You know how the drill – temperatures start to drop, the skies turn darker and all you want to do is stay in bed with a cup of tea and watch Netflix all day. But alas, you have to face the reality and leave the comfort of your duvet because there’s actual life waiting for you outside. And as much as you want to bundle up in your favourite hoodie, you can’t very well go around looking like a slob.
And that’s where knitted pieces come to the rescue. This type of clothing is not only fashionable but also extremely comfortable and practical. You can find everything from sweaters and cardigans to scarves and beanies made out of different kinds of knitting styles and materials. Let’s dive into the cosy world of women’s knitwear and see what’s in store.
What Kinds of Knitwear Materials Are There?
First things first, when you’re shopping for snug and comfy knitwear, you need to know what kind of materials to look for. Different materials provide different levels of warmth and cosiness, so it’s important to choose wisely depending on the climate and your personal preferences. Since yarn is the basic knitting component, that’s where you should start your search.
If you want the softest, most luxurious knitting fabric money can buy, then cashmere is certainly among the top choices. This natural fibre is obtained from the Cashmere goat, which is mainly found in the Himalayan region. The animals are shorn every spring to get their soft undercoat, which is then made into yarn and used for various types of clothing.
Cashmere is often heralded as the king of all fabrics because it’s so incredibly soft and snuggly. In addition, it’s quite lightweight and breathable, which means you won’t feel suffocated even if you decide to layer up. And since it’s a natural fibre, cashmere is also biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
The only downside is that this material tends to come with a hefty price tag. But if you’re looking for a timeless knitted piece that will last you for years, cashmere is definitely worth the investment.
Merino wool is another extremely widespread alternative when it comes to knitting fabrics. It’s acquired from the fleece of merino sheep, which are bred primarily in Australia and New Zealand. The fibre is then spun into yarn and used for all sorts of garments, including sweaters, hats, and scarves.
This material is often praised for its many positive qualities. For starters, it’s an excellent insulator, so it will keep you nice and warm even in the coldest conditions. Additionally, it’s super airy and moisture-wicking, so you won’t have to worry about feeling sweaty and uncomfortable. And last but not least, merino wool is also antibacterial, which means it’s great for people with sensitive skin.
Compared to cashmere, merino wool is usually a bit cheaper. But this difference in price is not nearly as significant, so you can expect to pay a decent amount of money for a quality merino wool sweater as well.
If you’re looking for an even more affordable alternative to the last two materials, then you might want to consider sheep wool. As the name suggests, it comes from the fleece of sheep, which is then processed and spun into yarn. Unlike cashmere and merino wool, sheep wool is obtained from a wide variety of breeds, including both domestic and wild animals.
This type of wool is often used for making all sorts of garments, such as sweaters, gloves, and scarves. It traps heat quite efficiently, so it’s great for chilly weather. But at the same time, it lets your skin breathe, so you won’t have to worry about moisture build-up.
The only downside is that sheep wool can sometimes be a bit itchy. Its coarseness can be irritating to sensitive skin, so if you’re prone to allergies, you might want to stay away from this material.
If you’re not a fan of natural fibres, then going for acrylic might be a good idea. This synthetic material is made from polymers, which are essentially long chains of molecules. It was first developed in the 1940s and has been used for all sorts of purposes ever since, including knitted clothing.
In terms of appearance, acrylic is very similar to wool. It has a similar texture and can be dyed in a wide range of colours. But unlike wool, it’s not nearly as good at trapping heat. So if you’re looking for a sweater that will keep your body temperature up, acrylic might not be the best choice.
On the plus side, this material is very affordable, so you won’t have to break the bank to get your hands on a quality sweater. Additionally, it’s quite easy to care for and doesn’t require any special treatment.
What Are the Different Types of Knitting Styles?
Once you’ve decided on the right material for your knits, it’s time to focus on how you want them to look. Generally speaking, there are four main types of knitting styles – ribbed, cable, Aran, and chunky.
This style is created by using two different types of stitches, which alternate between rows. The result is a fabric that has raised ridges on one side and recessed valleys on the other. Ribbed knitting is often used for making cuffs, collars, and waistbands, as it has a lot of stretch and can easily be adjusted to fit different body shapes.
Next up is cable knitting, which involves crossing stitches over one another to create a raised, 3D effect. This style is often used for making sweaters and blankets, as it has a very cosy and comfortable feel. Each cable stitch is quite time-consuming to create, so cable-knit items tend to be a bit more expensive than those made with other styles.
This style originated in the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland, hence its name. It’s characterised by its intricate patterns, which are created by using a variety of different stitches. Aran knits are often quite heavy and thick, making them ideal for cold weather. They’re also very durable, so you can expect them to last for many years.
Last but not least, you have chunky knitting, which is created by using thick yarn and large needles. This style is very quick and easy to do, which is why it’s often used for making beginners’ projects. But despite its simplicity, chunky knitting can still produce some beautiful and eye-catching results.