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Our Super Power is Making Fabric!

Tech Talk: Pair Your Yarn & Tools Wisely

May 27, 2024

One of the most remarkable things about crocheting and knitting is that we are making fabric and a garment or other item at the same time! Think about it: sewers take prepared fabric and stitch it together but crocheters and knitters make the fabric as they go. This unique property means stitchers need to know what type of fabric they want before starting. Do you need it dense for a basket, amigurumi, or sock or do you want it open and drapey for a shawl or light sweater, or do you want something in between? Your ability to produce the intended fabric depends upon the thickness of the yarn and the size of Rock It Teehook or needle.

For example, if you’re using fingering weight yarn (#1) for knitting socks, you’ll want to use a relatively small needle (e.g., US00 – 2, 1.75-2.75mm) so that you get a dense, durable fabric. However, if you’re using the same fingering weight yarn to make a top, you might use a US 5 (3.75mm) as in the Rock It Tee by Tanis Lavallee (knit, $9 Rav/in-store) or US E (3.5mm) for the Basic T-Shirt by Katerina Designs (crochet, about $5.10 Rav/in-store or free at ByKaterina). The larger needles or hooks will produce larger Basic T Shirt crochetedstitches, resulting in a less dense fabric.

While we’re talking about yarn-tool pairing, it’s a good time to mention yarn substitutions. If you want to use a pattern that is designed for a different thickness of yarn, you’ll need to adjust your needle or hook size, too. Sometimes, these substitutions are pretty straightforward, such as using a thicker yarn to make a blanket. The resulting project will be bigger than the pattern indicates, which may be fine. However, if you use a thicker yarn for garments, you may end up with a sock or top that doesn’t fit. We’re happy to advise you on yarn substitutions if you need.

Caryn and the Yarnivore Crew

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