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All types of yarn for knitting or crocheting are made from natural or synthetic fibers. When choosing a yarn type for your knitting project, consider the following:

Wool: Wool (made from the fleece of sheep) is the queen of yarns, and it remains a popular choice for knitters. Here are some of your wool yarn options:

    • Lamb’s wool: Comes from a young lamb’s first shearing.

    • Merino wool: Considered the finest of the fine breeds.

    • Pure new wool/virgin wool: Wool that’s made directly from animal fleece and not recycled from existing wool garments.

    • Shetland wool: Made from the small and hardy native sheep of Scotland’s Shetland Islands.

    • Icelandic wool: A rustic, soft yarn.

    • Washable wool: Treated chemically or electronically to destroy the outer fuzzy layer of fibers.

    • Silk, cotton, linen, and rayon: The slippery, smooth, and often shiny yarns.

    • Synthetic: Including nylon, acrylic, polyamide and polyester. Straddling the border between natural and synthetic are soy, bamboo, corn, and other unusual yarns made by using plant-based materials.

  • Novelty: Novelty yarns are easy to recognise because their appearance is so different from traditional yarns:

    • Ribbon: A knitted ribbon in rayon or a rayon blend.

    • Bouclé: This highly bumpy, textured yarn is composed of loops.

    • Chenille: Although tricky to knit with, this yarn has an attractive appearance and velvety texture.

    • Thick-thin: Alternates between very thick and thin sections, which lends a bumpy look to knitted fabric.

    • Railroad ribbon: Has tiny “tracks” of fiber strung between two parallel strands of thread.