Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Yarn in Oatmeal
I am a firm believer in the benefits of working with wool (or wool blend) yarns and use it year-round. However, I do admit that wool and Summer are not generally synonymous. When you imagine working with wool (or any animal fiber) yarn it is much more likely you are envisioning chilly days and curling up inside with a cuddly project. With that being said, don’t toss aside all your wool yarns for a Summer fling with cotton. There is still a place for this classic fiber and its many benefits through the warm weather. Below is a list of 5 reasons why it’s a keeper.
Wool fiber possesses a natural elasticity. This stretch and give in the yarn makes working with it easier on your hands and wrists than cellulose fibers. When working with a fiber like cotton you need to keep more tension on the yarn for a consistent gauge. The difference will vary between yarns and exact fiber compositions, but overall wool will present less physical stress.
Wool fiber can absorb approximately 35% of it’s own weight in moisture. While this isn’t a specific consideration for Summer, it can have a small positive benefit in warmer months. The absorbency quality means that extra humidity hanging in the air won’t have as much of an impact on your yarn causing it to stretch or feel damp as you’re working with it.
This ability to hold water without feeling damp has other practical applications as well. Socks will remain comfortable after hours of wear, hats sit on sweaty brows without chaffing, and mittens keep those fingers snug and dry.
Wool is durable. This fiber can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear before it gives in. Items made from wool-based yarns hold up to everyday use making it perfect for those amazing designs you think you’ll be living in. Also, if you find yourself ripping out your work to correct mistakes wool will be much more forgiving of you than some other yarns may.
We all know that wool fibers keep you warm and snuggly. And no, wearing wool in the Summer won’t exactly cool you down. However, it is an active fiber with temperature regulating properties. It does this with a cycle of moisture absorption and release. Cold and damp environments trigger something called “heat of sorption,” where the fiber absorbs moisture and triggers the generation of heat. “Cooling by evaporation” happens in warm environments, which is like the body’s ability to release heat and cool off by sweating. The release of moisture and change from liquid to vapor lowers temperature.
Wool is one of the most versatile fibers out there and the many benefits listed above point to this. It’s elasticity makes it easy to work with and a good fit for a wide range of designs from socks to hats to shawls, sweaters, afghans, stuffed animals, and mittens. Temperature regulating properties and durability make it perfect for sweaters. You can often substitute a wool yarn for yarns of other fiber content (within reason, it won’t do well for items like dishcloths).
OK, so wool socks and hats in general don’t fit the Summer vibe. They do, however, work well as Summer projects. They’re small, which makes them perfect travel items since they’re easy to pack and don’t take up a lot of space to work on. They also won’t hang in your lap like larger items making you uncomfortable if you choose to craft outdoors. And, these make great items to stash for upcoming holidays or to have ready to wear when the weather turns.
Before you know it the cold weather will once again be upon us. Working a season in advance is always a good idea. This way you can dive right into utilizing your hand crafted items for that season instead of having projects done when they may no longer be useful.
Join us on social in celebrating your favorite Lion Brand wool yarns by tagging your photos with #WoolIsComing and #LionBrandYarn. Don’t forget to mention (or tag) the yarn as well! You may find your photo appear in the LBY Community Gallery.
All photos featured on this page were submitted by LB yarn fans via the community gallery! (With permission for republishing.)