Does your yarn sit up straight or slouch?
What does yarn have to do with posture? We think posture is a good way of describing how a yarn behaves. Think of a dancer's posture, where the dancer bends and stretches but comes back to position. This is wool - it has a springiness, so it bounces back, right? Alpaca has a posture more like a runway model - it slouches elegantly through life. Flax/Linen has more of a military posture - it doesn't stretch, but holds its shape until it has been through washer/dryer therapy, in which case it learns to relax a bit. Cotton is more like a slouchy teen - it drapes and doesn't bounce back. Rayon and silk have a posture like a sleeping child - soft to the touch and droops like a melted candle. All yarn postures have have some benefits (disclaimer: mom says don't slouch!) in terms of the fabric we make. The trick is to anticipate their behavior in your project.
Sometimes we want to change the natural posture of a fiber. There are a few ways to do this:
1. Buy blends! For example, we love cotton-based yarns in warm weather, but we don't always appreciate the way these yarns drape. Mix in some more elastic fibers, like wool, elastane, or crimped nylon and they will keep their shape better.
2. Change your needle/hook size! Knit or crochet a shape-retaining yarn like wool or linen with a larger needle to get it to drape nicely.
3. Change the pattern! Stitches like a knitted linen stitch or a tight slip-stitch-only crochet can firm up that floppy silk or rayon.
What's the posture of your favorite yarn? Let us know on Facebook!
Be well, be safe, be kind!
-Caryn & the Yarnivore crew
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