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KathrynD wrote
on May 23, 2008 3:32 PM

 With all the new yarns with new fibers or uncommon fibers, where can I go to get information about the particular properties of a specific fiber or mix of fibers.  For example, I am looking at a cotton tencel yarn online, but I don't know what properties the blend will have.  I have found information online that Tencel fabric has a good drape, but is it stretchy, not stretchy? 


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Rebecca S wrote
on May 23, 2008 4:10 PM

 Hi Kathryn,

The tencel yarns I have used drape very well and are stretchy - but has good memory.  I would definitely recommend buying it in person rather than over the internet.  I have some tencel/alpaca blend that is quite soft, but very itchy - so much so that I have just pushed it to the back of my stash and have no idea what I will do with it!



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KathrynD wrote
on May 23, 2008 4:44 PM

 Thanks, this is helpful.


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RisaF wrote
on May 23, 2008 11:38 PM


Sometimes you can request a sample card from fiber/yarn sellers. I would definitely ask if you are unsure of what you might get. You don't want to waste precious money on something that sounds wonderful and isn't at all what you thought it would be. Good luck.


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MandyH wrote
on May 24, 2008 3:03 AM

Hello Rebecca, if you are a member of Ravelry, you could always exchange the yarn for something else. Alternatively, are part of a knitting group? You could arrange a yarn swop. It could be fun to see what yarns your friends are also hiding away with no intention of using it.


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Rebecca S wrote
on May 27, 2008 7:39 AM

 I am a member of Ravelry!  I haven't had time to use it much though.  Great idea to swap the yarn.  It is so pretty  I am sure that someone would be able to find a use for it.

Thanks Mandy!




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taknit wrote
on Jun 5, 2008 12:23 PM

 Tencel is a cellulose fiber similar to rayon, viscose and modal.  It has wonderful drape and is supposed to be a good fabric for travel clothes because its not supposed to hold wrinkles for long.  I have used Cascades Pima/Tencel to make crocheted summer hats and I would use and it is suggested to use it for form fitted summer tops like White Lies Design's Shapely Tank.  I would also knit flowing skirts or sweaters with it. As far as stretchiness, I think it would depend on the yarn's constuction in addition to the fabric construction.  The Pima/Tencel is a fully blended worsted weight and is not stretchy but the hats I've made with it are a bit and hold their shape better than plain cotton would.  A cabled or knitted tube yarn might be stretchier.

I often go to the manufacturer or distributor websites and read what they say about the yarn and look at any patterns they offer for the yarn.  That usually gives me a good idea if I can't see the yarn in person.  Sometimes looking at yarns with the same fiber content on different websites will give you a better idea of how to use it.

I hope this helps.

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ZassZ wrote
on Apr 16, 2009 9:13 PM


Hi there & giving some thought to your question, I would suggest calling a local yarn shop that carries the yarn you have in question (even if you can't get there in person) & ask the questions you have about the yarn.  If they carry the yarn brand, they will most usually know how it knits up or what type of article it would be good for and not good for use as.  Then you could go ahead and order over internet with a little more confidence.  Also, try to request a swatch or two so you can compare.  Most stores will send to you in mail with no charge. 

Then you won't be sad about wasting $$Sad

 And all the women who were wise of heart spun with their hands, and they kept bringing as yarn the blue thread and the wool dyed reddish purple, the coccus scarlet material and the fine linen.   Ex. 35:25 

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ShelleyR wrote
on May 29, 2009 5:19 PM

There was a really good discussion of fiber qualities in "No Sheep for You", though of course it left out the hair fibers. 

You can usually see what a fiber/yarn will act like  in your LYS, they often do swatches of new yarn, so that you can see what it acts like.

there are still other concerns that aren't regularly addressed, and that is that alpaca is denser than wool, so it's warmer and doesn't have the stretch, so you wouldn't want a 100% alpaca cabled sweater, for example.

I know that one issue of IK in the last couple of years discussed fibers in depth, but can't recall which one, sorry, but if you have a collection, I believe that the topic is listed on the cover.

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