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Why you should knit with lace weight yarn

 

Yesterday we talked generally about It’s a Wrap, and I mentioned it’s rated as Super Fine, number 1, and lace. If you’re not used to knitting with lace, this might deter you, but it shouldn’t! It’s a Wrap comes in all sorts of fun colors, and color-blocks in a unique way. If that isn’t enough to convert you over to lace knitting, I’ll give you a couple good reasons to knit with lace.

 

Super fine weight yarn. See the swatch knit with It's a Wrap yarn, lovely stitch definition.
Super fine weight yarn. See the swatch knit with It’s a Wrap yarn, lovely stitch definition.

 

When I first started knitting, I walked into a yarn store to buy yarn for a sweater I was going to make. I asked the proprietress to show me the thickest yarn they had. I didn’t want this to take forever and I didn’t want to buy 87 balls of yarn for this one project. Thick yarn was the way to do that. I can remember this poor lady trying to convince me to use a different yarn, a thinner yarn, a medium or worsted, anything but the super chunky sale stuff I picked out. I’m probably one of those customers that haunts this poor lady’s dreams.

 

The gradient from pink into purple really makes the color, Romance, pop.
The gradient from pink into purple really makes the color, Romance, pop.

 

I didn’t know any better, but using a large yarn adds mass to a sweater. There are patterns where that look is intended, but this was not one of them. It made the whole sweater look bulky and anyone who wore it looked bulky. Where there were two layers of yarn around the cuff and hem, the fabric was so thick it constantly flipped over. Without a doubt this was the ugliest, lumpiest, unformed, swelteringly hot, and unwearable sweater. 

 

One more thing about fine yarn is the fact that you can get so much from one ball! Look at how fine the yarn is and how much of it is spooled into the balls.
One more thing about fine yarn is the fact that you can get so much from one ball! Look at how fine the yarn is and how much of it is spooled into the balls.

 

The moral of this story is, thin yarn might take you a little longer to knit your project, but it’s worth the time in the end.

Thinner yarn shows more stitch detail, if you’re looking at color work, it will be more precise. If you want to do fancy stitches, they will be easier to see.

The other aspect I mentioned is thicker yarn adds mass. If your sweater is half an inch thick and you’re wearing it, that sweater is going to add the illusion of a half inch to everything is covers. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got problems enough. A sweater made from lace weight will be thinner and give you more control over your pattern.

If you’re worried about being too cold (or too warm) look to fiber composition for that. If you’re knitting with cotton, it will keep you a little cooler. You want it even cooler than that? Use a pattern with an open weave stitch. If you’re looking for warmth, use those fluffy fibers with air space in them, such as wool, mink, angora.

 

You can see the tightness of the twist and the texture created with this yarn.
You can see the tightness of the twist and the texture created with this yarn.

 

Now that you’ve decided you’ll give It’s a Wrap a try, pick your pattern carefully. Do something that will keep you engaged. I know that doing long stretches of stockinette stitch doesn’t bother me at all, but if I must focus on every stitch, I’m sure never to pick up that project. You might be the opposite! Know yourself and know what kind of knitting you enjoy. There’s no wrong answer so don’t choose a pattern because everyone else is doing it, chose it because it’s right for your knitting style.

 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Yarn Review: It’s a Wrap by Red Heart

Go to part 3: Knitting with lace, the easy way

About Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen is founder and creative director of Stitch Please Yarns. She originally got into the fiber arts business writing about knitting at her blog Stitches be Slippin, and now, also writes for KNITmuch.com.

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