Fiber Follows Function

Be sure to select a fiber or fiber blend that is appropriate for the garment's function. For example, you would probably not knit mittens out of cotton since cotton won't keep your hands warm on a cold winter day. Socks and slippers require yarn that maintains elasticity so that they don't immediately stretch out and lose shape. Yarns such as cotton, linen, alpaca, and mohair have little elasticity, so they might not be the best choices for socks.

It is possible to alter and in some cases improve particular characteristics of a fiber by combining it with another fiber. For instance, adding acrylic can improve the body and elasticity of cotton, and alpaca or cashmere can be mixed with wool for added softness. So be sure to consider fiber blends in choosing your yarn.

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