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Sewing, knitting, embroidery, easy and fashion blog

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Different knitting fibers

Jan 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM

There are many brands, sources and materials of yarn to knit or crochet. It can be sometimes confusing. Astonishment that one might think the wool has a very marginal position in the international market for textile fibers, only 2% of production against 37% cotton and 60% synthetic materials.

We chose A & A to put forward of fibers and spinning that we hold dear such as animal and vegetable fibers carded, spun or put ball in France to ensure that ancestral know-how. To help you better choose your yarn and wool, a summary of the fibers and their characteristics:

- Animal material

As the name suggests, these are all the fibers that may have knit from an animal. So general, it is called wool.

Many animals produce wool , the most common being the sheep , animal inhabiting a variety of regions of the world counted among 1 billion animals. There is also a breed of sheep prized for its particularly rich , soft and warm wool : merino . Sheep wool now comes largely from Australia, China and New Zealand.

Unfortunately, the production of wool in sheep in France today is very valued, it is also very competitive . However , spinning Rougnat ( Fonty ) created a project in partnership with a local association of the Creuse to upgrade and use local merino black sheep . They relocated Portuguese Merino breed in the Creuse and have created a range of unbleached wool black (with white merino wool blend ) natural undyed: The Fado wool.

Besides the sheep, wool can also come from the alpaca, a native animal of the Andes in South America whose production is mainly in Peru. Its wool is soft, very warm and slightly hairy. We find more and more alpaca wool mixed with sheep's wool or merino wool in the ranges of French mills. In Fonty, we have Boréal and Pole , in Cheval Blanc, we have Quito .

Mohair is a very hairy wool from the Angora goat (not to be confused with the wool of the same name from angora rabbits) from Turkey. Mohair is very soft and light, especially used for stoles, shawls, scarves... Mixtures of wool or mohair and lurex knitted yarn in some loosing way can also give a beautiful rendering. Mohair now comes from South Africa or the United States.

Cashmere wool is known as a "luxury" because it is very fine and soft and dear formerly found everywhere today. Wool from goats of the same name is produced mainly in the region of Mongolia. Part in the country of the same name, and the vast majority in the Lower Mongolia in China, in the Gobi Desert. Cashmere production has greatly increased in recent years in this country, flocks of goats have intensified, causing an increase in desertification and dust to the region of Beijing. The country is mobilized today to avoid the problem takes more important.

The angora comes not from goat but the rabbit! This is a very soft and supple fiber. Raising Angora is made on a large scale in China (the first world producer) and on small farms in France and Eastern Europe.

The camel also should be knit. It is a soft, fine wool like cashmere but quite rare. The hair is from the Mongolian camels down and from Kazakhstan.

The rarer Yak wool is very soft and warm. This wool is mainly harvested in Mongolia. Fonty offers camel wool and yak wool in different natural colors.

Silk is an animal material from the cocoon of the caterpillar of the mulberry tree. This is a popular fiber because it is very light, strong and unusual amount even if production is rising sharply. Industrial sericulture is mainly developed in Asia. We offer a range of merino wool and silk that is silky and very enjoyable to knit from spinning Valgaudemar: Merisoie. .

- Plant material

There is much to say about least hot plant material, much less known knitting because lighter and therefore preferred for spring or summer. Still, there are some very nice models top, dresses, accessories for spring and summer knitting cotton or linen.

The cotton plant material par excellence. It is a soft, highly breathable, and inexpensive, this makes it the most widely used natural fiber in the world and the most cultivated plant (2.5% of global agricultural land). The main producers are China, the U.S., India and Pakistan.

Unfortunately, the cultivation of cotton requires a lot of water and pesticides which resulted in many soil degradation in producer countries.

It is therefore important to highlight the culture of organic cotton much less profitable but helps preserve the environment. Spinning Rougnat (Fonty) offers organic cotton yarn from natural or stained Peruvian without chemicals (through dye plants): Coton Nat . This is an extremely soft and comfortable knit cotton.

There are also cotton yarn from recycled jersey: the trapilho. This large wire turned on itself is very pleasant to knit or crochet to quickly create large pieces bags, baskets, baskets, mats, etc.. We offer on-site large or small coils trapilho.

The cultivation of flax goes far back in the history of agriculture. This is a very resistant and extremely breathable fiber for great heat. France to long been a major producer of the material. Today is also China and Russia produce. World production of flax is losing momentum. Fonty once decided to enhance the production of yarn Calin available in cone or ball of 50g and more still.

