Petrabunny (chiroptera91) wrote in advanced_knit,

Teach me something about fibres, please!

I've been an avid knitter for years, but it's only recently that I've really started taking this hobby seriously. In the last couple of months I've produced two half shawls (one of which was frogged to provide yarn for the other, which is nearly finished), one brioche beret, and one Fair Isle tam (or hat - I haven't decided how to block it yet). In the past I've mostly used standard yarn types that I found at my LYS, but now I've come into possession of some more interesting yarns. The problem is that I don't know what to do with them: knowing very little about fibres and what everything is appropriate for, I'm at a loss.

Firstly, I have an unknown amount of angora (rabbit) yarn (50% angora and 50% sheep wool) in two colours (white/undyed and green). It is handspun and lighter than the sportweight wool yarns I've been working with before. Recommended needle size as stated on the label is 3.5-5.5 mm. I took a chance and knitted one of the Three Tams using the needles stated (3.5 and 4 mm), and it turned out fairly shiny but slightly small (maybe 5-10% smaller than I expected).

I also have five skeins of homespun, personally dyed wool all in different colours (using natural dyes from plants and things - that was fun!). I don't know how much is in either of them, but my guess is that it's a fairly significant amount. For this yarn I don't know anything about what size of needles I should use or anything like that.

So my first question is what types of projects are appropriate for each type of yarn. I'm leaning towards making more tams with the angora yarn, but I have no idea what I want from the wool (experimenting and learning, most importantly).

I would also like to know what methods there are for determining what "thickness" a yarn is - using Ravelry I've come across terms such as "-ply" and "wpi", but I don't know what they mean or how to use them.

Finally, I'm Swedish so I don't have all the technical vocabulary down. I'm also young, so I don't have all the technical vocabulary down in Swedish either. But I'm eager to learn, so! I'd appreciate anything. Information on websites or book recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance!
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