Best Christmas gifts for knitters (and crocheters)- Part 1 under £30 – Aran and DK – a guide

LInda Lencovic gifts for knitters, Kettle Yarn Co.

Starting off the gift guide series mentioned last week with heavier weight yarns and a few explanations for non-knitters. If you’ve already downloaded the full Part 1 guide you’ll have seen this already. For those of you who haven’t, you can either download it all at once or check out these posts as they go live.

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Aran weight and DK (aka Double Knitting)

For those out there who don’t knit and are trying to figure out what amount of yarn you should give someone, buying for knitters can be somewhat confusing. This guide is for you!

What is a skein?
Yarn comes wrapped in several forms and a skein is that strangely coiled up bundle of yarn you sometimes see knitters fawning over and petting. The amount varies greatly from brand to brand so it is important to look at the length of yarn you are getting per 25g, 50g or 100g skein! What seems like a bargain at £8 a ball might only get you half a hat, so keep this in mind. Yardage or meterage is what you need to focus on.

Kettle Yarn Co. skeins come in generous 100g bundles – skeins – which is plenty to work with! A 100g skein may look small to a non-knitter, but one goes very far and is a precious personal gift for a knitter to receive.

What kind of skein should I buy? Aran? DK? Fingering? What do these terms mean?
Simplified answer – yarn is spun in different thicknesses called ‘weights. This guide will cover, from thickest to thinnest, Aran – DK – Fingering

A lot can be done with a single skein of yarn. For example – just one skein of thick Waltham Aran yarn can quickly knit up into a hat or mitts. Waltham is soft 100% British Bluefaced Leicester and is suitable for the wear against the skin, so perfect for even the most sensitive wool hounds among us.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Aran
one skein projects clockwise from top left: Kettle Yarn Co. Brioche Hat, Dustland hat and mitts by Stephen West, Waltham Aran colours in shop, Cable and Gusset Mittens by Margaret Radcliff

As yarn is sold by the gram, you tend to get more yarn the thinner it is spun. So with the slightly thinner, but still plump and squishy Islington or Waltham DK yarn can make numerous heirloom baby items, a hat, a small cowl, kerchief scarf, thick socks or a pair of mitts.

IslingtonDK
one skein projects clockwise from top left: Julie’s Icicle Cardigan, my Honey Cowl (you could make a small size), Artichoke Beret by Anni Howard, Woodland Tales mitts by mandarine’s, Seaward by Rachel Coopey

The Islington and Waltham yarn blends are both spun from the softest 100% British Bluefaced Leicester wool and are luxuriously soft against the skin. Islington has a sumptuous drape and a luxurious sheen due to the additions of high quality silk.

IslingtonDKsq

Islington DK- 100% British Bluefaced Leicester wool/ silk. Clockwise rom top left: Old SmokeNeckingerVerdigris, L’heure Bleue, Purple ReignPeonyPadparadscha,  Marigold,

Next up in the guide is my personal favourite weight – fingering. Also known as sock or 4ply!  Stay tuned….