Posted by: GourmetGirl | April 15, 2014

Knitwear in Your Closet

Having knitwear in my  closet that I want to wear is always my goal.

I have determined that comfort is the key element to accomplish this goal. Yarn is the place to start!

SummerWOcu

Summer Wild Oats

Yarn’s comfort has various elements to consider.

1. Time of Year. The time of year you knit the garment AND the time of year you want to wear the garment. This statement is obvious, but I want to take that farther and ask you a question. Do you grab a ready-made sweater more often because of the weight of the piece over a heavier knitted item?

Maybe not when it is 20 below outside, but generally throughout the year? If you are like me, you do tend to wear sweaters that are made with lighter weight yarn. Do you see where I am going with this? Which leads me to #2.

2. Yarn Weight. Lighter weight yarn = more wear. Whether your yarn is light weight wool or light weight cotton, it is my belief that knitwear is more comfortable, therefore worn more, when the yarn is light weight.

3. Stitches to the Inch. Lighter weight yarn means more stitches to the inch. Some knitters shy away from lighter weight yarn and using smaller needles because it means more time knitting the garment.

100_4835

Barcelona

Knitting a sweater takes more hours than anyone wants to count anyway! If adding more knitting time means you will wear the piece more, what is the big deal?

4. Using Smaller Needles. Using the correct needles for any project is worth your time knitting a swatch. The looser your stitches are, the more your garment will stretch. Add 1200 or more yards of yarn, yes you know, the weight will create more growth.

It is rare for me to use needles above US size 4/3.5mm or knit with any yarn heavier than a light worsted weight.

The project I just finished is knit with Noro sock yarn. It is blocked and worn twice already. It is light weight and comfortable.

A project I am working on now, Paradise, the yarn is 4 threads and I am using US size 1/2.25 mm needles. It is about 6 inches from the underarm join. I started it last summer and will be wearing it proudly this summer!

5. Ignore the Tag on the Yarn. Use your eyes. Knit a swatch. Use smaller needles and knit another swatch. One or two needles sizes down will not change the stitches per inch – but will allow less stretch on the final garment. (No one wants a piece to grow to be too big and baggie!)

I do have worsted weight and even some heavy worsted weight yarn in my stash….. What am I going to do with it? Probably at some point, knit something to resemble a sweat shirt? Or will it just sit and look pretty?

Happy Knitting to Wear-a-Lot,

Nancy

~

 

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