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Know Your Yarn: Choose the Perfect Yarn Every Time

with Clara Parkes
Know Your Yarn: Choose the Perfect Yarn Every Time
The fastest way to become a better, more confident knitter is to understand your fiber! Learn how to choose the right yarn for the best results with fiber guru Clara Parkes.

Join acclaimed author Clara Parkes for comprehensive guidance on identifying and choosing the yarn you need for the project you want! Find out the meaning of fiber terms such as staple, crimp, luster and micron. Then, discover the benefits and challenges of fiber from sheep, alpaca, goats, rabbits and other animals. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of plant fibers: cotton, linen, hemp and bamboo. Explore the strengths and weaknesses for different silks, as well as for synthetic fibers. Clara will even demystify the different types of twist and why they matter. Finally, get tips for identifying mystery stash yarns, evaluating yarn from your local shop and much more. Match the right yarn to the right pattern with confidence and create projects you're thrilled with every time!

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Overview & Fiber Terms

  • Meet your instructor, Clara Parkes, and dive right into fiber terminology and the key qualities that affect how yarn looks, feels and reacts.


Lesson 2. Four-Legged Fibers

  • Clara reviews the different types and qualities of fibers that come from mammals, including sheep, camels, alpacas, goats and more.


Lesson 3. Plants, Caterpillars & Test Tubes

  • Learn about the many non-mammal fibers that can make yarn: plant-based fibers such as cotton; silk from silkworms; and synthetic fibers.


Lesson 4. Considering Twist I

  • Wrap your mind around how fiber is carded and twisted to form yarn, from single ply to multiple-stranded plies. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.


Lesson 5. Considering Twist II

  • Get Clara's spin on the more elaborate ways yarn can be plied, including cabled yarns, knitted tube yarns and brushed yarns. Then see how a simple hat pattern can produce vastly different results depending on the yarn you use. The pattern is included!


Lesson 6. Yarn in the Wild

  • Yarn shops encourage you to handle their wares. Clara shows you what qualities you can evaluate in the wild when choosing yarn for your project. If you have some mystery yarns in your stash, Clara demonstrates how to narrow down what they might be using simple tests.


Lesson 7. Final Thoughts

  • Get that yarn on your needles! Clara shares some great tips for swatching, including how to choose the right needle size and type, how to wash your swatches and how to test for pilling. You'll be all set to choose the best yarn for your projects!

"Clara Parkes applies three things that make this class both a a joy to watch and a treasure trove of useful information her deep knowledge of the subject, her incredible way with words and her own passion for fiber. The combination makes viewers into smarter knitters and, if she has her way, committed swatchers. "
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For $19.99 you get:

  • 7 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Downloadable class materials, including a stash-busting hat pattern and fiber guide
  • Hours of detailed instruction
  • Answers from Clara in our virtual classroom
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