Focus on Fiber: Merino WoolBy Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 3 Comments
Today we continue our series of yarn chats with an elegant but hardworking powerhouse yarn, Merino wool. Our previous chats include Focus on Fiber: Acrylic Yarn, What’s in Your Stash?, and Yarn Obsession.
Known for its soft durability, Merino wool is a favorite among crocheters. It is quite popular among yarn crafters (and yarn hoarders ) in general, with over 1.6 million skeins stashed on Ravelry! Merino wool gets its name from the adorable Merino sheep. Originally a Spanish breed, the Merino sheep can now be found all over the world, including South America, Australia, North America, and Africa.
Cherished by those who prefer natural fibers, Merino wool creates beautiful crocheted fabric with some special qualities. For instance, it is naturally anti-microbial. In addition it is absorbent and breathable, allowing moisture to be drawn away from the body. It is also known for providing temperature control while being incredibly soft to the touch. Often times, people who don’t like “itchy wool” prefer Merino for its smoothness.
Merino is sometimes blended with other fibers to create a yarn with the best qualities of both. As a natural wool fiber, Merino does felt if washed in warm water and/or dried in the dryer. However, some yarn manufacturers offer “superwash Merino” and blends that have increased ease in care.
I adore Merino yarn for the way it feels. It is truly soft and it is a joy to crochet with. It’s also nice to know that I’m crocheting with a natural, environmentally friendly fiber. So when I’m ready to splurge a little, I go for Merino wool.
Have you tried to crochet with Merino wool? What are your favorite Merino wool or Merino blend yarns? Do you know any fun facts about Merino wool? Please share your ideas in the comments.