Know-How Knitting: Choosing Yarn to Fit the Season

Basket of Yarn
Basket of Yarn

Buy Yarn That Suits The Project

When you go to chose your yarn, be sure you buy the right type of yarn. For example, if you're knitting a scarf for winter, you probably don't want to pick out yarn that is thin or that will stretch from the weight of the finished project and leave holes between stitches (especially if you use needles larger than recommended for that particular yarn). For cooler projects (i.e. a summer tank top) you wouldn't want to buy thick, bulky yarn. Of course, you could experiment to find with yarn works best for the project you are knitting. Keep in mind, though, what season the knit item will be worn in most. After you've decided what kind of yarn you want to go with consider the texture of the yarn.

Texture: What's Comfortable?

The title says it all. Think, next, about what would be the most comfortable. Rub the yarn on the back of your hand and ask these questions: Is it scratchy? Is it soft? Will it poke?

First, you should consider exactly where the finished item will be worn. If it's a beanie, scarf, or other clothing garment that will come in direct contact with skin (especially more tender areas like the face, neck, or belly) you don't want to choose a yarn that will scratch. Nor do you want one that will poke where the seams are sewn together. Soft yarns tend to do best. Especially yarns made for babies.

If it's a garment that won't come in much contact with skin, like a cardigan or blanket, then you have more freedom to just choose a yarn that you think looks good.

Note: If the project you are going to start is for a baby, it's always best to use yarn made for babies or acrylic yarn. You should never use wool for baby oriented projects because there is a possibility that they may be allergic. Also, acrylic is easily washed.

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The Colors Of The Seasons

The last thing to look at when buying yarn is color. If you are just going off of favorite colors for the person the item is made for, then you don't have to think twice other than choosing a shade of that color. But, if you're knitting a seasonal item (i.e. scarf, tank top, beanie, bikini), then choosing colors that compliment that particular season will make the item stand out more. In a good way!

Let's start with the winter season since we're in it. Winter colors tend to be blacks, grays and whites. You could use other colors as well, but it'd be best to try and find those colors with an "icy" feel to them. What I mean by that is imagine that color frozen. What would it look like? Pretty much that color with a sheet of thin ice over it, muting the color so it's not so bright.

Spring. The best season for color. Pastels tend to look better (softer on the eyes) and suggest a warming up from the previous winter colors. But bright, vibrant colors do well, too. Yellows, a few browns and some blues, purples and green would work well together to represent the new blooms and freshly watered earth that feeds them. Also, the high volume of yellows represents the sun after April shower skies have cleared. If you want, you can even make a scarf using all the colors of the rainbow.

Summer is hot and dry. Colors best showing this are oranges, yellows and reds. Of course, if you don't want your knit items to soak up the sun, you can mix with whites and lighter shades of the above colors. Pastels are also good for this season.

And finally, autumn. Just look outside at the trees. The leaves say it all. The best colors for this season are browns, oranges, yellows, some shades of green (maybe olive shades). Dark reds and maroons as well as the darker, more golden shades of yellows work best with browns for the autumn season.

On To The Project!

Once you've chosen your final yarn, you can *finally* move on to making it! Just remember to choose a yarn that will compliment your chosen pattern, will feel comfortable, and compliments the season it will be worn in most. People just might think it's from a brand name company!

Below I have included some links to sites that have examples of season knits. Be sure to visit them to get a better visual of what to look for in yarn.

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