Note: Voting for the 2011 Knitting Readers' Choice Awards is now closed. Please check back on March 15 to learn about the winners, and check out more about the finalists below.
Cascade 220 is a classic worsted weight knitting wool, known for providing knitters a good quality product at a good price with a generous yardage (220 yards per hank) and being produced in a dizzying array of colors and styles.
Not only are there solid colors in the 220 line, you'll also find heathers, tweeds, superwash and sport weight varieties of this workhorse yarn.
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Wool of the Andes is a worsted weight yarn made of 100 percent Peruvian Highland wool. The fiber is strong and soft and produces excellent stitch definition.
Knit Picks is known for making quality yarns affordable to the masses, and Wool of the Andes is know exception. As of this writing, a 110 yard ball cost between $1.29 and $2.19, depending on the color (heathers are more expensive).
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted
Shepherd Worsted from Lorna's Laces is a beautiful worsted weight superwash wool yarn, giving it the advantage of being machine washable. It's available in generous 225 yard hanks and is incredibly colorful and fun to work with.
That's because all of Lorna's Laces yarns are hand-dyed to produce lovely multicolored yarns that are great for a variety of projects. (There are also sport and heavy weight versions of this yarn, but the worsted weight was the hands-down favorite in the nominations.)
Madelinetosh Tosh DK
Another lovely hand-dyed competitor in the Best Wool Yarn category is Madelinetosh's Tosh DK, a light worsted weight superwash merino wool available in 225 yard hanks.
Tosk DK is available in a wide variety of colors referred to as "glazed solid," which is actually a semisolid look. They are dyed in small batches to maintain the integrity of their handmade products.
Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Many Malabrigo products were nominated for the Best Wool Yarn category, but the Merino Worsted came out with the most votes. This worsted weight, hand-dyed yarn is available in 210 yard hanks and includes a wide variety of colors, from "true solids" to kettle-dyed semisolids, neutrals and variegated choices.
Each bag of Malabrigo yarn is its own dye lot, so it's important to buy enough of this luscious stuff at the beginning of a project to ensure cohesive color throughout.