You’ve come to right place.
If you love knitting, crocheting or sewing, there’s a good chance you’re going to either buy your wool and equipment online or to find the best wool shop near me. Many people prefer to buy their wool from a local wool shop so they can get hands on the product and find the best colours, thicknesses and textures to suit a particular project.
Finding the best wool shops
Not all wool shops near by are alike, in fact there can be huge differences in quality and price from yarn shops just around the corner from one another. We recommend you spend time in each of the ‘wool shops near me’ to allow you to get used to their ranges, brands and pricing models. Having experience with each will allow you to know which wool shop is best for a particular project, whether quality is of the upmost importance or price is the biggest factor.
Things to look out for
Find a shop that holds a large selection of colours, types and prices of wool at any given time. Many people expect to go home with the wool that day, so most stores will always keep a wide range on the shelf ready to take home.
Some things to look out for:
- Colour selection – Is there a good range of colours available?
- Brand selection – Do they sell different brands of yarn?
- Price range – Do they have different price ranges to suit different projects?
- Free advice – Are the staff friendly and knowledgeable about their product?
- Organised & Tidy – Is the shop well organised and kept tidy?
Choosing the right wool/yarn
There’s tons of different wools & yarns out there, from colour tones to thicknesses and quality of fibres. Before diving in and buying a wool simply because it looks okay, it’s recommended that you get to grips with the actual specifics and what you should be looking out for.
Don’t forget to always check the yardage when buying balls of yarn, manufacturers can often wind it differently to make less look like more. By looking at the label around the ball of yarn, you should be able to find out everything you need to know about the brand, colour, yardage and fibres.
If you still have questions, we recommend you talk to a member of staff who should be able to explain everything you need to know and answer any questions.
Different Types of Yarn and Guidelines for Picking the Best Yarn
Yarn is used for crocheting, sewing, knitting, stitching, plaiting, carpet and rope making, as well as the production of textiles. Fibres that make up a yarn can vary from animal fibres, synthetic fibres to plant fibres.
Plant fibres include cotton, and linen which are produced from alpaca, silk, angora, and wool. Wool is produced in very high quantities compared to the rest, this is because sheep have a lot more wool on their bodies than other animals. The different types of fibres consist of various qualities (both good and bad), these fibres are usually merged together in order to make use of each of the fibres’ good qualities.
Different Types of Yarn
If you’re new to crocheting, you’re probably not aware of all the different types of yarn and wool that’s available locally. From animals, plants and synthetic, there’s a wide range of different textures and characteristics to be had.
Below we look at some of the most popular types of yarn that you’re likely to come across locally. If you’re looking for an in-depth guide on the different types, we high recommend this website.
If you’re interested in seeing how cotton is produced, we found this great video which highlights the manufacturing process.
Yarn from animal fibre.
– Sheep’s wool
Yarn made from sheep’s wool and can vary greatly with texture and quality, as well as depending on the type of the sheep that produced the wool. The quality of wool is typically determined by the breed of sheep and its age. Lopi and Merino are the most common sheep for producing quality wool and Merino has the highest rate in terms of its price.
– Alpaca fiber
Alpacas are sheep-like animals which are related closely to llamas. They produce wool similarly to sheep but with dissimilar characteristics. Their wool is much warmer than sheep’s wool and they do not contain fat.
Yarn from plant fibre
This is the most common source for yarn production. The various types of cotton vary quite a lot with their characteristics. The most used types of cotton are Pima cotton which is known as the finest cotton on earth. It has long fibres and is extremely soft, it is also resistant to creasing, waning, ripping and unraveling.
Another type of cotton is Egyptian cotton which is longer than Pima cotton and thus making it also soft and easy to work with. The last type of cotton commonly used is Upland cotton which is short unlike the first two, it is suitable for production of affordable as well as quality products for everyone. It is also known as American cotton.
Its fibres are very short so they cannot be used to make a natural fibre, however, with the help of chemical methods, they can create a synthetic fibre. Bamboos are also useful to the environment since they prevent soil erosion and produce oxygen, therefore they are harvested carefully without destroying the plant.
Yarn from synthetic fibres
Synthetic fibres are mostly preferred to natural fibres because they are considered to be long lasting and cannot be easily dyed as well as water proof.
A rayon is a man-made cellulosic fibre mainly made from refined wood and plant tissue. Rayon is commonly produced through the viscose method, it’s a process that produces an artificial silk.
It is normally made from a combination of natural fibres and artificial fibres. Mostly used to make clothes as well as linens and fabric. Polyester can be combined with cotton to form a range of different materials.
Qualities to Look for While Buying Yarn for Crocheting or Knitting
Type of fibre
It is important to first choose the type of yarn to be used from the range of fibres available, such as animal and plant fibres. The selection of these fibres often depends on whether you have experience in knitting or crocheting. For beginners, cotton, wool, and acrylic yarn are much easier to work with and are therefore a good recommended starting point.
Wool yarn is easy to untangle in case of a small mishap, and they can also be used again. To some people, and cotton yarn is somewhat more difficult in crocheting than yarn since since it is inflexible, although it is perfect for other projects which require this quality.
Acrylic yarn is mostly embraced by crocheting beginners, although some acrylic yarns are hard to deal with since they open up so we recommend you ensure and acrylic yarn you buy is of the highest quality.
Weight of yarn
Depending on the expertise of the knitter, the thickness or weight of yarn should be considered. Choose the weight of yarn that you can use comfortably without finding it too thin or too thick. Details about the weight or thickness of the yarn are written on the yarn’s packaging.
Price of yarn
Prices of yarn vary with the quality of yarn being offered. A higher price on yarn typically indicates its quality. However cotton, wool, and acrylic are the ones commonly used.
Yardage of the yarn
Different yarn brands produce different amounts of yardage, two yarns can be the same price but the yardage amount can be different so it is important to check whether the yardage before you buy.
Most knitters knit things to wear, like scarfs, cardigans, throw blankets as well as leg warmers. It is necessary to check the washing instruction of the type of yarn you are considering buying. Some yarns cannot be washed using machines, others reduce in size when put in a drier, while others can stretch.
To make it easier to see all the stitches while crocheting, choose a brighter type of yarn as opposed to darker types of yarn. Brighter yarns are much more visible making it less likely that you accidentally miss a stitch.
Crocheting is fun and easy to learn, therefore as much as choosing the type of yarn is important, any type of yarn can be used when you’re trying to learn. The main thing the worry about, is simply getting started.