If you're new to crocheting, you may not have realized how valuable the label wrapped around your yarn is—it's not just a packaging label. Each skein of store-bought yarn contains a yarn label which provides useful information and recommendations such as: fiber content, hook size, color name, dye lot, length, and yarn care symbols. Knowing how to read and understand yarn labels makes life a great deal easier for you.
Color Name/Dye Lot
It's very helpful noting that there are limited quantities of dyed yarn. Now, you're probably wondering why this is so important. Since yarns are dyed in limited quantities this means that the color may vary slightly from lot to lot. So, if you want uniformed color on the project you're planning on working on—it's important to make sure that you are buying skeins of yarn from the same dye lot. In order to figure out how many skeins of yarn your project need's, you need to know how many yards the skein of yarn holds.
I've noticed that Red Brand states on some of their yarns "NO DYE LOT", which means that there isn't any color variations between lots. Even in a case like this, I still recommend buying within the same dye lot—I still have yet to find no difference in color between dye lots. Just play it safe!
In crocheting, it's important to purchase your yarn according to its length and not its weight. A 2-ounce skein of light-weight yarn may contain 600 yards of yarn, while 2-ounces of bulky yarn might contain only 25 yards. As you can see, going by the weight of the yarn can be very deceiving.
The weight of yarn refers to how thick or bulky a strand of yarn is. Yarn weight helps a crocheter get a better idea of what type of project the yarn is useful for.
An industry -accepted category of standards has been established by The Craft Yarn Council. You can use this chart in conjunction with the label on your yarn to get a better understand on how to properly use the yarn. Take a look at the chart below to get a better understanding. I also suggest printing this chart and keep it handy when your shopping for yarn. Click the image below to download and print.
Tip: The #7 Jumbo yarn is a newly added yarn weight and is used mostly with arm knitting.
The last thing you want to do is ruin your beautiful completed crochet project by incorrectly washing or caring for it. The label on your skein of yarn will also state how to wash and dry your projects made from that particular yarn. Some companies will state how to wash your project in exact details. Others will provide universal yarn care symbols. Familiarize yourself with the universal care symbols, to avoid any mishaps. This guide can also be downloaded and printed. Click on the guide to print.
Yarns are divided into two categories: traditional & novelty.
Traditional Yarn:Is often plied and either spun by machine or hand. Plying occurs when two or more strands of yarn are twisted together to create a thicker, stronger yarn.
Novelty Yarn:Come in many different types including: ladder, fun fur, eyelash, ribbon, etc. They usually have unusual features, are made of synthetic fibers, and the thickness varies due to production.
You will find that yarn bought from the store is packaged in one of two ways.
Hank: Yarn is twisted onto itself, creating a compact skein. This type of packaged yarn tends to tangle easily and can't be undone without some difficulty. To avoid this when using this type of packaged yarn, its best to wind it before use.
Yarn is wound into a cylinder. This type of packaging allows for fewer tangles, and prevents the skein from rolling around while pulling yarn from it. This allows you to pull the yarn from the skein in one of two ways: pull it from the inside of the skein or unwind it from the outside of the skein.
It's crazy to think how much valuable information is contain on the small yarn labels. The information is there for a reason, so make sure to use it.
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