Yarn Detective: Big Wool

October 25, 2019

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  • thank you, never thought about air in the yarn before makes perfect sense once you’re in the know. Can’t wait to work with this now that we’re getting ready for the winter blast

  • Another excellent article! The concept of Grist continues to fascinate me, and the tip for weaving in the ends on the Big Wool is aces. Thank you, Jillian!

  • Wow! That was fascinating!! Thank you sooo much!

  • I tend to like finer yarns and was a little afraid of Big Wool. This article helped a lot! I feel much better about using it, even as lace! Who would have thought? And not nearly as heavy as I was imagining. I love Jill’s sense of humor too – great article! She should review all your yarns! Thanks!

    • What a great idea [wink]!

      • That would be awesome! I’ve been knitting for a few years now but I still learn something new from all of Jillian’s yarn articles. As someone without a LYS, learning more about how yarns behave has helped me order new yarns without as much worry that I’ll be stuck with something I hate.

    • Thank you for the weaving idea…very clever and less visible.
      Suggest weaving ends of yarn together when adding a new ball will eliminate loose ends. Rowan will work perfectly doing this.
      So glad I joined your group…so helpful.//joy

      • I soaked my Grace Pullover made from Big Wool and it GREW. Soaked in warm water. Blocked. Is there a way to shrink it? Soak in very hot water? Love the sweater but nearly twice the size.

        • I just knitted Grace and the hat Cara – just soaked the hat and quite alarmed at what happened (it is still drying so I’m waiting to see what happens). Considering damp blocking or steam blocking Grace. Curious to know if anyone else has advice – your comment has convinced me not to soak Grace! Thank you.

        • I have knitted several pieces using Big Wool and was also amazed at how much it “grew”, lengthened, stretched after soaking. I usually simply leave the pieces to dry flat and put up with the change in size (not too much of a problem for a scarf). Today I soaked a sweater and it ended up as long as a minidress… :0 So I took a deep breath, gave it a gentle spinning in the washing machine (400 RPM, 13 minutes), and (gasp) put it in the dryer, normal cycle. I frantically opened the door every 5 minutes to check the sweater and everything was FINE . After over an hour, once the sweater was completely dry, it started to go back to a more normal shape. Phew. Hope this helps – but make sure you frequently open the door and take a look.

  • I love your coining of the phrase “private side of my knitting” – so to the point. Thank you x

  • Worth the price of admission, that tip about unplying to weave in ends!

  • Another super post from Jillian!! Always informative, and humours 😉 Fairy Gristmother! Luv it, lol

  • really interesting article.

  • My jaw LITERALLY dropped for that weaving-in tip. WOW. Thank you!

    • Yes! It reminded me that this is the way to deal with the ends of slippery yarns, too, provided they are plied. For example: linen.

      • Yes, I do this with plant based yarns too!

  • WHOA! What is the lace pattern in your swatch? I have just finished the sleeves for my Main Squeeze cardigan and am about to start the body and I’ve just had a flash of inspiration….what if I make the body with LACE instead of sand stitch?? OMGOSH…it will be PERFECT for Texas winter!!!

    • Genius!!!!!!

  • Very instructive! Thank you!

    • Love the tip for weaving in the ends on big wool

      • ❤️ I agree

  • I found your article well written, so very informative, and I read every word. Being a plus size woman, I avoid bulky yarns, and bug projects that would take forever. Your beautifully written article has talked me into Big Wool. And I can even explain why! Thank you!

  • I have a pre 71 knitting machine and vintage yarn for sale 720-621-3587 please call or text if interested.

  • I agree with you. I also love Cascade Magnum…same weight, similar composition
    I’d love to see your comparison between the two.

  • More excellent info! I’m going to share this with a student who doesn’t understand when I tell her that a top down raglan in Rasta isn’t the best idea.

  • I have never thought of un-plying a yarn and weaving in the ends separately. That is genius! I love this article and will have to try Rowan Big Wool. I haven’t knit Rowan in a while!

  • Where is Rowan Big Wool sourced from? Country? I am careful where I buy my wool from and non-mulesing yarn.
    Thank you.
    Informative article!

  • This is a very interesting article and I’ll be reading again to digest all of the info provided. I’m just finishing a sweater in Rowan Little Big Wool and I’m wondering if you know how it differs from Big Wool. I find it to be very scratchy compared to other yarns I’ve been working with. I have several light blue skeins which are just beautiful and some brown left over so I hope I can find good use for them. It appears Little Big Wool has been discontinued. Thanks again for your helpful information.

  • I took a proper knitting class in 1983 and I have never stopped because there is always so much more to learn something that you had never thought of before and the greatest thing is the incredible yarns that have been created ! This is a wonderful time to be able to knit and learn