Knitting newbie needs advice on yarns

[color=blue]Being a newby at knitting (and this site), I am learning about the different yarns. I crochet and always used the cheaper acrylic yarns, but want to use better yarns for knitting. I’m only into easy items like scarves right now, so what advice can you give on making scarves and hats? What yarn is best to use? Is wool better than cotton, etc?

Jackie M. :thinking: [/color]

Well wool is nice, some people only use it. Cottons are nice, some people only use that. There’s alpaca, silk, blends. . . . .

There are a lot of alternatives to cheap-o acylic. Even nice acrylics. Some of the blends, like Encore and Woolease are relatively inexpensive and a good starter yarn.

Go to a decent yarn shop and feel the yarns. See what you like, see what’s out there. I would, for now stay away from the really thin stuff and the really expensive stuff. A good worsted weight or chunky weight would be good to start with.

Find a pattern you like, go to the yarn store and look at the yarns of the weight called for in your pattern and find the one you like best!

I agree. Go into a yarn store and grab one of their shopping baskets and start picking up yarn you like. If YOu can get a hold of the book Stitch and Bitch there’s a good explanation of yarns and what kind of projects they are good for; or find any book or website that has descriptions of the yarn. Learn what yarn is good for what projects: for instance, if you want to make some lace, super bulky homespun might not be the best choice, and if you want to make some felted mittens, you won’t be able to use lightweight cotton. YOu can also read up on what animals the natural yarns come from… the musk ox is an uuuuuuugly animal, but it sure makes nice pretty EXPENSIVE yarn!

So it’s up to each individual and what yarn they like? There is not better yarn for scarves or hats, than there is for say sweaters or afghans? I’m using wool-ease now for a scarf and it feels pretty soft to me. I like the feel of wool-ease considering all I’ve ever used in crochet is cheap acrylic. Wool-ease also fits my budget.

The only addition Ill make is regarding patterns. If you find a pattern you would like to make, you dont necessarily have to use the yarn that is called for, but you will want to use a yarn of the same thickness or gauge. And approximately the same fiber content. You’ll get the hang of it.

Another point is this–as Kelly said, the pattern determines the weight and gauge. Sometimes, the yarns called for are not always available in less-expensive varieties, especially when you try to find colors to match a pattern that you like.

Use what you like, that fits your budget, in a gauge comparable to the pattern. Everyone has their preferences in feel, size, material etc.! With some projects that are drapey, bulky, thin, sturdy etc. you might want to get something very similar to the suggested yarn if you want the item to have similar properties. (like a slinky tank top wouldn’t turn out very slinky with red heart acrylic, although it would still be a tank top and if YOU like it, who cares???)

Otherwise, I say disregard the rules! Be crazy! Use whatever makes you happy! (Shoudl I be scared that yarn is starting to make me happy? :shock: )

I should hope that being in love with yarn isn’t something to be scared of. My husband on the other hand, might disagree. I think he is becoming jealous of me and my knitting. :smiley:

Okay, so rule one; stay with a similar weight of yarn and go for what I like! Sounds good to me. Thank you all for your help.

Jackie, I have nothing more to add, but would like to say “welcome!”. :smiley:
I noticed you are in Fort Worth, and my mom moved there last year. I miss her. :frowning:

Hi Rennagale,

At least you are in the prettier part of Texas. Does you mom knit?
There are some nice yarn shops in Ft.Worth.

No, my mom doesn’t knit. She used to crochet, but her health’s not been the best of late, and she’s not doing much of anything. :frowning:

I’d LOVE to find out from you where those shops are, though! We don’t go there to visit often. We have aging dogs, so it’s hard for us to get away (she and her dh come here to visit). I do plan on making a trip there sometime in the next month or so, though; and I’d like to coincide some yarn shop visits while I’m there. :happydance:

I guess I should find out what part of Ft Worth my mom lives in, to know which shops to try and visit. :thinking: I’ve only visited her twice since she moved, and since I wasn’t driving either time, I didn’t pay that much attention as to where we were going. :oo: All I know is her address. :mrgreen: