Category Archives: Knitting Resources

Selecting the Correct Yarn Weight

The selection of the yarn weight has much to do with the intended knitting project.

If you are wanting a chunky sweater, then it stands to reason that you would choose a heavier weight of yarn. Equally, looking for something more elegant and lacy, then you would likely choose a lighter weight of yarn.

The below table gives you the weights and needle sizes for different yarns and the "suggested" usages. Of course, rules are made to be broken so feel free to experiment.

Yarn Weights Chart

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eKnitting Stitches guide to Knitting Needles
eKnitting Stitches guide to Knitting Needles

Knitting Needle Sizes

George Bernard Shaw once stated that the United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that as with many things there is a misstep between these Anglo cousins even when it comes to knitting - US knitting needle sizes do not conform to the same sizing convention as knitting needle sizes in the UK.

Fear not, using the handy table on the right it easy to convert knitting needle sizes between the US, UK/Canada, and metric.

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How to Guides title
Knitting Techniques Abbreviations Header

Knitting Abbreviations

Purl? k2tog? Slip-Slip-Knit? Knitting instructions, the terminology, the abbreviations and the chart symbols can very quickly seem like a foreign language for the beginner.

It certainly doesn't help that quite often different people or cultures use slightly different symbols or abbreviations to represent the same thing (something I constantly come across whilst researching for the website).

Here at eKnitting Stitches, we have attempted to try and keep to the most commonly used terms and symbols, although am sure that there may be some debate on what I have defined as the most common. If nothing else, we certainly try to be rigidly consistent in using the same terms and symbols across the website as a whole.

Below is a list of all the knitting techniques we have used in our stitch patterns to date. Each technique is written its traditional shorthand and has the chart symbol we use. Additionally, if you click on any of the links in the longhand version of the technique you will be taken to a how-go-guide to demonstrate how it should be done.

As with the rest of our website, we are constantly growing so expect to see new techniques added below as we expand.

Knitting Abbreviations Banner

Basic Stitches

 

Traditional

Chart

 

Longform

 

k

 

Purl Stitch Symbol - Right Side

 
 

Knit (Chart Symbols represent Right Side & Wrong Side Respectively)

 

p

 
Purl Stitch Symbol - Right Side

 
 

Purl (Chart Symbols represent Right Side & Wrong Side Respectively)

Increasing Stitches

 

Traditional

Chart

 

Longform

 

K1B

Knit 1 in the stitch below symbol

 
 

yo

Yarnover Symbol

 

Decreasing Stitches

 

Traditional

Chart

 

Longform

 

k2tog

Knit 2 Together symbol

 
 

p2tog

Purl 2 Together symbol

 
 

ssk

Slip Knitwise, Slip Knitwise & knit together

 
 

k4tog

Knit 4 Together Symbol

 
 

k4togtbl

Knit 4 Together through the Back Loop symbol

 

Knit four together through the back loop

 

p3togm3

Purl 3 together & make 3 Chart Symbol

 

Purl three together & make three

 

p5togm5

Purl 5 together & make 5 Chart Symbol

 

Purl five together & make five

Cable Stitches

 

Traditional

Chart

 

Longform

Specialty Stitches

 

Traditional

Chart

 

Longform

 

make bow

Make Bow Stitch Symbol

 

Make bow

 

k1 uls

Knit 1 under loose strands Symbol

 

Knit one under loose strands

 

make daisy

Make Daisy Stitch Symbol

 

Make daisy

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Knitting Resources Title

Knitting Resources

One of the beauties of knitting is that it only requires three things - yarn, needles and the know-how.

Seems pretty straight-forward, right? Well just in case we are constantly adding more articles to help you learn something new and get the most out of your knitting.

Whether it's how to do a specific stitch technique, which knitting needles are the most appropriate for a chunky cotton yarn or which type of yarn is most appropriate for that next knitting project you had in mind. We hope you find what you are looking for.

We are constantly expanding this section in tandem with the knitting stitch library, so if there is anything you can't find and want us to cover then drop us an email from our contact page in the footer.

Resources

How to Guides title

Technique How to Guides

Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced knitter, we can always learn something new.

We've pulled together a bunch of the best how-to-guides, to help you learn how to purl, how to cast-on or bind-off or what exactly a k5togm5 stitch is done.

We try to make sure every technique featured in our stitch library is covered, and as our stitch library grows so does our library of how-to-guides.

Guide to Yarns

Every tool has it's purpose and types of yarn are no different. Depending on the type of project you are considering next, you should think upon what are the primary properties you wish it to have.

Should it tough, warm and durable? Cooling, and elegant with great stitch definition? or easily maintainable?

The type of yarn you select should reflect what you want the project to be, so we've pulled together the pros (and cons) of different types of yarn.

eKnitting Stitches Guide to Yarns

eKnitting Stitches guide to Knitting Needles

Guide to Knitting Needles

Knitting Needles complete this trifecta. Use the following easy to follow guide to select the correct knitting needle size for the type of yarn you are using.

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Advantages of Knitting with Acrylic Yarn Banner

7 Advantages of Knitting with Acrylic Yarn

Introduction

You either love it or hate it. Acrylic yarn is a man-made fiber, formed of polymers created from petroleum products i.e. crude oil.

Even though, it has not been sheared from the back of a four-legged creature, it still has some benefits – not to mention strengths – that are worth to look into when deciding what type of fiber to use for your knitting project.

