How do you choose a yarn?

This is probably a very basic question but how do you choose a yarn for cables like the Irish hiking scarf. How do you know if what you are looking at will make the cables pop? I went to the lys and came home because I couldn’t decide. I am making this for a very special birthday present for my so and I want to do it right.

I usually go for a solid yarn for cables since I find they tent to get lost in a varietated or striped yarn.

Well, I suppose that with a textural pattern like a cable, I’d want something that was very smooth so the pattern would stand out. I made the Irish Walking Scarf in Lion Wool-ease and it turned out well, though I think if I did it again, I’d look for a “softer” yarn, maybe a nice merino wool. Obviously, I’d avoid anything with a halo or a boucle-type of yarn.

As a general rule, if you want your stitch pattern to really stand out, choose a smooth, single color yarn.

You can use a lightly variegated yarn too, but just remember that the more colors in the yarn, the more it will distract from the pattern. Never use a novelty, fuzzy, eyelash, glittery or multicolored yarn when you really want to show off stitches. There are some exceptions to this rule, but like I said, this is just generally speaking.

I am glad for this post b/c i have been practicing c4F cables last night and i was using a soft solid color yarn and was observing my cabling technique:ick: and it was thinking about a varigate. Now maybe i better not:noway:

For cables, you want a smooth, solid color, tightly spun yarn. [I]NEVER[/I] use a variegated or self striping, but a gradiated yarn is fine, like Ingrid’s cabled scarf made with Karaoke.

i have used a variegated yarn on cables and loved the effect it created. I wouldn’t do it on all yarns or all cables but i wouldn’t say never.

What is this Irish scarf pattern? Can someone please post it?

Irish Hiking Scarf

Thanks! That’s a great way to show off your cables!

I’m addicted to knitting cabled sweaters with the various tweed yarns that are out there. This is one I recently finished – sorry it is blurry, but if I shoot the picture with a flash, the cables disappear! But I love the affect of the occasional speck of another color and the rusticness of the yarn.

That’s a beautiful sweater! I like plainer yarns for cable patterns,myself, but that scarf that Mason is doing is gorgeous. I gotta get me some of that yarn. Subtle colour changes like that one has don’t seem to hide the cables. samm

How to choose yarn?

  1. Look
  2. Touch
  3. Buy


You forgot #4
4. Hide from the rest of the household…so you don’t have to hear “what do you need MORE yarn for?!?”

Hi Carrie! :waving:

BEAUTIFUL WORK! I have knit a dozen or more sweaters with Celtic or Nordic cabling! Cabling is soooo interesting. I knit a pullover similar to yours…I had to do a double-take…and I used JoSharp DK Silkroad Tweed. It was an eggplant color with the teensy flecks of white, grey, blue and yellow. I love it!

Thanks for sharing the photo of your work!! :muah:

oh yeah, #4 is KEY. :mrgreen:

ON SALE is a great motivator, too.

I’ve done cables with Malabrigo, and they stand out nicely.:shrug: I

Beautiful sweater! I just printed that pattern out–just deciding on the yarn.

I think the key is to select a yarn that isn’t too “busy” and doesn’t already have it’s own pattern built into it.

The Caron Shadows green is working out very well.

Also, anything that’s too dark will make the cables harder to see. Swatching is a good way to figure this out before deciding for sure.

:doh: I can’t BELIEVE Ingrid beat me to the “on sale” point! :wall: