Thursday, 3 March 2011

Skinny Yarn

It took me a while to properly appreciate just how much I like really skinny yarn. There was a time when I would ask the good folk at the Yarn Barn to wind together skinny yarns that I thought would combine well. But I got over that.

There were a few steps. I found out that:
Machine knitting life is much better if you abandon all thought of following a conventional pattern.
There are lots of beautiful skinny yarns
Two shades can be better than one.
Two different yarns knitted together may make random stripes.

If you use a twister stand, purpose built or improvised, you can make different marled effects. And they will be different depending on the order of the stacked cones.

There are weird and interesting yarns coming out of Japan. The demonstration garments made with these yarns are made with multiple yarns, combining colours, textures and materials, and the yarn will stlll be skinny, even after you have combined two or three.

A standard gauge single bed Japanese machine will make a wide range of pleasing weights and textures of fabric with skinny yarn.

The more uptight Passap machine needs more seductive coaxing to consent to being party to a modern relaxed style of fabric. But if you need a classic smooth rib, the Passap could not be more obliging

Of course the Passap and I are still getting to know each other. I could be judging harshly.
Skinny yarns go a long way. 150 gms of 2/60 nm silk from ColourMart, lasts almost forever knitted with 2/20 nm wool from Superfine Wool Australia, (no link, but some contact details here ) , making a luxurious fabric for a utilitarian price.

And remind me to put on my list to do, work on taking better photos of knitted things

I will also beg pardon for any odd picture placement in this posting. I am distracting myself from overwhelming domestic challenges in a bona fide remote location, with a just installed booster to the next G service. It seems to work. Last time I tried to post from here I had to travel to a convenient fast food outlet to take advantage of the free wi fi. But the pictures seem to have developed independent views in transmission.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. you've opened a window for me. i'm a weaver who's teaching herself how to mk.i weave with super skinny yarns and i won't have to invest in yarns for knitting on my brother standard gauge.

  2. I'm so glad you learnt something from this post. It is always a challenge to write something that is of some benefit. You should be able to make some great knitted textiles with your weaving yarns. Single ply yarns will be inclined to bias furiously, but that is no disadvantage if you design accordingly. Many people have to take a lot of trouble to get diagonals into their knitting!

  3. I love the look of skinny yarn! That's one of the reasons machine knitting appeals to me :)

  4. A machine certainly makes it faster.

  5. I agree with Amy - the MK was appealing at least in part because I wanted some skinny yarn action without the trauma of knitting it by hand. Now to get a bit more creative with it...

  6. Love this post...nice to know there are people down south keeping me company up north (NSW) in my MK adventures/challenges...

  7. hi Christine,
    me again.
    i was wondering if you could do a post on how to create drop stitches and holes for a grungy look. it would be helpful for us newbies to learn how to control distress which on the other hand comes natural to us :)

  8. Just noticed your comment Niki, I'll gladly drop a few stitches for your benefit as soon as I can. Because I am a bit slow with pictures, I'll put a hint herehere. To make a controlled ladder, shift a stitch to the next needle, then knit as much as you like, then drop the stitch on the needle that previously held the shifted stitch. The ladder will not run past the shifted stitch.
    I'll post when I have had a chance to make a grunge sampler.

  9. I would love to see the photos that went with this article. Skinny yarns sound very interesting. Thank you. Is it possible to put the photos back?

  10. I'm not sure what happened to the pictures. Re-reading the blog, I can tell what some of them were, others are a mystery at this point. In the next few days I'll try to find time to edit the post to replace or substitute for the missing photos. In the meantime, my last few blog posts feature skinny yarns too, I rarely use fatter.