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Best Yarn For Lace Knit Stitches

Blocked lace swatch
Who would’ve thought it would be so hard to choose a yarn? Not me! I love all kinds of yarn. I don’t feel like I’m too picky, but I had a lot to learn about lace knitting and what kind of yarn I needed to use.

The Good News!

Guess what?! You don’t have to use lace weight yarns in order to knit lace stitches. {Wahoo! I’m not a fan of using thin yarn {Mostly because it hurts my hands,it takes forever to finish a project and I have a short attention span.}, but I love the look of the lace stitches. :)} I want to bring the 2 things that I love about knitting together, super bulky yarn and lace knit stitches. I’m starting a new lace knit stitch learning series next month called #21daysoflaceknitstitches. I think they can be used to create beautiful works of art!

What Intimidates Intimidated Me About Lace Knit Stitches?

  • 1. Holding onto the lace weight yarn is difficult… it’s so thin.
  • 2. I have a short attention span. I want a quick and relatively easy project.
  • 3. The stitch patterns look so long and complicated. {Did I mention my short attention span?}
  • 4. I don’t like to read charts. {Can someone just write it out for me already?!}
  • 5. I don’t want to spend 100 hours of my life on 1 project just to spill ketchup on it the first time I wear it. :(

What Yarn Do I Use for Lace Knitting?

I was doing lots of testing, research, playing with different yarns and reading about lace knitting. Choosing my yarn started to become overwhelming. Every yarn is different depending on how it’s spun, how many plys, blends, thickness, etc. Which only led to more questions. What about blocking?

Do I Need to Block Lace Knit Stitches?

I read in Vogue Knitting, that synthetic yarns, like acrylic, must be blocked. After more research and testing, I learned that acrylic yarns don’t block very well. It’s kinda springy and goes right back to its original shape. Lace knit stitches, in general, should be blocked. {Heavy sigh!} Blocking isn’t my favorite activity. All of this research led me outside of the knitting norm.

It’s Time to Make a Decision and Go Shopping! :)

Well, I won’t be using any acrylic yarn for my swatches. {I got lots of suggestions and recommendations from you for acrylic yarns, so I know lots of you will be disappointed.} I hope that you can find some wool yarn that you like so you can join in my #21daysoflaceknitstitches series. Knit Picks has a great and affordable selection in various thicknesses here: Knit Picks Wool Yarn {This is not an affiliate link and they aren’t sponsoring me. I just like their yarn and their prices! :)} Now to try out some stitches using a lace weight yarn.

Lace Yarn Doesn’t Work Well for Teaching.

I knitted a swatch with some lace weight yarn and recorded a video… only to learn that you can’t really see what I’m doing because the yarn is so thin. My goal is to help you learn lace knit stitches and that would be counter-productive. What about using cotton yarn?

Cotton Yarn Doesn’t Work So Well Either.

I decided that I was going to simplify my lace knit stitch series by using cotton yarn and the same yarn for every knit stitch. This would allow you to easily see the stitch definition, where there’s a knit stitch vs purl stitch, and an increase vs decrease. You could compare and contrast different stitches to see which you like best. Plus, it would eliminate the need for gauge and blocking. Then I learned that cotton isn’t very good for lace stitches either, it doesn’t stretch and hold it’s shape. :( My options list is getting smaller and smaller

It’s Decided! The Yarn I’m Going to Use for the Series.

Seriously?! At this point, I’m days into my project, that I was so excited to start. I haven’t really started it because I can’t figure out what yarn to use. I wanted to throw in the towel. I can’t even decide on a yarn! Oh my goodness! :)

So, I grab another cup of spiked orange juice. {Spiked with Orgain Organic Super Food green powder mix. It gives me energy!} I’m searching through my stash and still reading everything I can about lace yarns. I finally surf lovecrafts.com to see what options they have that aren’t in my stash. I finally found a 100% super bulky yarn that will work perfectly! {I hope!}

Lana Grande by Cascade Yarns. I have used it a couple of times and even wrote an article comparing it to Lion Brand Thick & Quick. The article is Alternative Super Bulky Yarns to Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick and in it I use the 2 yarns interchangeably. Thankfully, I had a few skeins to play with and it works beautifully!

Now I’m excited to get started and learn some new lace stitches with a yarn that I love :) Here’s a recap of my research.

The Best Yarns to Use for Lace Knitting:

  • Wool {It’s naturally stretchy and holds its shape.}
  • Wool blended with other animal fibers like:
    • Mohair
    • Angora
    • Cashmere
    • Alpaca

Yarns Not Suited for Lace Knitting:

  • Acrylic
  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Linen
  • Synthetic fibers

The above yarns are not stretchy and don’t hold their shape.

Some Exceptions to the “Rule”:

  • 1. I’ve seen some cotton summer tops using lace knit stitches that look beautiful!
  • 2. While I was searching through various lace weight yarns, I noticed a lot of wool/silk blends. That leads me to believe it’s a nice blend for lace knit stitches.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules to knitting lace stitches, it really depends on the project and your preferences.

Takeaway:

  • 1. You don’t need to use lace weight yarns to knit lace knit stitches.
  • 2. You need to use a yarn made mostly of animal fibers.
  • 3. Don’t use a non-shape-holding or non-stretchy yarn.
Just a friendly suggestion… learn the stitch with acrylic yarn, but choose a wool or wool blend for your final project. Keep in mind that it’ll look different depending on your yarn material, thickness, and gauge. I learned that 2 different yarns knit with the same stitch don’t look exactly alike. So, have fun and play with the different lace knit stitches. :)
Blocked lace swatch
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2 Responses

  1. ljhuntington
    |

    I have really been wanting to learn to knit Lace, your timing is impeccable. I am looking forward to your series.

    Thank You

    • Jennifer
      |

      Cheers to perfect timing! I hope you have lots of happy lace knitting ahead :)

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