This week we are going to talk about yarn. There are so many different types of yarn and they each have their own personality when you use them, whether it be for knitting, crocheting, or in this case, punching. There is a vast variety of yarn and they each have things that make them special or fun.
Punching can be extremely frustrating if you don’t have the right materials, or if the materials you’re using aren’t working how you want them to. So, it’s a good rule of thumb to learn your yarn before working on your project.
Amy likes to say that you can use anything as long as it can fit and move through a punch needle. While this is true, even experienced punchers can get annoyed if what they are using isn’t working how they envision it to. One good way to work around this, is to punch a swatch up of whatever it is that you are going to be using. Especially if you have never punched with it before.
When you do this, you will see if the yarn you’re using is going to be super fine, exposing the monk’s cloth. If this is the case then you might want to punch your stitches closer together. Or you might notice that when you punch it makes the project super dense and over packed, then again you would want to modify your punching style and punch the stitches so they aren’t so close. This applies to both our fine and our regular punch needles. What we tend to tell people when they are learning to punch is a great rule of thumb: Regular needles: 4-6 stitches per inch. Fine needles, every hole every other row. But like most rules, they can be made flexible to fit the project and the materials.
As I said in the last blog post, we are mostly using fine point needles for our Summer Triptychs. Fine point needles work better with worsted weight or lighter, finer, yarn. Heidi had a good stash at home of worsted weight yarn that she was able to use for her triptych. The rest of us had a bunch of rug yarn. This isn’t an unsurmountable problem. It just meant that we would have to put in a little extra work for this project.
You can use rug yarn in your fine point needle, you will just have to separate the 3-4 ply yarn into individual ply. Heidi has a great tip for this, a video of which I posted on Amy’s Instagram at the beginning of the week. For those of you not on social media, you will find pictures and instructions below. Heidi’s tip works really well if you need a lot of one color. In my case I decided to use some of the yarn bundles that we now offer on our website. These yarn bundles come as 10 strands (approx. 1 oz) of yarn. These strands were excellent for me because I didn’t need a lot of one color, but lots of colors in small amounts. These yarn strands were also great to separate, I could easily pull the ply apart.
What yarn are you leaning towards using? Are you also using fine point needles? Please let us know! We love hearing from everyone, whether it’s emails or comments on the blog or social media.
Thanks and happy punching!
Heidi’s tip for separating yarn ply:
You will want to start by threading your needle in reverse. Push the yarn through the needle hole on the opposite side of the channel. (There is a quick video showing this on our Instagram page.)