Have you ever crocheted with slub yarn before? Or actually even heard of it? As that’s the type of yarn we are going to be using in the upcoming summer make-along – Whispers of the Sea. I thought you might find a post with a little bit about slub yarn useful and I’ve also included some of my top tips for working with this type yarn.
What is Slub Yarn?
Slub yarn is such a beautiful yarn, its sometimes called thick and thin, or fancy yarn, because it’s been deliberately spun in a way that creates both thin and thick sections along its length.
Slub yarn can either have quite thick sections combined with thin sections or random little bumps, aka ‘slubs’ combined with a normal plied yarn. As a yarn is spun, the machine periodically twists the yarn creating these slubs on the surface; these can be placed close together or far apart.
The gorgeously dyed slub yarn by The Yarn Whisperer, for the MAL, I would say has really gentle soft slubs at quite regular intervals, this is combined with a beautiful, slightly crimped effect, plied yarn. This was something I took into consideration as I designed the MAL wrap.
Other slub yarns may have more random distribution of slubs – so choosing the right pattern for slub yarn is something to consider before diving in.
Top Tips for working with Slub Yarn:
My first tip would definitely be around taking the time to choose the right pattern;
- There are no rules for what you could potentially use slub yarn for, but I personally, for a first slub pattern, would steer clear from projects with too intricate stitch patterns because your stitch detail will just be lost in the texture!
- Look for patterns with fairly simple stitches as the yarn already has such wonderful character on its surface. Find a pattern that let’s the yarn do the talking!
- To compensate for the uneven thickness of the yarn look for patterns that have regular stitches of the same sort of heights throughout. Combination patterns of chains, double crochet (US single crochet), half trebles (US half double crochet) or trebles (US double crochet) would work well and show up the slubs in the yarn.
My second tip for working with highly textured yarns is to remember to count your stitches often; it can be quite easy to miss a stitch or make two stitches in one. When working in rounds or rows you may find using a stitch marker to mark the start (and the end) of each row useful.
Tip three; frogging happens! But when it comes to ripping back slub yarn do it slowly so as not to break the yarn. If you do have to frog your work back, pull gently and manipulate any slubs through stitch loops with your fingers to help pull loose.
My fourth tip is that some slub yarn can be quite springy, make sure you hold a good tension as you work and don’t crochet too tightly. You may find using a slightly large hook size, than recommended, an advantage if you know that you have a tight tension – though be careful to check gauge if the pattern is size specific.
My last tip is really try and ignore the slubs! Just crochet as normal – it may seem strange at first but you will not notice the slubs as you get into your normal rhythm of stitching.
It might sound a little intimidating to work with something so unusual, but although it can take a little getting used to, slub yarn creates such a lovely and wonderfully interesting surface texture that’s worth persevering for. The plus side of using this artistic looking yarn is that’s it’s already brimming with creativity – so whatever you make from it is guaranteed to have amazing texture and personality!
I’m so pleased that I had the opportunity to work with the amazing slub yarn from the wonderful Yarn Whisperer; it was really important to me to find the best technique that allowed me to show the amazing yarn off to it’s full potential and create something with real personality! I hope my tips will help you with any future slub projects.
I absolutely love the way that slub yarn looks, especially when it’s in hand dyed form, because the combination of gorgeous texture and colours together can become something truly unique and wonderful!
If you don’t have any slub yarn in your stash yet then I hope this will make you think you need to find out what you are missing out on – I know for sure that there will be definitely be more slub yarn added to my stash in future! I’ve decided there definitely needs to be crochet slub patterns in the world! What do you think? Have you used slub yarn before? Are there any other tips you can think of that might also be useful? I hope you will drop them in the comments below.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx