If I could give you all there is to know about yarns, and which ones to use for all your knitting projects, it would take up a year's worth of newsletters! What I will do, is to concentrate on the good stuff. that is, the information you will need to begin any afghan adventure. There are yarns that work wonderfully with afghans, and there are yarns which I wouldn't think of using.
Remember, afghans are big projects; it's your stitchery that you want to show off, and the simpler choice of yarn is what you should be after. I recommend worsted weight or sport weight yarn. And, what are these, you ask? Worsted yarn is smooth, and even-textured. It knits up about 5 stitches per inch. Worsted is probably the most popular yarn used by knitters. Sport yarn is very much like worsted, but it will feel softer to the touch.
Along with sport weight yarn, you will see yarns such as DK yarn, which stands for double-knitting. This yarn is a tad finer than worsted yarn. For really thick yarns, turn to the Aran or fisherman yarns, but I do not recommend these either for afghan knitting.
Do not get involved with yarns such as chenille or chunky yarns. Not to say these are great yarns for other projects, but for afghans, they do not fit in very well. Baby yarns are perfect for baby creations; the softness makes them too soft for a durable afghan venture. There is also a yarn known as fingering yarn; it is very delicate and I always use it when working open-work or lace patterns. I know the first thing we see whenever we visit the yarn section in a craft store is all that crazy, colorful, snazzy, new yarn, which comes in so many fabulous shades and tints, that we just have to buy at least a few in order to make something with them! Save these for scarves, or little accessories; but don't use them for afghans. The one yarn I haven't mentioned yet is wool.
Wool makes a great insulator, and has some stretch to it, and if you wish to use it for an afghan, by all means do so. Personally, I leave the wool yarn for favorite projects, such as vests or sweaters. They always look great. Always remember, when knitting an afghan, it is your knitting expertise that you want to show off; whether you knit in squares, or strips, or just one long pattern, your afghan will reflect what you know about knitting.
Some of the simplest stitches will look like the most complicated of patterns; and you will be just as surprised as everyone else when you assemble your project and discover you have the most beautiful of afghans!.
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