Understanding yarn labels

So much important information on a yarn label! 

When  we are all excited and out shopping for new yarn for a project, there is a very high chance that our eyes will be drawn to a different yarn. Possibly for our current project or just because its so darn pretty! Surely that doesn’t happen to just me! 

Fully understanding the labels and the information given on our yarn can give us confidence that if we are swapping from a recommended yarn in a project, to an alternative brand of yarn or colour or yarn size, what the impact will be.

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Things to really pay attention to on your Yarn Label:

Gauge: This gives you the size a swatch would be using the recommended hook. 

In this example, when using this yarn over 4 inches x 4 inches you should see 18 stitches. If you are following a pattern, creating a swatch is really important for making it the right size – but that’s a whole other blogs worth of info! 

Hook Size: the label provides the recommended hook size to create the tension as per the swatch. It doesn’t mean you have to use that size if you want to create tighter stitches and therefore a tighter fabric, use a smaller hook than recommended or a larger hook for a looser fabric. 

Dye/Lot No: if your project is likely to use more than one ball or skein of yarn, I would recommend ensuring that you purchase all the wool required at the same time and checking that they all have the same lot number. Good wool shops will check this with you as you purchase. 

I can not stress how important to have the same lot number is across your project. You may not even be able to spot the slight colour change between the lots, but believe me, it will very noticeable in your finished project. 

This is why I always recommend starting using your ball of wool from the middle to prevent losing your labels. 

Fibre Content: This lets you know what the yarn is made from – acrylic, wool, cotton or a blend and the percentage of each fibre. All fibres act differently as they are worked up. For example, tee-shirt yarn can be stretchy and have an effect on how you work with it

Yarn Length: This information is essential to check that you have enough to complete your project, especially if you are swapping yarns to make a pattern. 

Care Instructions: If you are taking time to make something special, you want to know how to care for it or if you’re gifting or selling the item, let the new owner how to care for make. 

Whatever beautiful yarn you have bought, the yarn label is your best friend! 

Take time to peek at the yarn you already have, and consider making a swatch up that measures 8 inches by 8 inches. Count between the 4 inch square to see if your tension matches the recommended size. If you find you have too make stitches, increase the size of hook you are using by 0.5mm. If you have too few stitches, decrease your hook size by 0.5mm and make another swatch. 

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