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Yarn pooling: what it is and how to manage it
September 07, 2020

Yarn pooling: what it is and how to manage it

Knitting with artisanal yarns requires certain knowledge. First of all you need to know how to wash hand-dyed yarns and you will find a very detailed article on this subject by clicking HERE. Once the issue of care is covered, let's talk about what is commonly known in knitting language as "POOLING". First of all, what is pooling? The term "pooling" is used when the colors of a semi-solid, speckled or variegated yarn all come together in the same place in a knitted fabric. It is easier to illustrate this concept in a picture with a variegated yarn: Here is a perfect example of "pooling". The Grounded pattern you see above has been knitted with a two-tone skein (chocolate and moss green). In one part of this knit, at the waist, you can see chocolate and moss green "pooling" appearing, a bit like a liquid where water and oil refuse to blend. Why is this? Because the combination of "number of stitches and yarn colors" at that particular spot made the chocolate color arrive at the same place on several rows in a row and the moss green followed the rhythm! And don't think that the pooling effect occurs only in multi-colored yarns, you can see it in knits with semi solid colors as well as in the Autumn Breeze pattern. "To pool or not to pool"... That is the question! Some people don't like pooling at all and will do anything to avoid it while others like the effect of pooling so much that some dyers and yarn manufacturers will intentionally dye the yarn to produce this effect. When well mastered, pooling can be very interesting and add a "wow" effect to some projects, but in other cases it can be annoying and produce an undesired result. How to minimise pooling? The best method to minimize pooling is to alternate the skeins (or balls of yarn) every other row if you knit back and forth or every round if you knit in the round. Not only will this way of knitting reduce the "pooling" effect, but it will also ease the transition from one skein to another. Because even when they come from the same dye lot, artisanal yarn skeins are slightly different from each other: the end of one skein does not necessarily correspond to the exact color of the beginning of the next skein. So to avoid a demarcation in your project, alternating the skeins is the best solution. Personally, when I knit sweaters I ALWAYS alternate the skeins between them from the beginning to the end. This method allows me to obtain a homogeneous result while preserving the hand-dyed yarns' unique and artisanal look. It's an easy habit to take and after a while it becomes natural! And if alternating the hanks is not possible? If you have only one skein for example, you could always alternate using the beginning and the end of the same ball, but if the idea is completely repugnant to you, there is still hope: Whenever possible, change the way you knit: if you work in the round, try to knit back and forth or vice versa. Sometimes, a slight modification to the gauge can make things better: try with a needle half a size smaller or larger. Change the knitting stitch pattern: replace the jersey with a seed stitch for example. Adding or removing a few stitches could also make enough difference to break the pooling.  

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A Beginner's Guide to 6 Different Types of Yarn
March 22, 2017

A Beginner's Guide to 6 Different Types of Yarn

Sock yarn, self-striping yarn, knitting patterns – oh my. Prior to knitting, yarn was just yarn but as you start to indulge in this new hobby, you’ll quickly see that there is no shortage of options when it comes to materials. With baskets overflowing with all kinds of yarn, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a breakdown all of the different types of yarn and what each will do for your knitting aspirations. Sock Yarn For Feet Just as the name reads, sock yarns are for the kind of knitting designs you intend to be placed on feet. More specifically, this term refers to the weight of the yarn. You wouldn’t use the same yarn for a chunky knit sweater as you would for a pair of socks and that’s because of the way the material needs to fit. The most common sock yarns are DK weight, fingering weight and worsted weight, and they can typically be found in any fiber you desire. So, whether you want to craft some bulky winter knee socks, hiking socks or soft, traditional socks, sock yarn is where to go.   Self Striping Yarn For a Colourful Change Throughout our yarn website, you’ll hear a lot about self-striping yarn and that’s because it’s a huge trend. Self-striping yarns are yarns that have various colours woven together to create a stylish appeal. The colours change throughout the knitting designs, allowing every piece you create to be unique in its own way. Self-striping yarns are often used to create scarves, socks, hats, mitts, blankets – you name it. Hand Dyed Yarn for True Handmade Creations You’ll also come across several hand-dyed yarn varieties. These are excellent knitting materials for the true artisan out there, as each piece of yarn may not be identical to the next even if they come from the same dye. This is important to know if you intend to knit 100% identical pieces. The benefit of using this type of yarn is that it emits exquisite, hand-crafted beauty that you simply can’t get from brick and motor stores and products.   Yarns from Animals Yarns come from many different places, and some are even made with animal-based fibers from sheep (as the merino wool), llamas, goats (cashmere and mohair), alpacas, etc. Each has their own unique characteristics and softness. However, it’s important to know what type of animal the yarn is made of, as this can instantly determine whether or not you want to use it. For example, you may not want to use animal based yarns that are produced unethically and unnaturally from animals such as rabbits and foxes. This is a very important thing to consider, especially if you’re knitting for profit. Everyone appreciates yarns that are naturally provided by animals, such as wool from sheep, but the same can’t be said for all the rest.  Plant Producing Yarns Plants are also great sources of yarn that don’t harm the environment in any way.  These are a huge trend in today’s knitting industry, as people are starting to prefer natural, safe materials as opposed to synthetic ones. Some common types of natural plant-based yarns include cotton, bamboo, hemp, silk & seacell. Each have their own level of softness, which can help you determine which one is best for your knitting designs. Synthetic Fibers is Great for Starters While synthetic fibers aren't always the most common type of yarns used today, they still hold precedence and can be perfect for your knitting designs. These types of yarns are typically acrylic, which is an inexpensive and machine washable option, making them ideal for many knitting designs. They’re also a great yarn to start with if you’re a knitting beginner. And that’s not even getting into the true depth of the different varieties of yarn available across the industry. From speckled yarns to solid tones, lace to bulky yarn weight, everything you need to knit up your knitting designs can be found on Biscotte Yarns. Join our mystery yarn club today and enjoy new yarn to turn into a unique knitting patterns on the regular. You just never know what you're going to unravel.  NEWBIE KNITTER? Find more info about Knitting yarn types, knitting stitches and other resources for beginners on eKnittingStitches.com

