6 Popular Types of Yarn Used for Knitting

The very mention of yarn brings up images of some colourful yarn balls in a knitter’s mind. Just by visualizing those yarn balls, one would want to hold them and start knitting. Some of the knitters even go to the extent of saying that the yarn ‘talks’ to them. It’s true in a way, although not in reality. Upon holding a yarn, it inspires in the passionate knitter a desire to get something knitted. 

There are many different types of yarn. They can be from an animal or a plant. Besides, the textures of each yarn and the style of knitting associated with it may vary. Here are some of the popular types of yarn used for knitting:

1. Cotton

This type of yarn comes from the cotton plant. India, United States, and China are the biggest producers of cotton. The cotton yarn can either be fine or heavy. As it is light and breathable, cotton yarn is a perfect choice for summer knits. It can also be used to produce potholders, dishcloths, and scrubbies.

2. Organic wool

Organic wool is obtained from sheep and is free from chemicals. It is sourced from livestock that has not been through drenches, dips, or antibiotics. Only hot water and detergent is used in the cleaning process of this wool. It is good for the environment. Another important aspect of the yarn made from organic wool is that it comes from healthy sheep.

3. Cashmere

One of the softest wool and yarn types, it comes from the Cashmere goats. The word Cashmere is the old spelling of the Kashmir state located in northern India. It is quite expensive and for a big reason. Once in a year, the Cashmere goats shed their undercoat. It is closer to the skin and needs to be separated from the outer hair. 

Unlike the wool from the sheep that is obtained by shearing, the undercoat of this goat is combed and collected. It is a labour-intensive process. Once processed, the yield of yarn from one goat is only about 4 ounces. To make a sweater, it would take yarns collected from four Cashmere goats. 

4. Merino Wool

The yarn from this type of wool is quite popular in knitting big chunky items. It comes from a distinct breed called the Merino Sheep. The wool obtained from this breed of sheep is special. It’s quite soft and doesn’t cause any allergic reactions. When blocked, the fabric knitted using this wool keeps its shape well. The yarn made using this wool is great for knitting special winter woollies. 

5. Silk

Silk yarn can be of two types, spun silk yarn and reeled silk yarn. Although the silk yarn is easy to work with, it can be slippery. Utmost care must be taken while knitting with a yarn made from silk. It gives a lovely feel to the skin and is relatively cool. The silk yarn, therefore, is perfect for knitting summer items.

6. Acrylic

Acrylic yarn is synthetic and cheaper than most natural fibres. It can be washed easily and is an excellent choice for those who’ve just got started in knitting. Sashay and Caron are the two types of acrylic yarns. They are ideal for beginners attempting to knit scarves.

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