View Full Version : Acrylic yarns?

02-05-2006, 04:02 PM
Hi, everybody,

I am a new member and a fairly new knitter. I could really use some acrylic yarn recommendations.

I am allergic to wool and am trying to find a good quality acrylic worsted weight yarn with lots of color choices. I like Reynolds Utopia but am not in love with it. I don't like the texture of "extra soft" yarns or, on the other hand, "economy" yarns. I've been unable to find anything by Red Heart, Caron or Lion that I like, and those are the only brands carried by my local store.

I'm happy to go web shopping, if I knew what I was looking for. I would appreciate any suggestions.


02-05-2006, 04:33 PM
Have you tried working with cotton yet? I think it's lovely to work with.

For acylic yarns, I'd recommend Carons simply soft, but you said you don't like soft yarn or Caron...

Have you tried looking online? I know www.yarn.com has a good selection.

Maybe I should leave this one to Ingrid... :thinking:

02-05-2006, 04:33 PM
My preference is Bernet Satin.
Its one of the few acrylics that I really like.
Washes nice and is a good price.

02-05-2006, 04:36 PM
Jenelle--I don't think this is one that can be left up to me. I haven't used a totally acrylic yarn in a while.

The closest I come is Encore, which is 25% wool--maybe not enough to bother you?

How about alpaca? It's supposed to be hypeallergenic. The superwash wools have the little pricklies taken off, so maybe those would be more appealing.

And as Jenelle said, there are some nice cottons out there.

02-05-2006, 04:37 PM
I would try an Acrylic/Polyester blend yarn if you haven't liked any of the strictly Acrylic yarns. Also, have you only got Red Heart SuperSaver? Because they do make a lot of other kinds of yarns that many people find to be more pleasing. The same with Lion and Caron. I bet you've tried Caron Simply Soft and didn't like it much, eh? If you haven't though, give it a try. It is a worsted weight, but feels a bit meatier than most yarns of the same weight.

There are lots of yarns made from other materials, but the "stranger" they are, the higher in price they tend to be. However, if you're only making small things then you could easily indulge in a hank or two of things like bamboo (If you want to see bamboo yarn in action, there is a basket on knitty's website here (http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/PATTbamboozelle.html)) Cotton yarn is pretty danged cheap, though, and shouldn't give you any troubles. There's linen yarn, which when knitted makes a rather stiff fabric but the more you use it and wash it, the softer it becomes - Much like old linen towels. There are even soy-based yarns! I'm sure there are people on here with more info on alternative fibers.

Also, remember that you can knit with ANYTHING! Right now I'm cutting up old t-shirts and jeans to knit into panels for a rug. They're 100% cotton, and it's really fun! I've also seen people make things out of old plastic bags. If you want to find out how to make yarn out of THAT, I've got another link - Just PM me or post here if you want to see it.

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 04:50 PM
Personally I think 100% cotton is HARD to work with, especially for a beginner. There are a lot of cotton and acrylic blends that would be nice though. Bernat's Denim Style is nice.

Are you actually allergic in that you get a rash or just sensitive? I'm very sensitive to wool, but some yarns like alpaca don't bother me and they are heavenly!

02-05-2006, 05:28 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I liked Simply Soft best of all the acrylics I found except Utopia, but after a while it started feeling slimy to me. Go figure.

I haven't tried Bernat. I will look for it.

In answer to Jan's question, all I know is that wool makes me itch. Big time. Is that a "sensitivity" or an "allergy"? But I will try Encore and alpaca and see what happens.

I don't like working with 100% cotton (though I like wearing it) but an acrylic/cotton blend is a good idea. So is an acrylic/poly blend. I'll look for both.

Has anybody tried Patons Canadiana? It is advertized as an acrylic worsted. I don't know anything about it.

Thanks again.

02-05-2006, 07:23 PM
I've used Canadiana. It's decent--not soft and fluffy, but not that plastic-y feeling stuff either. It has a nice stitch definition and comes in lots of colors.
Definitely nicer than the cheapo acrylics.

Jan in CA
02-05-2006, 07:35 PM
I think you are probably just sensitive to it. I am, too. Since I started knitting though and going to LYS I'm finding that not all wools are created equal. I don't know if I'm brave enough to knit an article of clothing out of it, but I might try a scarf of some nice merino or a blend. Some of them are amazingly soft! If you are concerned though there are plenty of other yarns available that are very nice. BTW..I got the Bernat Denim Style at Joanns.

Here's a link to "allergy vs sensitivity (http://allergies.about.com/cs/basics/a/aa091701a.htm)".

02-05-2006, 08:51 PM
I know I've said this before, but I think it bears repeating, so here goes ... :D

A lot of people who are sensitive (or allergic) to wool are actually sensitive to the chemicals used to clean and process the wool and not the wool fiber itself. You might try an organic or minimally processed wool, and a soft one like merino or a merino blend or bluefaced leicester, and see how you do with that.

A couple of my favorite minimally processed wools are Blackberry Ridge Merino ( http://www.blackberry-ridge.com/yarnprod.htm ) and Morehouse Merino ( http://www.morehousefarm.com ) -- both have beautiful colorways, too, or you can buy natural and dye your own. (Kool Aid makes for gorgeous wool dye, and it's non-toxic.) Montana Targhee is also another minimally processed wool -- one of my favorite places to find it (and get it custom dyed) is www.cascadefiberarts.com .

Marr Haven is a gorgeous organic merino blend. Also, there's Treliske, which is an organic New Zealand wool. Both very yummy and great to work with. There's also Vermont Organic and Maine Organic -- both available at www.spinnery.com -- and you can get a couple of very lovely British breed organic wools at www.organicpurewool.co.uk , though you will have to pay shipping from the UK.

Hope you find something you are happy with! Don't give up on wool before you give a few a chance. Even if you do end up having problems with it, we're always happy to take delicious wool off your hands! :rofling:

02-05-2006, 11:26 PM
Thanks again, everybody.

02-06-2006, 06:23 PM
I would suggest a cotton/microfiber blend. Or even an acrylic/microfiber blend. They are very nice feeling yarns. Knitpicks Shine is one. There are many though. Much easier to work with than 100% cotton.