Merino knitting yarn and the garments made from it are renowned for their warmth, softness and breathability, and because merino is generally less expensive than many of the more luxurious knitting yarns, it can be an ideal choice for your knitted projects.
Merino knitting yarn is traditionally made from the wool of the Merino sheep but this has become a bit convoluted over the course of time. The Merino sheep have been introduced to many different parts of the world and many have been crossbred to produce both finer (and higher quality) meat and wool. The wool from the Merino sheep however, is of particular interest here as it is used for many different aspects of knitting. The Merino Knitting Yarn made from these sheep is great both as a single fiber knitting yarn and as a blended knitting yarn.
The Merino Sheep were first brought into Spain somewhere around the twelfth century. It was not too long thereafter that Spain become famous around the world for its fine wool and woolen products. So luxurious was the wool of the Merino sheep that until some time around the 1700s, exporting these sheep was a crime punishable by death. Fortunately, this law was repealed and the merino sheep has now become a major player in both the wool and yarn industries around the globe. Australia has also attained a level of fame for their fine merino wool.
The wool from the merino sheep varies in thickness and strength giving it the ability to produce many different size yarns. The ultra-fine wool from the merino sheep is generally short but is also extremely fine and luxurious. These qualities make it ideally suited for making blended knitting yarn with silk and the equally luxurious alpaca wool. One of the very few drawbacks of the pure merino knitting yarn is that it does tend to pill though so it may be difficult for some people to care for knitted garments made with pure merino knitting yarns.
The fact that merino knitting yarn and the garments made from it are generally softer even than cotton and also cheaper than some of the more luxurious knitting yarns make it ideally suited to making many undergarments and other clothing that will come into contact with the skin.
For outer garments or even for blouses and slacks, the merino wool still provides much of the same protection and elasticity that can be found in other wools. It is a great knitting yarn for making trousers, blouses or even scarves and ascots that may need to provide some warmth and protection but still need to be comfortable as well. Many garments knitted from merino yarn are sold on the high-end of the fashion sector as well. In these cases, the term “merino” refers to the clothes made from this particular wool or garment.
As with many wool-based knitting yarns, the merino yarn may have some variations in color between batches so if you are going to work with it, it is always best to purchase all of your knitting yarn at once from a single batch in order to prevent any unsightly variations in your finished products. However, given the number of items and garments that can be knitted with the merino knitting yarn, if you do have some left over, you should not be too hard pressed to find other uses for it.
The Merino Knitting Yarn will remain a very viable alternative to some of the more expensive knitting yarns for some people and always a pleasure to work with and to wear.