Why buy wool for knitting online?
As a knitting enthusiast, you may be wondering where to buy wool for knitting today. Indeed, the haberdashers who used to sell all kinds of needlework items and wool shops have mostly disappeared. And it is becoming very difficult to buy knitting wool or even knitting needles in shops. A few supermarkets have a knitting department, with just the basic necessities: needles, thread, sometimes buttons and a very limited choice of knitting wool and exceptionally knitting needles and crochets in limited numbers.
Today, the balls of wool trade has not disappeared but has moved to the Internet. From physical shops, they have moved to the digital age and orders are made online.
How to buy balls of wool on the Internet?
There are a large number of online shops and, faced with such an abundant new offer, one is entitled to ask what are the advantages and disadvantages of buying wool on the Internet. First of all, a few precautions should be remembered for those who are not familiar with the Web.
In your search engine, type in words that are as close as possible to what you want, avoiding expressions that are too general. For example, if you type in "balls of wool" or "knitting wool", you will get a wide range of shops, mixing all kinds of yarns: cotton, synthetic, such as merino or Lurex. You then have to sort out the shop where you can buy the wool you want. By entering "alpaca balls" or "mohair for knitting", you eliminate all sites that do not offer these qualities. This saves you valuable time. And even more so if you specify what kind of mohair you want: "kid mohair".
Read the label (description), the composition (natural or blended wool, synthetic or artificial yarn), and the care instructions carefully.
Reading wool labels
If you think you've found what you're looking for and even if the knitting wool on offer seems very attractive, check certain points before confirming your order. As in a shop, read the label (the description) carefully and ask yourself the right questions: what is the composition (natural or blended wool, synthetic or artificial yarn), where does it come from, what are the care instructions.
Beware of photos, especially if you cannot zoom in and see the yarn up close. Without a reference point, it is sometimes difficult to see the actual thickness of the yarn and how it is twisted. Remember that a loosely twisted yarn will be more prone to pilling and will tend to relax when knitted.
Also, check the weight of the ball of yarn (25, 50 or 100 g) and the yardage. Generally, the thicker the yarn, the heavier the ball and the smaller the yardage. Conversely, the thinner the yarn, the greater the yardage.
The absence of a precise description should make you suspicious: is it an oversight or deliberately imprecise information? To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is better not to buy.
One of the major advantages of the Web is that you can quickly compare the price of products. If you are looking for a specific brand, you can select the shop that offers the best deal on the desired quality. There is little risk in choosing this option. On the other hand, it is more difficult to compare mohair or alpaca balls. The price depends on several criteria: the quality of the wool fibres (long or short, their fineness), the spinning work (twisting) and the dyeing (fixing the colours). If you want ultra-soft, well twisted, lint-free quality that washes well, go for the higher end of the market. Inexpensive knitting wool, even if it is 100% natural, does not match these qualities.
How to test knitting wool?
To choose your knitting wool, it is essential to touch it. This allows you to check its softness and the way it glides under your fingers. This experience is the prerogative of physical sales outlets, such as haberdashers or wool shops. Not any more! Some brands offer a sample service. You receive a sample of a few centimetres of yarn for free or for a small fee, which you can easily test, first by touching it and then by making a few stitches with needles or crochet. Tricotez-moi has a free wool sample service which allows you to receive up to 3 qualities of wool to knit in the colour of your choice.
The sample is also a very good way to see the colour. Indeed, the visualization on screen can be distorted, especially since some colours are difficult to reproduce exactly. With a sample, place yourself in daylight to estimate the colour accurately.
What are the costs when buying wool online?
The price of the balls of wool you order may be increased at the time of ordering. Indeed, postage, preparation and packaging costs may be added to the price of the wool. These costs are generally proportional to the weight, but do not increase linearly. It is advisable to check the charges taken on the order before committing yourself. Some sites offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, which is a good deal if you need to order several balls!
Selecting the best shopping site
Get to know your favourite sites better by exploring the terms and conditions, legal information and payment and delivery security. All this information should match the quality of service you are looking for. Do not hesitate to ask a question with the contact form and evaluate the answer you receive. Consult the blog, the articles should give you an idea of the technical level of the people in charge of the site. A lot of relevant information should reassure you about the seriousness of the e-shop.
To go further, trade fairs can be an opportunity to get in touch with the staff of a site. The major national trade fairs bring together many of the brands present on the Internet.