Best Christmas gifts for knitters – cont’d – fingering or sock

LInda Lencovic Uncategorized

Following on from the start of my gift guide series last week, this next post focusses on my personal fav, the yarn weight called fingering, 4-ply or sock. 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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Fingering, 4-ply or sock

These terms can be somewhat confusing as this weight of yarn – thinner than the previously mentioned DK but thicker than fine lace – can be used for so many things other than socks and are not always formed of 4 plies of yarn. If you are a non-knitter you can ignore this and just accept that all three terms can be used for the same weight of yarn – nuff said.

Again, as this weight of yarn is yet thinner than the other two yarn weights mentioned last week, you get even more in a 100g Kettle skein. This means larger items in a finer fabric for less… whee!

Huge value for money, these skeins have enough yarn for a generous shawl, numerous tiny baby items, a long scarf, a mitt/hat combo, a pair of socks… or even a small top, depending on the amount in the skein! This can vary greatly from brand to brand so look on the label to see how much length you’ll be getting. See last week’s post for an explanation on the weight/length conundrum.

For example – I carry 3 different ‘weights’ of what is classed as ‘fingering weight’ yarn. All of my blends come in a generous 100g per skein:

On the thicker end of the spectrum my Beyul at 366m is an exotic mixture of baby yak/ silk/ and bouncy Merino.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_BEYUL
one skein projects clockwise from top left: Beyul – yak/silk/Merino, Veil of Leithen by Renée Callahan, Fíorghrá by Ruth McKeon, Cloud Valley by Anniken Allis

I’ve chosen Yak down for environmental reasons as it feels like luxurious Cashmere but has the added benefit of being much more environmental and sustainable to farm, making this blend ideal for the environmentally conscious among us. Furthermore, the Peruvian Merino used in this blend is also ethically produced and the animals humanely treated. Super soft and warm this blend is an unparalleled mix of luxury and comfort.

Islington or Twist fingering are spun a bit finer than Beyul giving even more yardage per skein at 400m – which translates into even bigger shawls and scarves.

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Islington
one skein projects clockwise from top left: Nikki’s Pink Robin Shawl by Helen StewartBeating Hearts by Sophie Wire, Sunburst Shawl also by Helen Stewart, all in Kettle Yarn Co. Islington – British Bluefaced Leicester/Silk, Michelle’s Antipodes by Libby Jonson

As mentioned in the thicker DK weight last week, Islington is spun from the softest 100% British Bluefaced Leicester wool mixed with silk. Islington has a sumptuous  drape and a luxurious sheen due to the addition of high quality silk.  In contrast workhorse Twist fingering – also spun in super soft 100% British Bluefaced Leicester yarn – has been given a high twist, making it bouncy, hardwearing and fantastic for socks or bouncy warm jumpers that take a lot of friction. It is still very soft to the touch, though and perfect for warm shawls.

The finest fingering weight in my range, Westminster comes in at a huge 533m per skein. With this amount you can make enormous shawls or even a small lace adult sized top like my Talavera below!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_Westminster
one skein projects clockwise from top left: My Talavera by Amanda B Collins in Gold RushBeetlebum by Renée Callahan in Shantung.

Westminster is s truly un-paralleled luxury. Baby camel and silk this blend literally drapes like water and feels incredible against the skin. Baby camel fibre is also incredibly warm, even in lace. A truly pampering gift.

If you aren’t confident you know what colour your giftee would like, neutrals like shimmering greys are always a safe bet. Think of what colours you frequently see them wear and you can be sure they would like a similar or hue in yarn. We tend to gravitate towards colours that look good on us so this is a safe bet.

If you are still having troubles deciding on what to gift stay tuned for my next post on accessories for knitting! 😉