Worsted Weight Yarn? Washable wool?

Hi! I am a relatively beginner knitter. I don’t know much about yarn and gauges.

I have a couple of questions regarding my next project, which are alphabet type baby blocks (with foam centers):

  1. The pattern calls for worsted weight washable wool yarn, I was told that worsted weight is about 17-18 stitches on size 8 needles for 4" but I am having trouble finding that in colors that I like for the project. I found some yarn that says 16" on size 8 needles but the pattern also calls for using size 5 needles, do you think this one will work?

  2. The yarn I like is also not washable, it is regular wool. Will this make a difference or do you think they say washable simply because it is for a kid and will make it easier to clean. If I use regular wool can they simply hand wash the blocks and let them air dry? Is there another reason why I should use washable wool?

Any worsted weight yarn will do. Worsted weight yarn is anywhere from 16 to 20 stitches per 4 inches on US size 7 - 9 needles. Anything in that range should work for you, but be sure to knit a gauge swatch to determine what needle size you should use.

So long as the pattern doesn’t require you to launder the pieces for any reason, the yarn doesn’t HAVE to be washable. But since it’s for a kid, washable wool is highly recommended. Kids items have to be washed pretty frequently and hand washing wool is not exactly a quick and easy task. But if you’re the one who will be doing the washing, it’s entirely up to you. If it’s a gift, I really suggest you use a machine washable yarn, just for courtesy’s sake.

Check out Plymouth Encore. It’s a wool blend, soft and beautifully washable with lots of colors.

Or, you could try Knit Pick’s Swish Superwash. It’s a great superwash wool.

ditto what contiknitter says. i love knitpicks!

I would agree with trying to find a washable yarn, even if you have to change from wool to a blend or something.

There are lots of wool blends that are washable…

I love Knitpicks too. It’s very soft!

I would recommend Cascade 220 Superwash. It comes in lots of nice colors and is fully machine washable. I’ve used it for baby things and it is a great yarn, not too expensive.