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2 ply wool or yarn is most often used for very fine baby knitting or evening wear. Here in Australia, 2 ply used to be fairly difficult to find, in fact before I started my own knitting store all of the 2 ply I had in my wool collection was purchased the last time I went home to New Zealand!
Although you can still get Shepherd Baby Wool Merino in a 2 ply baby yarn these days, don't expect to find it in a wide range of colors. It is more than likely your choices will remain limited to white, cream or white!
Patons used to make a 2 ply weight yarn that is 90% Merino wool & 10% Silk that came in 10 colours but it is not longer available. Filatura Di Crosa's Superior is just that - it is a lace weight (2 ply) yarn comprised of 70% Cashmere and 30% Silk - if you decide to spare no expense and use this yarn, you will not want to go back to wool again. It is so super soft and easy to work with, it makes wool feel like you are working with barbed wired in comparison!
One way around the complete lack of choice is to hand dye the wool yourself. For example, this beautiful mint green baby shawl was knitted with Shepherd Baby Wool Merino 2 Ply that I dyed myself using Earth Palette dyes.
Very few knitters that I know care to use wool this fine because it is just too fiddly for them. With 2 ply, you knit and knit and knit, and don't seem to get very far very fast!
But it does make beautifully fine (delicate) garments or shawls.
To illustrate I wound some of my 2 ply wool around my needle sizing template and there were 6 threads to each 5mm. When I wrapped 8 ply wool around the same template there were only 5 threads for each 10mm. The normal tension for this ply is 36 sts over 10cm on 2.75mm needles. If you are interested in reading up about wrap counts check out my yarn comparison chart page.
Some of the items you might like to make with this ply include garments for babies, like singlets, matinee jackets, booties, and mittens. This wool also makes very delicate shawls either for babies or for wearing wear. You can also be used to make very fine gloves or scarves.
Where to Find 2 Ply Wool Knitting Patterns
While you can make virtually anything with 2 ply, the difficulty will be finding a suitable pattern!
An email I received from one of the visitors to the site:
First Name: Lill' aka Wolffie
Type Away!: Hi there
I was reading your piece where you said 2 stranded wool is difficult to obtain in Australia.
I am not sure whether you know about Bendigo Woollen Mills, they have quite a range of colours in their 2 stranded cones www.bendigowoollenmills.com.au.
I have bough a few of them and they are very nice.
Now, patterns are a whole different kettle of fish.
WHEEERE do you git them?
I haven't been able to find any.
So if you are looking for 2 ply wool, try Bendigo Woollen Mills . I have used their wool many times over the years (and still regularly place an order with them eventhough I now have my own knitting store...), the quality is good and the prices are great. But sadly, you will not find any 2 ply patterns on their site.
Your best bet is to do an internet search for vintage patterns, a few of the patterns produced in the 30's, 40's, and 50's were designed used 2 ply wool. If you are looking for patterns published in the last few years, the only 2 ply patterns you will find will be for baby shawls.
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