there are nice colors, I’m not too picky.
*Big bonus if it is organic/fair trade/locally (USA) made/otherwise good for the earth and people. I’m willing to pay a bit more for that!

Any suggestions! I really appreciate all of your experience…all of the yarns seem great to me at this point! :wink:


*Big bonus if it is organic/fair trade/locally (USA) made/otherwise good for the earth and people. I’m willing to pay a bit more for that!

I expect these 2 items can’t be on the same list - most eco-friendly yarns won’t be inexpensive. I know, I know, you did say you were willing to pay extra.

I’m thinking of doing a vest with either a linen, hemp, or bamboo blend. These are some of the yarns I’m or want to test-swatch.

I know it may be hard to find something in a reasonable price range that is also eco- and people-friendly! I’m willing to shop around and be flexible, and I’m also looking at recycling some thrift shop sweaters.
Thanks for the suggestions–I had not thought about bamboo! That is a good idea. I have some bamboo sheets that I love because they are so soft and get softer with each washing. I wonder if bamboo yarn is the same way. I’ll check out your links!

I am not sure if this is entirely eco friendly, but I used Lion Brands Wool Ease in chunky for my first sweater (don’t ask to see pics… just don’t) It was about 5 $ a skein, wool, but super wash so you can wash it. I havent’ done so, so I am not so sure on the pilling. I used about 7 skeins for my first sweater, so at $35, not so bad on the budget.

Hmmmm… lots of criteria here. I am going to point out the fact that you mentioned being able to wear it in the winter and summer and maybe a little fuzzy. Stay away from anything to thick.

Elann and Little Knits have some Angora Extra on sale right now. It is thin, slight fuzzy, really really soft and light weight. I bought the white for a sweater which I have not started and the purple for a kittyville hat which I wore today. It is soooo nice and inexpensive! You can knit it tight or loose and it is still beautiful.

You might want to look around for pattern before you make a purchase though (ask me how I know). It can be very frustrating if you have pretty yarn and a pattern you have fallen in love with – but the two don’t love each other!

Happy Shopping!

Ooo–Thanks everyone! I’m getting yarn hungry, now! (It’s kind of like chocolate peanut butter ice cream…) That Angora Extra comes in a lovely light blue: yum!

Candice: that’s probably great advice about picking a pattern before buying yarn! I’ll definitely do that. I’m just starting to shop around, and playing around with recycling stuff, too. I’m just trying to get ideas, so when I look at patterns I have at least a bit of an idea of what kind of yarn weight and feel might work.

Must finish projects before buying yarn…or ice cream…