- Synthetic materials

Less expensive than natural fibers, synthetic fibers are now ubiquitous in all the clothes: acrylic, polyamide, polyester ... you see them everywhere! acrylic may seem soft and silky and is very easy to tint. The polyamide is very durable and wrinkle resistant. The polyester is silky and very lightweight.
Synthetic fibers such as acrylic are created from chemically fused to obtain a wire polymers.

Moreover, these fibers pose many problems:

They are charged easily with static electricity, which can sometimes make it not very pleasant to wear clothing.The acrylic can look very soft to purchase and easy to maintain in the long run proves very biased to pilling. Synthetic materials are often heat-sensitive. Their chemical production releases harmful gases.

We offer little or virtually no yarn from wool plastic because we opted to develop natural fibers. Whether animal or vegetable fibers, their production and manufacturing issues are often of an ancestral know-how that we wish to highlight to allow income to local farmers that produce them. Find all our knitting yarns on this page .

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How to choose your knitting needles?

Dec 16, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Whether you are a beginner or not knitting, the choice of knitting needles is paramount! And there is choice, from straight needles to circular needles through double pointed needles and all materials, we will try to guide you with all these needles variants and their uses.

how to choose your knitting needles

Take stock on materials. Knitting needles, all kinds they can be can look as:

- Metal : It's the knitting needles matter that is most often found , especially in the grandmother knitting box ;). They are unbreakable but can writhe, heavier by diameter, emit a clicking knitting. Your work in progress can easily slide on metal knitting needles (not easy for beginners). The cheapest on the market! (find our metal needles here)

- Plastic (or acrylic) : Plastic or acrylic knitting needles are quite common in large numbers because lighter than metal. They tend to hang knit very well which can also be troublesome for beginners. By cons, they are silent.

- Bamboo and wood in general (rosewood, birch, etc.): Our favorite knitting needles! In bamboo, they are extremely lightweight, the knit slips a bit without hanging. Wooden needles are completely silent. We also provide birch wood needles (basix birch from KnitPro) and rosewood (Symphony from KnitPro), which are more resistant than bamboo needles and much more sweet!

Then we need to talk about the needles numbers, all needles have a number, it is engraved on the cap or the needle itself, this number indicates the needle diameter and matching (must match) to what is indicated on the ball of wool. The lower the number, the smaller the needle and the thread will be small and thus thin your knitting (and vice versa).

straight knitting needles

We now turn to the type of needle, there are several:

- Straight needles (1 tip): these are the most common knitting needles, which come in pairs. They may be 25 cm (see our KnitPro Basix instead of children) to 40 cm for longer, depending on the width of your knitting (but the stitches can be compressed).

Double tip knitting needles

- Double tip knitting needles: These knitting needles, straight too, are dedicated to knitting in the round. The double-pointed needles usually come in batches (4 or 5) for thin seamless tubes knitting, such as hats, socks, leggings, gloves and mittens.

- Circular knitting needles: Unfortunately unknown from beginners these needles are very convenient. Circular needles are designed, too, knitting in the round, but can very well be used for the "classic" flat knitting! So instead of buying one pair of straight needles + 1 circular needle from the same number, you can take only the circular needle. There has been a lot of development for this kind of needles in recent years. There are now two types of circular needles:

Fixed circular metal knitting needles

- Fixed circular needles: As their name implies, fixed circular needles are composed of two tips connected by a cable of a given length. The cable is more or less flexible (which can be annoying). They are less expensive than interchangeable, but you can not interchange the number of needles and the cable length.

Interchangeable circular needles KnitPro
- Interchangeable circular needles: it is essential to bring in when you start knitting seriously ;) ! Interchangeable knitting needles are used to create "a la carte" your needles, you buy the diameter tips you want and a cable to length, then you have just to make the connection with the small tool provided with (small wrench to tighten the needle or it may be unscrewed by knitting).

We offer the interchangeable Symphonie needles from KnitPro, they have a flexible cable and resistant rosewood ends, pretty and very pleasant to the touch.

interchangeable Symphonie needles from KnitPro

As you can see, all these needles types have their utility. Each needle has its job in the knitting world, but if you start to practice seriously this rather addictive activity , a tip:
- invest in interchangeable circular needles, you can all knit with!

The only knit that can possibly resist to interchangeable circular needles, is the small round knit as the caps end, gloves and mittens, socks and gaiters. Fortunately, there is a technique to bypass, It's the method of Magic Loop which may require some dexterity at first but which is very useful!

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