sought: the right yarn, in the right weight, in the right color (with sproing!)

YIP2.24 – yarn weights, originally uploaded by earthchick.

[can you guess the weights of the yarn above? answers below]

I’ve been trying to unlock my inner Grumperina with my investigation of yarn weights. I’m not as good at the scientific stuff as she is, but I’m enjoying my pursuit.

What I have in mind is another February Lady Sweater, short-sleeved in a sort of china or cornflower blue (sort of like this:
365.266 - yarnsleuthing
(minus the black flecks)

It needs to be just right – not too light, not too bright, not too muted or dusky. Just a clear, crisp, medium blue. I knit my original FLS with Socks That Rock Heavyweight. I didn’t even think about the fact that STR Heavy is classified as a sportweight, while the FLS pattern is written for worsted. I just knew it was the yarn I wanted to go with (it was the same yarn, same color I had used for my February Baby Sweater earlier in the year). I actually got gauge no problem with this yarn on size 8 needles.

I love the STR because it is sproingy and crisp. The sweater has a great feel – not too wooly, even though it’s 100% wool. But STR doesn’t come in the shade of blue I’m looking for. So I started looking around at other yarns. But I’m stumped – do I look at true worsteds? They seem too thick now. Do I look at true sportweights? They seem too thin.

It all begs the question – what is STR Heavy anyway, and what exactly makes me love it? Is it the weight (and what is that weight, really?), or the ply (5-ply), or the twist, or what? I don’t know.

But I am driving myself a little mad trying to figure it out.

*yarns pictured above, from L-R: Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb (worsted), Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted, Socks That Rock Heavyweight (sport), Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport

10 thoughts on “sought: the right yarn, in the right weight, in the right color (with sproing!)

  1. The Lorna’s Shepherd Sport looks like it might be comparable to work with, and the colorways Navy and Denim are both stunning cornflower-y blues. My only concern is that the twist is not quite as tight as the STR.

  2. I vote for the Shepherd sport–the color is so right on and the gauge seems right! (Now get over to flickr and help me choose the right green for my Ishbel, Missy!!)

  3. Ms. Earthchick, I think I understand the problem after seeing photos of those yarns :). It’s somehow similar to the Koigu issue I’m currently having – thickness of yarn suggests one thing, but knitting with it demands another. I think the first option would be to find something very similar to the STR Heavyweight you previously used, since it was a winner. Maybe reconsider the available colors? If not, I would try a light worsted or DK yarn – I think it would knit up similarly to the STR Heavyweight, though the fabric would be more “full,” if that makes sense. I’m struggling to cite a specific example, but something in the range of 130-150 yards per 50 grams should do the trick.

  4. I love the fact that you addressed this issued! I am still fairly new to knitting. And if I want to use another yarn for a pattern.. it’s very hard to determine what works! I am looking at the FLS -actually have printed out the pattern.. so I’m going to my LYS this weekend. I’m afraid to order yarn online….

  5. Have you looked at Louet Gems? They have a pretty blue (might be too dark) called French Blue. Also Patons has China Blue in their Grace line. But that is very fine.

  6. Pingback: yarns I have loved :: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd (Sock, Sport, Worsted) |

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