Custom patches on hats have become more than just a fashion…
Knitting is an art that has been around since the 11th century. While the styles have changed throughout time, the art remains the same. However, while knitting was mostly a way to make warm garments back then, 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, a circular hook hoop, or knitting with your fingers, making beanies is a fun project.
5 Ways to Choose the Best Yarn for Knitting Beanies
Picking the right kind of yarn for your project is essential to knit the perfect beanie. So how do you tell which yarn is suitable for your project?
Here are five key considerations that can help you make the right decision.
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 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 easy to tangle or break, so it must be handled carefully.
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 for 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 yarns 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, blankets, and scarves. This type of yarn is also good for beginners because the knit is looser, so the project can be completed quicker.
2. Weight of the Yarn
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 many other choices, like color and fiber type.
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 deciding what kind of yarn to use for your DIY beanie, examine the features of different yarns, 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 choose one with the proper weight for a hat and one that feels good. Keep in mind, a chunky yarn can make your beanie feel heavy.
3. Type of Beanie to be Knit
Aside from durability and yarn weight, you should also consider the type of beanie you want to knit.
If you’re making a beanie for the winter, you’ll be better off using thicker yarns (e.g., wool blends). These offer better warmth, and that’s why wool beanies also make great Christmas hats.
Finally, many spring and summer beanies comprise cotton yarn (one of the commonest natural fibers). The breathability of this lightweight yarn makes it an excellent choice for a beanie you intend to wear when the weather begins to warm up after winter.
4. Customer Type
Do you plan to sell your beanie creations? You’ll have to consider the types of customers you’re selling to. A key consideration in this regard is their skin type, as some fibers are kinder to sensitive skin than others.
Man-made fibers can feel harsh and irritate the skin after prolonged use, so they aren’t ideal for sensitive customers. As an alternative, consider using wool yarns from animals (e.g., Alpaca yarn). Not only do they provide a softer touch, but they also offer better warmth in the winter months.
5. Suitable Colors
Yarns are available in various colors, so you might want to consider the hat’s color when making custom beanies.
A basic understanding of color theory should help you choose yarns that go together. Color theory is the study of how colors interact. For example, some colors contrast better than others, while others may clash when used together.
If you can visualize your yarns around a color wheel, you’ll be able to pick colors that are complementary and analogous to one another. This knowledge will ensure you make beanies with aesthetically-pleasing color combinations.
Choosing yarn for a beanie isn’t hard. Consider the yarn’s durability and weight, the type of hat you want to create, and the final wearer of the beanie, and you’ll be golden.
When starting your project, make sure to pick the correct 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.