Singles Awareness Day

Singles Awareness Day

Since tomorrow is National Singles Awareness Day, and with the Malabrigo Mechita KAL right around the corner, we thought it was high time for a blog post about knitting, and working with, single-ply yarns.

You may have seen these on shop shelves all over: skeins of yarn that don't look like most others - they don't feature multiple strands twisted together, and they look closer to the fleece you find on a sheep, or what is called "roving". Typically exceptionally soft, lofty and with a fuzzy appearance, these are just some of the characteristics you'll find with single-ply yarns.

Due to the above, you may find working with single-ply yarns to be more challenging than the usual plied yarns you find. Here are some tips for working with them:

  1. Be gentle when winding: When winding your yarn into a ball, be gentle to avoid stretching or distorting the fibers.

  2. Choose the right needle tip: single-ply yarns tend to be lightweight and delicate, so it's important to choose the right needle tip to avoid splitting the yarn. Opt for a lace tip, such as what you'll find in ChiaoGoo's Red Lace line of knitting needles, which will help you pick up finer single-ply yarns without splitting the loops.

  3. Use stitch markers: stitch markers can be a lifesaver when working with single-ply yarns, especially when working with complex patterns or keeping track of decreases.

  4. Choose the right project: Some projects are more prone to flyaways than others. For example, cabled or textured patterns may cause more flyaways than a simple stockinette stitch.

  5. Avoid excessive frogging: Frog (rip it, rip it) cautiously, as single-ply yarns are more prone to breaking, pilling, developing fuzz, or tangling, when frogged too often.

  6. Avoid friction: flyaways can be caused by friction between the yarn and other objects, so try to keep your work away from rough surfaces, pets, and other potential sources of friction.

  7. If your hands are dry and cracked due to dry winter indoor air, make sure they are well-hydrated using a moisturizing balm, or another oil-based alternative like coconut oil, or grapeseed oil. This will reduce friction from dry skin and even help tame flyaways somewhat as you work the yarn.

  8. Block your finished project: Blocking helps even out the fabric and gives it a more polished look. For single-ply yarns, use a light blocking to maintain the delicate texture.

  9. Store carefully: When not in use, store your single-ply yarn in a safe and dry place. Roll the yarn into a ball or cake before storing to avoid tangles.

  10. Know your yarn: Familiarize yourself with the care instructions for your single-ply yarn. Most will likely require hand-washing and air-drying, while others may be machine-washable and -dryable.

We hope this post has helped you decide to give single-ply yarns a chance, and that the tips here help you work with it to get the best results possible.

Happy Crafting!

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