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?

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