Here’s why 2015 is a great year for yarn

Posted by on March 6, 2015, in crochet & knitting, , , ,

Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday


2015--Year of the Sheep

Did you know that the Chinese New Year is the most important social and economic holiday in China? February 19 marked the celebration of the new year in Chinese culture, and with it, a 2015 zodiac symbol: the sheep!

Alpaca from Crocheted SoftiesNeedless to say, yarn lovers everywhere are pretty excited. The original Mandarin word for this year’s animal is yang—and the English translation could mean sheep, goat, or even ram. Fortunately, animal-fiber yarn can come from a variety of animals, including cashmere and angora goats, many breeds of sheep and lambs, and even alpacas. You can read about some of the different fibers used to make yarn in this post. (Left: This cute alpaca is from Crocheted Softies.)

From Fair Isle Sweaters SimplifiedSo what does this mean for 2015? This year’s fortune is calm and creativity—sounds like a great mantra for knitters and crocheters!

To learn more about the yarn-making process, check out Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified. The photos at right are from the book, written by the owners of Philosopher’s Wool, Ann and Eugene Bourgeois.

2015 will be a great year to learn how to knit or how to crochet. We have a wide range of resources for beginners and beyond:

A to Z of Knitting A to Z of Crochet
All about Knitting All about Crochet The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques

Happy Chinese New Year, and may the sheep be with you!

Your choice of animal fibers: wool, cashmere, angora, Alpaca, or mohair? Tell us in the comments!

13 Comments (leave a comment)

  • YES!

    Okay, my kids hate when I answer a multiple option question with the single, "Yes." So, the longer answer is that my usual knitting fiber is wool, because it tends to be the most affordable for my budget, but I have knit with all of them, and always prefer to wear natural fibers, whether it’s a sweater I’ve knit or a garment I’ve purchased. That becomes harder and harder in a society that seems to love synthetic fibers, but I seize them when I find them!

    Or, the shorter answer:


    —Carol Weber on March 6, 2015
  • I love wool!!! I love the yarn and it’s various textures, I love wool fabric. I enjoy dyeing wool for applique. I love it all. Alpaca is also very nice to knit with.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on March 6, 2015
  • Since I live in a ‘barren’ zone when it comes to finding natural fibers other than cotton and wool blends, I ‘d have to say, if given the opportunity to use any of them, it would depend on the project. For garments it would be drape, for babies a soft texture, etc.

    When my great-grandmother and grandmother were crocheting, they used wool because it was readily available and cheap.

    Oh what a difference a day makes or, in their case, a century. ; )

    —DebbieLynn on March 6, 2015
  • love wool …

    Jennifer Beck on March 6, 2015
  • alpaca and rabbit are my favorites to work with. Also washable wools.

    —Lynne on March 6, 2015
  • My favorite choice of yarn is baby alpaca. It knits up so nicely and feels so nice while working. It also doesn’t dry out my hands, but keeps them soft as I’m working with it. I also love the ease of sliding it across my needles and the designs turn out very nice.

    —Pamela Zajicek on March 6, 2015
  • All those fibers can be great to work with but if the project does not dictate otherwise I’ll reach for alpaca. It feels good to handle, it behaves nicely on needles and hooks, and is a true joy to use.

    —Jane on March 6, 2015
  • I love wool, alone and in combination with any of the other animal fibers listed. By the way, silk is also an animal fiber (from the cocoon of the silk worm), and it in combination with wool is my absolute favorite.

    —Carol Fitzhugh on March 6, 2015
  • Good Day, Greasy wool is my choice for spinning, have not had the chance to use Cashmere, Mohair is good to depending on the length. Now for knitting I would love to try cashmere and baby alpaca.
    Cindy Robinette 3-6-15

    Cindy on March 6, 2015
  • I choose my favorite fiber(s) by feel, cashmere, angora (though this can be very warm), and alpaca are wonderful, and as above add silk in to make any yarn even more pleasing (just my opinion)

    —Karen on March 6, 2015
  • I love working with all the different fibers. It depends on the project as to which one I choose.

    —connie b on March 6, 2015
  • wool for me

    —Jennifer Essad on March 6, 2015
  • I have dyed wool with natural materials and knitted and weaved with wool. Would love to try knitting with cashmere, alpaca, and other fibers.. . . someday. .

    Carolyn on March 7, 2015

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