Chunky, Aran, Double Knitting…

Who thought of different thickness of yarn?

No, really…Who did and why? Was it a natural occurrence because the wool from sheep, llamas, alpacas or other animals actually has different thicknesses?

sheep

Or is it yet another human invention?
Did a lone knitter somewhere, perhaps in a damp hillside in Donegal or a sunny mountain top in Peru, suddenly think, “This is baaa’d”  (Sorry, pun intended!)
“I don’t like this wool – it’s too thin; I need something thicker so I will twist two lots of this together and make it thicker.”  Pause while some knitting goes on.  “Oh, but now it’s hard to knit… I know, I’ll make bigger, thicker needles too…. ahh, that’s better!”

Knitted

I have been a knitter for many years and, although I know that yarn was originally wool from sheep and other animals rather than the many varieties of man-made fibres that we have today, I have never heard anyone explain where the different thicknesses or weights come from.  Anyone know the history?

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