In this article, we'll run through the advantages (and disadvantages) of knitting with Acrylic wool. Not to mention a little insight into its manufacturing, which projects are best suited to acrylic yarns and how to care for them.

Acrylic yarns were first developed in the 1940s by Dupont and were being produced in large quantities less than a decade later.

The polymers are created from several processes that produce long string-like strands and then turned into short, controllable lengths resembling wool hair, and ultimately "spun" into the yarn we know.

I say spun, but unlike natural fiber yarns, such as cotton, wool, cashmere and silk, acrylic collections are not spun, but they are twisted into long lengths of acrylic thread that makes up the yarn.

Learn more on how Acrylic Yarn is manufactured via Red Heart Yarns.

7 Advantages of Knitting with Acrylic Yarn title

7 Advantages of Knitting with Acrylic Yarn

#1 - Range of Colors

As Acrylic yarn is a man made fiber, it can easily be made to various specifications, including its color, providing practically endless options. With modern technology, acrylics are color-fast and are not prone to running.

If you can't find the particular color you're looking for in the store, you can even try dying it yourself. Food coloring and a microwave being one potential possibility, don't believe me, then take a look at this how-to video.

Video on how to dye acrylic yarn using a microwave & food dye via ChemKnits Tutorials.

#2 - Cheap

Acrylic yarn is mass produced in large quantities quite easily, so generally, it is one of the cheapest yarns to buy. As such, Acrylic yarn is often used in clothing as it is much cheaper than cashmere and alpaca wool.

If you are a knitting beginner, acrylic yarn is a good place to start as it is less expensive than other yarns, and therefore ideal for practicing simple projects.

#3 - Easy to Clean

It is much less sensitive than natural wool or cashmere to detergent and warm water, meaning it can handle a standard round in the washing machine without shrinking or shedding.

As such it is excellent for items that require ease of cleaning, such as sweaters, linings, gloves, furnishings, and blankets. It is particularly ideal for baby garments that need constant washing.

Laundry

#4 - Durable

Acrylic fibers are very durable, making them excellent for any projects that require an enduring yarn. As a petroleum-based product, it will take many many years for it to degrade.

Another benefit of the acrylic yarn is the since it is synthetic fiber, it is impossible for moth larvae to digest it. A couple of caveats to this, if it is blended with a natural fiber or even if you store it with some pretty sizeable stains the chances of the moths mistakingly using your garment for breakfast increases.

#5 - Warm

Acrylic yarn is warm. It may not have the warmth of alpaca or sheep wool, but it will still keep you cozy on a cold winters day.

#6 - Lightweight

Knitting a large blanket or throw and still want it to feel lightweight? Acrylic could be your go-to yarn for this one. The synthetic polymers that the yarn is made from has a lower density than that of natural fibers. Thus, enabling much lighter feeling items.

Weighing Scales

#7 - Hypoallergenic

The synthetic fibers that acrylic yarn is made from are perfect for folks who are either allergic to lanolin (common in wool) or are sensitive to the scaling of wool fibers.

Disadvantages of Acrylic Yarn

The Disadvantages of Acrylic Yarn

#1 - Lack of Breathability

Unlike natural wool 100% acrylic yarn will not let your body breathe the way sheep or alpaca wool will. It is not because an acrylic sweater is holding onto the warm air of your body, it is holding on to your sweat. Which leads into disadvantage number two.

#2 - Holds onto Water (& Odors)

As acrylic yarn holds onto your sweat, this also means it'll retain the smell (well, until it's next wash you smelly pup!).

Additionally, if you are caught in a cold, heavy rain with an acrylic garment on – and no umbrella – you will feel cold since the sweater will lose your body heat faster as it can't remove the water quickly.

If you are looking for something to keep yourself warm in rugged, wet terrain, it is probably wise to not pack your acrylic sweater. The extra investment in natural wool will give you the return of keeping you better protected from the elements.

#3 - Melts

Acrylic and fire should not even be in the same sentence. Under high temperatures, Acrylic will melt causing terrible burns if it gets in contact with skin. You should be especially careful of clothing the little one's in acrylic if they are likely to be near open flames.

#4 - Can Produce Low Quality Results

Knitters sometimes complain that acrylic yarns do not remain even after being knitted or crocheted due to the lumpy, twisted texture of the synthetic materials.

Additionally, these synthetic yarns will sometimes pill more readily than some of the natural fibers.

Acrylic Yarn Blends Banner

Acrylic Yarn Blends

Acrylic blends are very popular as it combines fibers to get the best from both worlds.

Wool and acrylic blends are very popular, the same with cotton and acrylic. It gives a whole new type of garment as the acrylic can take some of the itchy parts away from the natural wool in wool acrylic yarn blends.

In cotton acrylic yarn blends you can get a much softer type of yarn as the cotton will add softness to the yarn while the acrylic will provide more flexibility. There are numerous of blends with acrylic in it from 80% to 10%, two-blends or five-blends.

Conclusion

Acrylic knitting yarn is light, soft and cheap – with the most modern yarns sometimes mistaken for wool. It, of course, comes down to personal preference, but in my opinion, acrylic yarn has it's applications and shouldn't be overlooked.

There are many brands and qualities of acrylic knitting yarn available. Touch, feel, squish and pull the yarn if you have the chance to do so - if it doesn't feel good to your fingers, find an alternative.

We wish you all the best with your acrylic adventures, and if you have any questions or wish to share your end result with us, feel free to do so from the "contact us" page or in the comments box below.

7 Advantages of Knitting with Acrylic Yarn title

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Article by Katrine

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