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Knitting Yarns Page 1

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Knitting was known to exist in Egypt as early as 1000AD.  Knitting became a popular social activity in Europe by the beginning of the 16th Century.  Wool has been the predominate yarn fiber since knitting began.  It is still considered the most versatile fiber for knitting because of it's warmth, stretch and durability. Today, however, there are a wide range of other natural fibers used to make yarn.  In addition, now there are a great variety of synthetics fibers used in making yarn that closely match or augment the positive qualities of natural fibers. Additionally, the synthetics add further dimension to yarn product texture, color and shape when used independently or in combination with natural fibers.

Wool Yarn

 

Merino sheep's wool is considered the superior wool for yarn.  80% of the Merino sheep are raised in Australia. Additionally, various types of Merino sheep produce wool of different thicknesses. The finer wools are softer; the thicker wools are stronger.  Merino types include: strong (fiber of 23+ microns); medium (fiber of 19.6-22.9 microns); fine (18.6 to 19.5 microns); superfine (15-18.5 microns); ultrafine (14.9 or less microns). The superfine type is referred to as the worlds most perfect fiber because it has all the advantageous properties of wool and the fineness of cashmere. Many of Skein Scene's Debbie Bliss yarns, Rowan yarns, Laines du Nord Cash Silk, Louisa Harding Kashmir DK Rowan Big Wool, Felted Tweed & Cashsoft 4-ply, Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran, Kashmir Baby  contain merino wool.

 
 

Merino Sheep

(All Pictures Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

 
 
Lambswool is wool produced from the first sheering of a lamb.  It is softer than mature sheep's wool. Skein Scene's Noro Silk Garden, Cash Iroha & Rowan Kid Classic contain lambswool.
 
 

The Vicuna fiber is called the golden fleece of fibers.  It changes texture when dyed so is usually only available in its natural cinnamon color.  Vicunas are wild relatives of llamas and alpacas that live in the Andes mountains. They are protected animals that can only be sheered every two or three years.  

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