Thursday, September 1, 2016

Behind the Line
Gathering Materials: Finding Yarn


kinds of yarn
Part of my Yarn Inventory

    I don't know about you, but grocery shopping can be so overwhelming sometimes.  This is especially true when trying a new recipe and looking for an ingredient I never even heard of before!  The same goes when it comes to shopping for yarn.  Okay, so I have my new pattern (recipe) with the cute picture or a picture in my head of what I want to make, what's next?

Now I have to find what yarn to use.

     Well first, I have to figure out where to find it.  Just like grocery stores carry different brands and specialties of food, so to do craft stores and the like carry different brands and specialties of yarn.  One store may have the brand of yarn I am looking for, but not the color or weight.  Another store that used to carry the yarn may have decided not to sell it anymore.  Also, it is possible that it is an old pattern and the yarn has been discontinued. While I sometimes order yarn online, I do prefer to purchase it from a brick and mortar. Other things that factor into finding yarn are price, if it is machine washable, and at least partly made in the USA. Once I do find the yarn I want, I check the dye lot a number on the label, that tells me these skeins came from the same batch of yarn and therefore match in shade. There are many types of yarn and which one I choose depends upon what I am making.

What do I plan to crochet?

    There are fuzzy yarns, thick yarns, soft yarns, thin yarns, it is mind boggling!  Walking into the yarn aisle or a yarn store for me is so exciting.  The balls of yarn are like candy calling me from the candy jar in the kitchen. Sometimes I just stand and stare in awe for awhile letting my eyes soak it in.
    Then I get into touch and feel mode.  If I am making a blanket, then I want something soft and cuddly.  If I am making a place mat, I head for the cotton yarn.  If I am making a light weight Spring hat, then I'll look at the baby yarn.  The fuzzy and bumpy yarns I tend to reserve for trim.  The lighter weight yarns have a better drape factor where the heavier yarns make a product stiff.  I could experiment with a small pattern, making it in various types of yarn and each would look different! Each yarn weight - ranging from 0 or lace to 7 or jumbo - has a recommended hook size. How the product looks also depends on what size hook I use.  I will discuss crochet hooks in my next post!