Now for the fun part! Picking the yarn. We all love a soft, wonderfully colored yarn. The suggestions below are divided into two categories: Worsted Weight Yarn and Chunky Weight Yarn. When knitting with the worsted weight yarn, you will hold two strands together as you knit the pattern. When using chunky weight yarn, you will hold it single stranded. If you are crocheting an item, you will just use worsted weight single stranded.
Here are some tips for choosing the yarn for either a lap blanket or prayer shawl:
- The appropriate yarn needs to be machine washable and dry-able. Your local yarn shop staff should be able to direct you to one of the yarns below or to a comparable yarn.
- Regarding needle size. Yes, a 13 is a large needle, but remember the main purpose of these items is to provide comfort to their recipient. The larger needle helps with the airiness of the "fabric" of the prayer shawl or lap blanket. When they have a nice drape - they will be lighter and less heavy feeling on the recipient. Just keep that in mind when choosing your needle size. If you feel you need to go down a size because it is looking too loose, maybe knit a good sized sample in pattern to have a better idea of the look and drape. This would be a good time to check your gauge, too.
- Please stick with a smooth textured yarn and stay away from yarns that have a nubby texture. We don't want to encourage picking at the yarn and often those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease like to pick and scratch at things that they don't think belong. While this characteristic is beautiful in a yarn, we want these items to provide comfort, not undue frustration and anxiety.
- Solid color yarns show the beautiful textures better. If you want to make the stitches "pop", then a solid color yarn is the way to go. We know that we will receive items in stripes and variegated yarns and that is totally fine, but you can see in the samples that solid colors do help show off the cables or make that eyelet or rib stitch really show its beauty.
- Please think of making this for one of your loved ones. You want it to be special and look beautiful. Each person receiving it will be at a different stage in the disease so some will be able to really, really appreciate the time, work and thoughtfulness that went into it and others will not. However, we want to be sure they are all equally lovely because your special gift will ultimately be going to one of their family members to love and cherish for years to come.
- The recipient will touch and intertwine their fingers through these items so please take that into consideration when you are choosing the yarn for the item....softness is always so appreciated even if they can't verbalize it.
- When we work with colors and textures we love, we knit and crochet for longer periods of time. So keeping that in mind, choose beautiful, soothing colors and soft luxurious yarns and enjoy the experience.
- We are adding new yarns to the lists below all of the time.
Worsted Weight Yarn
Berroco - Comfort
Berroco - Vintage
Caron - Simply Soft
Cascade Yarn - Avalon
Cascade Yarn - Elysian
Cascade Yarn - Pacific
Cascade Yarn - Sateen
Cascade Yarn - Superwash 220
Classic Elite - Liberty wool (it's a DK weight, but could be carried doubled)
Frog Tree - Pediboo
Hobby Lobby - I Love This Yarn
Jojoland - Tempo
Knit One, Crochet Two - DungarEASE
Kraemer Yarns - Perfection
Kraemer Yarns - Tatamy Tweed Worsted
Lion Brand Yarn - Cotton Ease
Lion Brand Yarn - Heartland
Lion Brand Yarn - Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend
Lion Brand Yarn - Vanna's Choice
Lion Brand Yarn - Wool-Ease Worsted Weight
Patons - Canadiana
Plymouth Yarn - Encore
Plymouth Yarn - Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Superwash
Skacel Collection, Inc. - HiKoo Simpliworsted
Spud & Chloe - Sweater
Tahki- Zara 8
Tahki - Zara Plus
Universal Yarn - Classic Worsted
Universal Yarn - Uptown Worsted
Chunky Weight Yarn
Berroco - Comfort Chunky
Berroco - Vintage Chunky
Cascade Yarns - Pacific Chunky
Classic Elite Yarns - Sprout
Euro Baby - Babe Softcotton Chunky
Euro Baby - MayPole Chunky
Hayfield - Baby Chunky
Lion Brand Yarn - Wool-Ease Chunky
James C. Brett - Flutterby
James C. Brett - Marble Chunky
Järbo Garn - Duo
Plymouth Yarn - Encore Chunky
Premier Yarns - Serenity Chunky Weight
Universal Yarn - Uptown Bulky