A key part of choosing the best knit items comes before you ever check the label or even try the garment on. No matter which outfit you’re thinking of wearing, or what your style might be, remember this: the yarn makes the knit. Ask an experienced knitter and they’ll tell you that yarn choice can make or break a project, which means that yarn choice can also easily make or break the knitwear you choose.
If you don’t pick a piece with a good base yarn, you might find yourself regretting your choice!
Keep an Eye on Fiber Choice
When it comes to knitting, most people’s minds will immediately jump to balls and skeins of wool and thick sweaters. Knitwear has evolved into a wide variety of shapes and styles, made possible by the various yarn types available to modern knitters. Start out by checking the texture and drape of your knitwear—how does it look at you? How does it feel against your skin? If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, the yarn, it’s made of might not be right for you, or there might be some kind of issue with the weave of the fabric.
Keep Your Outfit in Good Shape
Fiber content will also affect the stretchiness and shape-retaining ability of the garment itself. Once you’ve decided whether or not a texture and drape is right for you, check the tag to find out what type of fiber a piece is made of. Silk and cotton are much less stretchy, but cotton and other plant-based fibers have moisture-wicking qualities that make them ideal for summer wear. If you’re looking for something to keep out the cold, warm and lightweight animal fibers are a good go-to. Remember, when it comes to knitted clothing, you’ll need to lay your item out or hang it up to dry, to help it keep that good shape.
Know Your Drape and Weave
A thinner weight of yarn will give you a more dense drape and a tight weave, while a thick yarn generally means a more relaxed drape with a looser weave. Relaxed drapes might soften your outline a little more, but a dense drape can highlight your shape. Tight weaves are a little harder to ease a pulled thread back into, but they’re also less likely to show a pulled thread than a loose one. If you know you have a tendency to get your clothing caught on things, it might be a good idea to take that into consideration.
The first step to finding something in a knit that works for you is to make sure you know what you’re up against whenever you’re shopping knitted fabrics. Don’t assume that the first cute knit outfit you see is a win before you check what makes it up. Whether or not you know knits, you can easily get a good idea for things like relative size and texture with a little bit of practice. Once you know the best way to care for the things you wear, you’ll enjoy wearing them more and be able to keep them around longer.