Saturday, May 15, 2010

Those Pesky Unweaving Ends

One of the things I find really frustrating is when my woven-in ends start coming undone.

One day while sewing, I pulled out my Dritz Fray Check to use on a cut edge that I didn't want to fray. That's when it struck me that it would work when weaving in ends on my crocheting.

You can find Fray Check at fabric stores or in the sewing department of big craft stores. You'll want to test it on a piece of scrap yarn from your project first. It could darken the yarn or make it overly stiff when it's dry.

If it works on the scrap, apply it carefully to a woven-in end. I usually apply it to the cut end and about 1/4 inch back to really secure it.

I can't guarantee that your ends won't start unweaving, but it seems to help prevent or delay it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WPI: Wraps Per Inch

There are many ways used to determine the size or weight of a yarn. There is the oldest system which uses worsted, sport, fingering, and lace as some of their definitions. Then there are newer icons that look like skein of yarn with a number at the center.

While these designations have value, a problem that needleworkers have is that one yarn can be very different in size and weight from another in the same category.

As a spinner I learned about Wraps Per Inch or WPI. This is a much more precise designation and as a spinner, I've been frustrated by trying to figure out how to spin my yarn for a particular pattern since, for example, a worsted weight yarn can range from 12 wpi to 17 wpi. And then, if I want to purchase a different yarn than the one specified in the pattern I might have problems getting my gauge to work because of the discrepancy in sizes. And so I've chosen to add the WPI to the yarn information on all my patterns.
Even if you aren't a spinner, you can find this useful. Here's what you do:
1. Get a wpi gauge. They are available in any yarn store that also sells fiber to spinners. Or purchase one online. They're small and will fit into your purse very nicely.
2. Practice using it before you go shopping.
3. Shop with confidence!

Links:
My favorite WPI gauge is from Magpie Woodworks. Click HERE and scroll down to the bottom of the page. It will be right there on the left.

Schacht offers one called a Dizzy Yarn Gauge.
Majacraft offers one as well.

Here's a good article on Wraps Per Inch that includes a chart which compares WPI to yarn type.