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Skein Lane Studio
208 Carmel Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

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(local yarn store)On Line

Crafting...a way of life...we knit, we crochet, we stitch!

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About Wool

Sheep! There are many, many varieties of sheep all over the world. The wool of each breed has it's own unique properties, fiber lengths, fiber crimp, luster and color. For instance, Merino wool, from Merino sheep is one of the finest and softest wools.


Wool is one of the warmest fibers, and has been spun into yarn for millennia. Wool fibers have a natural crimpiness that prevents them from packing together, trapping air inside that keeps us warm.

Wool can absorb up to a third of its weight in water, making it one of the only fibers that can still feel warm when it is wet. It also takes up dye very readily and beautifully. Wools that still have some natural lanolin ("the grease") still in them, are extra waterproof, one reason why they have always been used in "fisherman's" sweaters. But in most wools in our yarn store, the lanolin has been removed.


When dry, wool fibers are strong and they can be bent repeatedly without breaking. When wet, however, they can be damaged - see care instructions below.

All animal fibers have the possibility of pilling, and this is largely determined by the way the yarn is spun or manufactured. For instance, a single-ply yarn might pill more readily than a yarn with more plies (or strands spun together). You can control pilling somewhat by knitting with a tighter gauge by using a slightly smaller needle than is recommended on the yarn label to create a stronger fabric.

Use mothballs to protect wool yarn, fiber and garments from moths. If you don't like the odor, periodically place the yarn or garment in a plastic bag in the freezer for 48 hours to kill moth larvae. You should also air out stored fibers in the sun every now and then.


Always read and use the care instructions on your yarn's label. If you need help interpreting the symbols used on the label, check our Yarn Label Symbols page.

Generally, you can hand wash wools. Skein Lane recommends using a wool washing product such as Eucalan, and tepid water (not cold). Never use Woolite, as it contains a bleaching agent that can discolor your yarn. You may add touch of hair conditioner to rinse water for extra softness.

Some wools can be machine washed (so-called "superwash"), as indicated on their yarn label. If you do use the machine, make sure you set the machine to a delicate setting, with low agitation. Do not use warm or hot water.

To prevent bleeding when washing hand-dyed yarns, add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the wash and rinse water. This will set the dyes and make the garment softer.

Do not wring or twist the wet item. Wrap in a towel and gently squeeze out the excess water. Then lay the item flat to dry.


Some popular wool and wool blend yarns at Skein Lane Studio are:

  • Berroco................Pure Merino
  • Brown Sheep.........Lambspride
  • Brown Sheep.........Lambspride Superwash
  • Brown Sheep.........Nature Spun
  • Cascade Yarns......Cascade 220
  • Elsbeth Lavold.......Silky Wool
  • MaggiKnits............Maggi's Tweed Fleck Aran
  • Queenscollection....Kathmandu Aran


Learn about

Acrylic  Alpaca  Angora  Bamboo  Cashmere  Cotton  Linen  Mohair  Nylon  Rayon  Silk

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