Tips & Tricks
Care of Your Merino Wool
Please do not wash merino wool projects. You can do some spot cleaning using lukewarm water and a very mild soap. Otherwise, we strongly recommend you dry clean anything you make with this yarn. Also, be aware that some shedding and pilling is normal at first and should significantly decrease over time. It is fine to pull off the pills. Just pull them gently side to side and they will come off. This is a natural part of the wool fibers grabbing onto each other. Part of the reason that wool can be used unspun is because the fibers cling together naturally. So, part of the joy of having the fluffy springiness is having some rebel strands that won't stay with the pack. As they say, if you love them (or don't!), set them free.
Remember, this is sheep's wool and actually behaves a lot like a sweater and my hair on bad days. If you find you have an exceptionally fluffy blanket, you can help tame the frizz by laying it out flat and picking off any big or well formed pills. Then lightly (seriously - lightly) spritz water over it. Take a piece of plastic wrap and gently rub it along the blanket, going with the fibers. once the water mist isn't visible, let it sit and dry for a little while. Then you can do the same on the reverse. It's like weird hydrotherapy for errant strands. (Wish it worked on my hair!)
What to expect
- There are pictures of the yarn in balls of different sizes on many sites. While it is visually pleasing, it is not an efficient way to ship the yarn. It also isn't the best way to work with the yarn. We try to ship it in the big loops that we use when we knit because we have had feedback from our customers that taking it off the skein or the ball is time-consuming. However, depending on the machine that was used at the factory or the amount ordered, we may send it in skeins like in the pictures.
- We do sell in 1 pound (lb) skeins, but we make every effort to keep the yarn continuous if it is possible to do so. Nobody likes to have to start a new yarn.
Working with Your Wool
- If you do need to combine two yarns because of separate skeins or because of a rip, we have a video on how to do this without making a knot in your work on our Videos page.
- Rip? Did you say Rip??? Yes, I did. First, if it happens, it is totally fixable. Second, it is pretty easy to avoid. Unravel you yarn carefully. If you are an old hand, you no doubt have some way that you pull, twist or otherwise maneuver your hands/arms to get more yarn. However, because of the weight of the yarn, it is important that you take the weight off of the yarn before pulling more out. If you don't, it is possible the yarn will rip. The best thing you can do is actually just unravel it into a loose pile before you start.
Estimating a Project
- Stitch size - For the Chunky Yarn, I find my stitches are about 3 inches long and 1.75 - 2 inches wide. This should help you determine how many stitches wide your project should be. For example, if you want a blanket that is 40 inches by 60 inches, I would recommend 18 - 22 stitches as the number of stitches you cast on, or start with. For that same blanket, you would have approximately 20 rows. For the length, of course, it is much easier to just pull it (or if it is really big, have a friend pull it) out and measure it while the row is still on your arm/needle.
- How holey do you want it to be? In this, I don't mean worshiped, but rather how much gap between stitches do you prefer? If you like a larger gap, you can achieve this by pulling out from the sides when you have finished. However, this will make your blanket shorter, so if it want it holey and to still be 60 inches long, you may want to stitch it to 63 or 66 inches, just in case.
- Another component of how holey your product will end up is how tightly you knit it. If you leave it loose on your arm/needle as you knit, you will end up with a looser product. If you want it to be tighter, make sure you are tightening the stitches a little bit (not a lot) with each one.
- One last factor that plays into the tightness of the knit is whether you choose to arm knit or use needles. If you use needles, it will come out tighter than if you use your arms in almost all situations. However, it is possible to still have snug knits while arm knitting. You need to make sure you tighten each stitch with an extra little pull, and you should not work too far up your arm. In most people their arm gets bigger as it gets closer to the elbow. So, if you stay down toward the skinnier part of your arm, the knitting will be tighter. If there is a little overlap in the loops because of this, that is OK. You just have to grab the end one when you go the other way.
Common Super Chunky Yarn Projects and Yarn Weights
Please know that the larger the project is, the more room there is for variation. The wool itself does knit slightly differently based on the dye that was used, so for some colors you may need more yarn to get a tight knit and still achieve the size you want. As with regular yarn, different dye lots may have different shading, so it is best to buy all that you think you will need for a project.
One Loop Infinity Scarf, 3 stitches wide - 0.5 - 0.75 pounds
Straight Scarf, 6 feet - 1 pound
Pet Beds - 2 - 4 pounds depending on size
Baby Blanket, 29x35 - 3 pounds
Lap Throw, 35x50 - 5 - 6 pounds
Large Throw, 40x60 - 7-9 pounds
Twin Bed Cover, 45x80 - 11-14 pounds
Full Bed Cover, 70x83 - 15 - 17 pounds
Queen Bed Cover, 76x88 - 19 - 21 pounds
King Bed Cover, 22 - 25 pounds