Wool suggestions!

Hello lovely people. I have just joined this site to ask for some help if I may be so cheeky! I dont want to ask in our shop as invariably they will sell me something which isnt right and my pile of unfinished projects will stack up even further, so I am hoping you kind people might have some advice! I have bought a fabulous book of blanket patterns, it wasnt until I got home that I realised it was using rowan wool. Had I known, I probably wouldnt have bought it as I dont really want to remortgage the house just to knit a lovely big blanket! The pattern I love calls for rowan all seasons, but the woman in the shop suggested rowan handwool would equally work (It might have been because they didnt stock all seasons, but had stacks of the other - forgive my lack of trust, please!!). I would love to know if anyone could recommend a good value for money wool which would work with the pattern at the same tension (around 20 stitches, to 28 rows on 4mm needles I think). Kind regards, Lucy

If you’re looking to buy on-line, and are in the US, I’d suggest looking at the Valley Yarn line at Webs.com . I particularly love the softness of the Berkshire, though they are all a nice wool for good value. Webs often has sales on various yarns. Littleknits.com is also a good site for great sales on great wools.

A lot depends on how much you’re willing to spend. I agree that the Rowan yarns, especially from a store, would make a very expensive blanket.

I’m sure you’ll get lots of favorites–Cascade 220; Plymouth Encore for a machine-washable blend, etc.

I can’t imagine making a blanket with anything that isn’t washable myself. Do you have a preference? What fiber would you like suggestions for? I just noticed the Rowan All Seasons yarn is a cotton/acrylic blend…? Funny the store suggested the wool to you.

Personally, I would like a nice soft cotton or something. I agree it would definately need to be washable as my dog will try and share it in winter! I am in UK, but more than happy to order on line from US and wait (I do the same with my quilting material too), but I just dont know where to start. I need to work out how to convert the tension in the book from cms, to inches as per most of the US sites. The blanket itself is formed from 7 inch squares, so perhaps the tension wont make too much of a difference, but every time I have “done my own thing” from a pattern, it hasnt really worked! Grateful for all suggestions to be honest as I really love the blanket, but to knit in Rowan would be so expensive. I’d never use it if I finished it!!

There are a couple of cotton/acrylic blends that might work: Berroco Weekend or Berroco Captiva or Reynolds Santana.
You can also convert cm to inches in Google. Just type in xcm equals inches and there you go. (I always carry around 10cm=4inches and convert from there.) Good luck with your search and enjoy knitting the blanket. It’d be great to see a picture when it’s finished.

Thanks for all the help. Looking around, it is still going to cost me somewhere in the region of $200 to knit the whole blanket!! EEEk! I think its time to start looking for a new project :frowning:

You could also look at some acrylics or try Knit Picks and see if there is a wool or blend that will work.

I found an acrylic/wool mix called aran something which was nearly the same tension spec and really good value for money available here in UK, but then I wasnt sure if it would just knit up really itchy and make for a horrible blanket. Hard to tell from the internet! I really wish I hadnt bought the pattern, after all my research today, I have found out that the original rowan wool it suggested- all seasons - isnt even available in the colours they suggest any more and I really struggle to see beyond the colours I see in a pattern and make my own contrasts if that makes sense?!! I have the same problem with my quilting, I usually rely on my mum to put colours and patterns together for me - doesnt bode well for me does it?! But then, I cant stand sitting still not doing something, even when watching tv!!

You could ask here about the particular yarn because someone may have experience with it and know its scratchy factor. The other place is to look up the yarn is on Ravelry (free to join) and see what the users’ comments are.
Sometimes it’s wise to go with the colors you see in the pattern picture. That may be the reason you fell in love with the pattern to begin with. Lucky you to have a mum handy to help out.

Oooh, more good advice, thanks! will go back to website and get details to ask folks about it. Mum happened to be with me when I saw the pattern in the book, she wanted the book after me, but not now we cant find the wools! I am lucky she loves to help, she knits too, but I have to nag her to finish otherwise she talks herself out of it, she says she’s not good at sewing together (I think she is!). Love this site and thanks for the top tips, I really did like the pattern and could see myself snuggled up in it, so will keep looking for the right wool and keep you posted! Perhaps I should have started with a cushion though, might have been cheaper :slight_smile:

As to converting measurements. I found a preemie hat pattern from Youtube. The lady doing the video is from Australia where they have metric. We use inches. She’s giving me the measurements for this hat in centimeters. I’m scratching my head figuring I’ll have to do some math or look it up on the internet. I have a tape measure with centimeters on one side and inches on the other. I placed my fingernail on the nine centimeter mark, turned it over, and Wellah! There’s the closest mark in inches. My knitting gauge is also Imperial and metric. Turn the gauge around. Duh! It’s such a simple thing but I felt like such an idiot when I finally figured it out.

As to the yarn, I like wool but it really does need to be washable. You’re not going to be able to handwash a blanket and you certainly can’t afford to take it to a cleaner’s. I like Lion brand Woolease. It’s got the warmth of wool but the washability of an all acrylic. This is a wool acrylic blend. I’m reading that some knitters like to use this as a cheaper alternative to the superwash wools. And Joann’s happens to have this on sale right now. You can buy this online. I’m not sure if they can mail it to you overseas.

Gauge is not all that critical with a blanket. No one is going to see your work. The only thing that matters is that you and your dog like it. Use what you want. The beauty of knitting is that you can change a pattern, tweak it to suit yourself, and change anything you don’t like. Customize it. Put pockets on it. Use whatever yarn tickles your fancy. This is YOUR blanket, not the ladies’ at the yarn shop.

http://www.joann.com/lion-brand-wool-ease-yarn/prd23045/

http://www.joann.com/lion-brand-wool-ease-thick-quick-yarn/prd12018/

I use an online conversion site to figure out conversions or one of my apps.

Weekend is good, I’m making a sweater with it right now. A blanket or afghan is going to be pricey no matter what yarn you choose. Just make sure it’s something you love. Personally I can’t use even most wools or wool blends including Encore because my skin is too sensitive. If that is a concern at all you need to take that into consideration. Some acrylics are not soft either IMO.

Lucy0723,

I’m thinking you’re using ‘wool’ in the UK way, meaning any type of yarn? If so, that might be misleading people to think you are looking specifically for sheep wool, etc., when you’re just looking for suggestions for any appropriate yarn similar to the one recommended but less costly.

Hi again! I was meaning wool as in yarn - my mistake!! Am not fussed if what I make it from originates from our wooly friends, just something that knits up soft (I hate scratchy yarns) and can be machine washed! thanks for the last point, my mistake - not hard to spot I’m a novice - eh?!!:woot:

Not at all! Having lived all over, I’m just used to establishing point of origin to keep me from confusing myself, lol.

So if you’re open to any kind of yarn (including acrylic), check out Caron Simply Soft yarns. They are very soft and very washable and quite affordable. Also, do a search for other types of acrylic yarn and then check Ravelry to see if anyone has commented on the yarn’s softness. Generally, though, yarns with the word “soft” in them are a good place to start.

Don’t give up! You [U]can[/U] find some yarn and get this blanket started–and finished, too!!