Monday, January 3, 2011

Yarn Opinions

There are a lot of the yarn opinions that exist out there on the web.  There are arguments over to use acrylic yarns or not to use acrylic yarns.  There seem to be those who only knit with wool.  Some crafters only buy at craft stores while others must go to a yarn shop.  I tend to be more moderate.  I love wool, but I grew up in Texas and I understand when wool is just too warm.  There are acrylic yarns that feel like you are knitting with plastic, and then there are acrylic yarns that are soft and cuddly.  I have bought $40/ skein yarn and I've bought 99 cent yarn.

My principle opinion is that a yarn should be fit to the project and the receiver.  I like to use superwash wool or cotton acrylic (I like Lion Brand Cottonease) yarn for baby projects because these can be good yarns to knit with, they are soft to the skin, and they are washable.  Baby projects made with non-washable yarn don't get used.

I love alpaca for its softness, and I have used it for a sweater and a scarf.  I have about 200 yards of 100% alpaca left, and I'm thinking of making a cowl with it.  It feels soft and buttery against my neck, and it will definitely keep out the cold.  It is very stretchy, and the sweater I have is a wool-alpaca blend, otherwise I would be concerned that it would pull out of shape.  The wool definitely helps the fabric hold its shape.

I am knitting charity baby blankets using donated yarn from a local assisted living center, and the newer acrylics are much softer than the older acrylics.  Some of those older acrylics hurt my hands after a knitting for awhile although I do like to use the yarn versus throwing it away.  I was raised in a frugal family and I live in a frugal community -- which is a greener way of living so it is so much better to put the yarn to good use.  The softer acrylics can be a great option for those with allergies, and some of them have fuzzy halos that I use to replace rabbit fur (I'm allergic to rabbit fur).

What do you like to knit with?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking Forward to 2011 - Happy New Year's !

Although I would like to post 3 times a week, this has been impossible for 2010, but I hope you'll bear with me.  There has been a lot for me to process this past year, and sometimes that processing gets the best of me.  I've had 3 surgical procedures, my mom has leukemia, and a close uncle suddenly passed away.  I have plans for this blog, but either my emotions or my physical healing seems to get in the way.  I will continue, even if it is at a slower pace than I originally planned.  I'm hoping 2011 will be less eventful.

I have had a lull in knitting ideas, but I think they are starting to roll around in my head again so I hope to share more.  I have made several cowls, and they are so much fun to design (playing with stitch patterns), make (knitting in the round) and wear (no scarf to come undone).

I have 2 more to take pictures of, and I have one still on the needles and I have another one in my head.  I've seen several cowls in catalogs and on television.  Do you think they'll still be around next winter?

Once these are finished, I've plans for 2011 involving at least a couple of cardigans, and the Missoni Inspired Chevron Blanket.  What yarnin plans are you making for 2011?