Welcome back to our two-part series on hats around the world!…
Knitting is an art that has been around since the 11th century A.D. While the styles have changed throughout time, the art remains the same. However, while in older times knitting was a way to make warm garments, nowadays it’s more of a hobby than a necessity.
A popular knitting pattern for people in modern times is the beanie. Be it traditional knitting with needles, knitting with a circular hook hoop, or knitting with your fingers, beanies are a fun project to make for yourself or someone you love.
When knitting a beanie, it’s essential to pick the right kind of yarn for your project. If you have a pattern you’re going off of, it may tell you the type of yarn you need as far as weight categories go. But if you’re not using a pattern, you may be stumped. In addition to the weight of the yarn, you may also be faced with a lot of other choices, like color and fiber type.
So how do you tell which yarn is right for what you’re trying to accomplish? Yarn is a textile manufactured from fibers, which could be synthetic (polyester and nylon), plant-based (cotton and silk) or animal-based (wool, angora, and mohair). The original fibers are spun to make the thicker strands you find in balls in the store. The number of plies in the yarn will affect not only the feel of the yarn but also how the finished product will drape and the stitch definition.
Yarn is often categorized by the ply count. Each type of ply count is useful for different things. Category 0 is the lightest weight yarn. Also called lace, this type of yarn is one ply and is good for making lacy designs like doilies or table runners. This yarn is very easy to tangle or break, so it must be handled with care.
Categories 1, 2, and 3 range from 2- to 5-ply and are suitable for making small garments like gloves, hats, and socks. These categories are also good types of yarn to use if you’re making clothing for babies and children.
Category 4 yarns are 8- to 10-ply and are well-suited to beginning knitters. These yarns have a good stitch definition, which means it’s easy to see each stitch while you’re knitting. This also means it’s really easy to know if you drop a stitch or make a mistake. This kind of yarn is good for making hats, mittens, sweaters, and scarves.
Categories 5 and 6 yards are 12- to 14-ply and are chunky and bulky. They have a reduced stitch definition, which means they are very forgiving if you make a mistake. The yarn is good for throws, blanket, and scarves. This type of yarn is also good for beginners because the knit is looser, so the project can be completed quicker.
When you buy a ball of yarn, it has a ball band or label. The label states everything knitters need to know about the yarn, including the fiber content, quantity, weight, care instructions, needle size to use, gauge, and dye-lot number.
When you’re deciding what kind of yarn to use for your DIY beanie, examine the features of different yarn, but don’t forget to consider how it feels to the touch. This garment will grace your head or the head of your loved one. So when selecting yarn, choose one with the proper weight for a hat and one that feels good to you.
When you go to start your project, make sure you pick the right needle gauge as stated on the label. You should keep the label to make sure you or your loved one knows how to care for your beanie once it’s finished.