When you pick up knitting, a whole world of creative projects opens up to you. However, that world can also be very confusing for a beginner. Navigating different patterns, stitches, and yarn weights is difficult.
If you’ve been researching the world of fibre arts, you may have heard about chunky wool. Chunky yarn is a great choice for textured projects and blankets, but among some knitters, it has a reputation for being difficult to use.
You shouldn’t let the fact that it is different from previous fibres that you’ve used stop you from using this yarn. Here is your guide to using chunky yarn and starting unique projects.
What Is Chunky Yarn?
Yarns are classified based on their weight or thickness. Yarns that are classified as chunky are thicker and consist of more fibres spun together.
The classifications for yarn weights differ from country to country. In Australia, chunky yarn is classified as larger than 12 ply yarn. In the US, “chunky” has a weight of 5.
This type of yarn is sometimes called bulky, jumbo, super chunky, craft, or rug yarn.
Is Chunky Yarn Difficult to Use?
Knitters are polarised when it comes to chunky wool. Some think that it is much harder to use compared to normal weight yarn because it is harder to execute stitches and keep track of patterns. This weight of yarn also requires larger needles, which can be more difficult to manoeuvre depending on the material type and style of needles, particularly for knitters with arthritis or chronic injuries.
Another reason why this yarn has a reputation for being harder to use is that some big yarns split more easily and some shed when you are knitting with them.
However, some people find this yarn much easier to use than normal-weight yarn. Beginners often find it easier to work with this yarn as they adjust to the fine motor skills required for knitting. This yarn requires larger needles, so it is easier to master the motions. Chunkier yarn also helps you finish projects faster because you need fewer stitches.
Tips for Knitting with Chunky Wool
Whether or not chunky wool is difficult to work with depends on personal preference. Someone who has arthritis or struggles with moving heavy weights may not be able to complete a blanket with this yarn, but someone still practising knitting might enjoy this yarn very much. Anyone that appreciates finishing projects quickly will enjoy the benefits of chunky wool.
You can make bulky yarn work for you if you follow these tips to use it properly. First, be mindful that you are using it for the right project. Heavier yarns work better for bigger projects, not dainty hats or socks, and simple stitches.
You should also use the right needles as needles that are too thin will not work with this kind of yarn. It is beneficial to use circular knitting needles with chunky yarn as the weight of the yarn is supported on your lap, instead of being held from your hands.