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Merino Wool Buying Guide

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Merino Wool Buying Guide
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Merino Wool Buying Guide

Merino wool is one of the softest and finest materials used to make yarn. It can be produced in a variety of thicknesses, lengths, and colours. Begin by deciding on the length of yarn that is needed. The amount required for a job can vary based on its thickness, the knitting pattern used, and the type of object being knitted. Yarn is also listed by its thickness, and there are several measurements used to indicate this on the product's packaging. A standard weight system from zero to six is often used, and yarn can also be listed by the number of metres per 100 grams of weight. Ply relates to the number of strands that comprise yarn, while adjectives such as "superfine" are also used to quickly reference different thicknesses. Learn how each of these measurements relate to one another to compare products.

Merino wool yarn is created in a large variety of colours. Look for standard colours like blues and greens, as well as gold, silver, and multi-coloured products. Consider the full range of hues available to choose the best yarn for a project.

Merino wool yarn can be purchased from craft and hobby stores, as well as specialty yarn retailers. Many online sites specialise in yarn, and a high number of listings can be found on marketplaces like eBay. Shop around to find the full selection of products, and choose yarn that provides the best look and feel for a knitting project.

About Merino Wool

Merino wool yarn is derived from Merino sheep. Known as some of the softest wool in the world, it is noted for being less itchy than other types, which makes it useful for base layers of clothing such as socks and long underwear. It can also be suitable for people with sensitive skin. Merino wool is highly durable, and is a great choice for beginner and veteran knitters.

Choosing Merino Wool

There are several things to consider while shopping for wool yarn, including colour, length, and thickness. Learn more about available options, and how they are represented on labels to begin shopping.

Length

Wool yarn is commonly listed by its length in metres. Keep in mind that the amount of yarn needed for a particular project can vary considerably, depending on the thickness of the yarn. For example, a pullover sweater may require around 2000 metres with a superfine yarn, but only 800 metres with a super bulky one. Detailed information about how much yarn to expect for a knitting project based on the item type, its size, the pattern used, and the thickness of the yarn can be found online. There are also several books on knitting that can help buyers choose the appropriate length for a project.

Yarn Size

The thickness of yarn determines which types of patterns can be used, as well as the appearance and feel of a finished project. This information can be found on a product's packaging, and is usually listed in one of several ways. It may use the standard yarn weight system, which measures thickness on a scale from zero to six. It can also be listed by weight, in which case it is measured by the number of metres per 100 grams. A third listing may indicate the number of plys, which relates to how many individual strands are used to make up the full yarn rope. Adjectives and descriptive names are commonly attached to yarn thicknesses, as well.

Yarn that has an unknown weight can be measured with a ruler. Hold a ruler out and wrap the yarn around it, pushing the yarn together so there are no gaps. Do not pull the yarn tight, or allow it to have any slack. Do this for a span of 2.5 centimetres across the ruler. The number of times the yarn wraps around the ruler within that space can be used to judge its thickness with other measurements.

The following table offers a comparison of yarn adjectives with the standard yarn weight system, metres per 100 grams, ply, and the number of wraps per 2.5 centimetres.

Adjective

Standard Yarn Weight System

Metres per 100 Grams

Ply

Wraps per 2.5 Centimetres

Lace

0

600-800

1-3

18

Superfine

1

400-480

4

16

Fine

2

300-400

5

14

Light

3

240-300

8

13

Medium

4

200-240

10

12

Bulky

5

160-120

12

10

Super Bulky

6

11-130

-

-

Yarn that is considered super bulky does not always have fixed ratings, and generally refers to any yarn that is very thick. Also, the relations between each of these measurements can vary by brand and the types of material used to make the yarn, so the table above is meant as a general guide only.

Colour

Merino wool yarn can be purchased in almost any colour. Look for browns, blues, greens, and reds in addition to gold and silver. Buyers can also find white, black, and multi-c olour ed yarn.

Washing Merino Wool and Yarn

Merino wool and items knitted from the yarn require special care when washed. To ensure no damage is done to the material, hand wash it with a mild detergent and cold water. Some detergents are even specially-designed to be used with wool, so choose these products when possible. Do not use chlorine bleach on the item, as it can cause the material to stiffen, weaken, and discolour.

Gently work it with the fingers while in the cold water. Do not wring or scrub the item. After the entire material has been worked, submerge it in clean, cold water. Gently massage the material to work the soap out of it. It is often necessary to rinse an item more than once, so prepare a second tub or sink of cold water. Repeat the rinsing process until the water is free of bubbles and suds from the soap.

Drying

To dry an item made with Merino wool yarn, lay it flat on an absorbent towel. Roll the item up in the towel while applying pressure to it. Remove it, and lay it flat on a second, dry towel. Reshape the item without tugging or pulling, and allow it to air dry for 24 hours. If the item is not completely dry by that time, flip it over and leave for another 24 hours.

How to Buy Merino Wool on eBay

All sizes and colours of yarn made from Merino wool can be purchased from the sellers on eBay. To find these products, try entering keywords into the search field on the home page. For example, enter "4 ply Merino" to see all listings for products tagged with those terms. You may add new keywords to specify colour, brand, or other criteria, as well. Alternately, try clicking on category links. These can be used to browse listings by item type, condition, price, colour, and more. Try using a combination of categories and keywords to find the best items available.

Once you have located some desirable yarn, click on individual items in search results to view their full listings. Be clear on the price of the item, and remember to include shipping charges in your estimate of the total cost. Look for payment methods accepted by the seller, and pay promptly to ensure a positive transaction. Read the description provided by the seller to learn details about the length and weight of the yarn being sold, and examine all available photos. Contact the seller with any questions you may have.

Examine seller profiles to find the most reliable eBay users. Look for positive feedback ratings and the number of completed transactions to gain a quick idea of the seller's reliability. You can also view average ratings based on key aspects of the seller's performance such as communication and the accuracy of item descriptions. Leave feedback once you have received your item to inform the eBay marketplace.

Conclusion

Merino wool is one of the softest and highest-quality materials used to create yarn. Buyers can find products in a wide range of lengths, thicknesses, and colours. There are several ways to measure yarn thickness, including the standard yarn weight system. This indicates the thickness of a product based on a standardised scale from zero to six. Plys are also used, and relate to the number of strands in the product. Metres per gram indicate the weight of the yarn, and adjectives and verbal descriptions are commonly used, as well. The thickness of yarn that has no label can be identified by wrapping it around a ruler for a span of 2.5 centimetres. The number of times the yarn wraps around the ruler can be compared with other measurements to determine its size.

Clothing and other items made from wool yarn should be hand washed in cold water with a mild detergent. Work the material softly to loosen dirt, and rinse in a separate tub or sink of cold water. Multiple rinsings may be needed. Allow the wool to air dry on a towel for 24 hours, and flip it over for extended drying time, if needed.

Merino wool yarn can be purchased from hobby and craft retailers, as well as specialty yarn stores. Many online sites also sell yarn and knitting tools, and marketplaces like eBay can be used to shop for products from private and commercial sellers. Consider all options to find the best prices, and choose Merino yarn products to make the next knitting project a success.

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