The best sweater yarns to try

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When you’ve decided to embark on a knitting project, it’s important to get the right yarn for the job. But with so many choices available these days, it can be difficult to know which type is best.

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What’s your design?

According to the Independent, there has never been a better time to take up knitting, with celebrities like Olympic diver Tom Daley posting their creations on Instagram and a wealth of information on which yarns to use.

The pattern you’re following will determine the type of yarn to use. And you may decide to knit a small sample piece first, to see how it feels and looks before you buy lots of unsuitable yarn.

Weighing up the options

The first consideration is the weight of the yarn, with medium, bulky and super bulky weight yarns the most suitable for sweaters. If you are making a lightweight cardigan or sweater, a thinner yarn is suitable.

However, thicker yarns are warmer. Thicker yarns are also easier to work with, meaning you will be able to knit faster. They also lend themselves well to sweaters designed to show off your stitching with great definition.

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Wool is obviously the most well-known yarn, but there are lots of different types, including alpaca, mohair and merino. Merino wool is soft but durable and has the advantage of being able to shed moisture.

Womens Aran cardigans are a good example of wool being used to create soft, warm clothing. If you are looking for ideas for designs, there are lots available to see online at specialist sites such as These traditional knitted items were first made on the Aran Islands to the west of Ireland and knitted for local fishermen by their wives to keep them warm and dry.

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Wool is easy to handle and can be mixed with other fibres. Durable and warm but also breathable, it is ideal for sweater-making. One disadvantage is the pilling which can occur. This is when small bobbles of lint form on the surface, but these can easily be removed with a lint roller.

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