Happy Singles Awareness Day! 10 Favorite Single-Ply Yarns

So, what is a single-ply yarn? Is it yarn that can go anywhere it wants to on the weekend without having to check in, and stays at home alone eating pizza on Valentine’s Day? Not quite.

“Single ply” refers to the construction of the yarn. You know how a lot of yarns have a twist to them, and when you look closely you can see the separate strands plied together? Well, singles yarns don’t have that twist or multiple plies; they just one have one ply. This gives the yarn and the worked fabric a different quality from those that are plied.

Single-ply wool yarn tends to be incredibly soft, and has beautiful bloom and halo to it when it’s knit up. Singles wool especially is very nice to knit with, and glides along smoothly (watch the strand so you don’t accidentally put your needle right into the middle of it!). Singles wool is more likely to pill than plied yarn, but this can be mitigated with a tighter gauge, so try using a needle size or two smaller than recommended when using single ply yarns. Avoid using singles yarn to make projects that will get a lot of friction, like socks, as they felt quicker as well. But for super-soft and warm hats, cowls, mittens, and sweaters? Single-ply yarn is an ideal candidate.

I personally LOVE knitting with single-ply yarns, and I find them truly irresistible in the skein. We put together a top-10 list with some of our favorite single-ply yarns, with some projects in those yarns as well. Which single-ply yarn is YOUR favorite?


10 Fantastic Single-ply Yarns

10. Cascade Yarns Eco Duo

Cascade Eco Duo is a blend of baby alpaca and merino wool, so it’s some seriously soft stuff! The “Eco” part comes from the fact that both the alpaca and wool are undyed, so the color palette is a variety of neutrals. In the skein, you can see the two colors clearly incorporated, which creates a marled look in the knitted up fabric. Other Cascade single-ply yarns in the Duo line include Highland Duo, Eco Highland Duo, and Color Duo.

single-ply yarnLeft: Purbeck Pullover by Beatrice Perron Dahlen, knitscene Winter 2014
Right: Sand Dollar by Yumiko Alexander, Rustic Modern Crochet (Interweave, 2014)

9. Schoppel-Wolle IN Silk (distributed by Skacel)

This yarn is 75% merino wool and 25% silk, which are dyed together to create the muted tones of this line. This yarn is slightly felted already in the skein, which helps to prevent pilling in the long run, and enhances stitch definition.

single-ply yarnSophia Shrug by Betty Monroe, Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2010

8. Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (distributed by Fairmount Fibers)

Another silk blend—hence the name—Manos Silk Blend is offered in a wide array of semi-solid and space-dyed colorways. This is a great option for colorwork, and interesting stitch patterns such as lace and cables.

single-ply yarnLeft: Trapezoid Tee by Sarah Wilson, knit.wear Fall 2012
Right: Hooded Scarf, Sedruola Maruska, Interweave Crochet Accessories 2011

7. Brown Sheep Company Top of the Lamb

An old standby that’s been around for decades is Top of the Lamb from Brown Sheep Company. The 100% wool comes in both sport and worsted weights, and was originally created for the Navajo Nation to use for weaving rugs, a fact that is reflected in the color palette.

single-ply yarnRopemaker Pullover by Ashley Rao, Interweave Knits Fall 2014.

6. Plymouth Gina, Gina Chunky

Looking for a splash of color? Each skein of Plymouth Yarn Gina and Gina Chunky shifts through multiple shades and tones you can watch reveal themselves as you knit. The Ojo de Dios Shawl (below) has patterns available in both weights, so if you are wanting a quicker knit, go for the Chunky!

single-ply yarnLeft: Ojo de Dios Shawl by Vanessa Ewing, Interweave Knits Winter 2014
Right: Waves Vest by Dora Orenstein, Interweave Crochet Fall 2014

5. Sugar Bush Chill

If you are trying to get your chunky single-ply on, Chill! Sugar Bush Chill is a 100% merino that knits up super quick and bulky so you can whip up a hat or cowl—or even an entire garment (see the image below!)—SUPER quickly. And you’ll be SUPER warm, to boot!

Left: Goldsmobile Top by Danielle Chalson, Interweave Knits Fall 2017
Right: Enchanted Wolf Scarf by Michelle Moore, Interweave Crochet Winter 2018

4. Universal Yarn Classic Shades

Another colorful singles option, Universal Classic Shades are a self-striping acrylic/wool blend. The acrylic makes this a great yarn for projects that might get more use or be in situations where they can’t get super gentle care, and need to be easy to wash. I’m thinking of a big, colorful blanket to take camping! Or cool home décor items like in the picture.

Left: Stained Glass Rug by Jennifer Raymond, Interweave Crochet Home 2015
Right: Miscellany Bowls by Sue Perez, Love of Crochet Spring 2016

3. Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair

Mountain Mohair is an absolutely delectable blend of basically a million different wool breeds and mohair bred right here in the U.S. The fine, yearling mohair is blended with fine and medium wools to create something really special. The beautiful color palette ranges from brights to subtle earth tones and neutrals.

Left: Ebb & Flo Boot Toppers and Mitts by Janet Brani, Interweave Crochet Accessories 2014
Right: Wynkoop Cuffs by Kristen TenDyke, knitscene Fall 2017

2. Blue Sky Fibers Bulky

Another bulky weight singles, Blue Sky Bulky is 50% wool, 50% alpaca. Knit up an accessory in an afternoon on size 15 needles, or go nuts and knit up a thick, warm, fluffy blanket. The bold color palette includes pastels, jewel tones, and neutrals.

Left: Victor Shawl by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, knitscene Winter 2013
Right: Calming Wall Hanging by Shelby Allaho, Interweave Crochet Winter 2018

1. Malabrigo Yarn Worsted

One last (but certainly not least) house favorite: Malabrigo Worsted. Malabrigo makes this yarn in over 125 solid, semi-solid, and signature variegated colorways, so there is no shortage of possibilities! It’s a worsted/aran weight 100% wool with scrumptious elasticity. A great companion to keep in one’s stash!

Left: Squall Line Shawl by Romi Hill, Interweave Knits Fall 2015
Right: Marina Sweater by Anastasia Popova, Interweave Crochet Winter 2011

There you have it! Ten of our favorite single-ply yarns, in one handy list. What are some singles yarns YOU love?

Happy Singles Awareness Day!
Hannah


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