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A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting Designs
March 17, 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting Designs

  Behind every knitter is a giant basket full of yarns, knitting designs, and needles. As the knitting industry grows, with crochet fashion styles and yarn crafts coming into trend, there’s no better time to indulge in this hobby. What was once reserved for retired grandmas is now a modern day trend every age is enjoying. However, as a beginner it can be hard to know where to start. So, allow this to be your beginners guide to everything you need to know about knitting.    The Amount of Yarn to Buy It can be difficult to gauge how much yarn you need to buy for each knitting design, even if you’ve been knitting for years. Fortunately, all of the knitting designs on Biscotte Yarns tell you exactly what you need to create the masterpiece shown. In fact, each knitting pattern clearly describes the type and amount of yarn needed as well as the knitting needles required. So, all that’s left to do is channel your inner creativity and put your craft into action. This is important Biscotte Yarns benefit. When knitting designs don’t come with information about the type and amount of yarn, it makes the entire creation process significantly harder. So, we make sure the only thing you have to do is weave.    Easiest Knitting Designs for Starters Ask any knitter and they’ll tell you the easiest knitting designs to start with are hats and scarves. Whether it’s a patterned hat, ear warmers, headbands, long scarf, short scarf or something in between, this is where every beginner should perfect their craft. Hats and scarves are typically round or straight, making them the easiest knitting designs out there. However, it’s important to stick with the most basic of styles because like everything in life, hats, and scarves can also be very complex depending on the specific style. In other words, a standard scarf is going to be much easier to make than a ruffle scarf. So, stick with the simple staples first.   The Different Types of Yarn Not all yarns are created equally, and it’s important to know the materials you’ll be using within your knitting designs. While each knitting patterns available on Biscotte Yarns come with clear instructions, including the type of yarn to use, substitutions can often be made. This is important information to have, especially if you’re knitting something for someone with sensitive skin, fabric allergies or a specific lifestyle. For example, it’s probably a bad idea to knit with animal-based fibers such as wool if you’ll be gifting your creation to someone who is vegan. So, pay attention to the different types of yarn. Take the time to learn, feel and knit with several varieties, so you can understand each better. This will also allow you to easily implement substitutions as needed.    The Knack of Knitting Needles Along with baskets overflowing of knitting yarn and tabletops covered with knitting designs, you’ll also see the industry also has just as many knitting needles to choose from. If you have no idea where to start, read the instructions provided with Biscotte Yarns knitting designs, as the specific needle you need to knit up each masterpiece is carefully described. However, if you’re eager to purchase some knitting needles today, start with a medium size needle and medium yarn. These are the perfect and most comfortable size of knitting needles for beginners to weave up an incredible creation.    As you perfect your knitting patterns and learn more about the knitting craft as a whole, you’ll be able to move onto more complex knitting designs and materials. However, to ensure a positive transition from amateur to expert, start slowly and focus in on the small details before heading into the next level. You should definitely join our Mystery Yarn Club, where we send unique yarns and knitting designs to you bimonthly. It’s like Christmas every other month. So, join today and start knitting.

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