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View Full Version : Spinoff of Place for Non-YarnSnobs--Baby blanket?


bip
02-05-2007, 01:27 PM
One of the things I noticed when I signed up on this board was how many people here use (and love!) acrylic yarn. I was surprised--I figured a board like this would be populated by those who only use natural fibers.

The above is exactly how I feel. I am a yarn snob. I love nice yarn, and I usually knit with the premium stuff. HOWEVER, some things just don't seem appropriate for fancy yarn - like big blankets or things for kids - so I use an acrylic or blend that I like (Red Heart Soft, Caron Simply Soft, Lion Wool-Ease).

I find myself in an interesting situation and I was wondering what y'all would advise: The wife of friend of DH & mine is having a baby. I don't know her, but he is very pretentious. I love him to death and have come to accept that about him. I can't stand it in anyone else, but for some reason in him it is endearing (he is like Frasier). I have the feeling that she may be similar, as their wedding registry contained $25 teacups (!)among other very expensive gifts.

I want to knit the baby something nice. Despite what I have said, he is not kind of person who would actually turn his nose up at hand made stuff. Nonetheless, I do want to respect his tastes and try to use a nice yarn.

That said, this is a BABY and though I've never had one before, I am under the impression that they make a mess and that I need to use a very washable yarn.

What is a fancy, washable baby yarn? I only know fancy adult yarns! Is it really worth it to use one of these yarns? I have a bunch of Simply Soft in exactly the colors he said they would like, but then I don't want to be stingy if a more expensive yarn will yield a better result.

Whaddya think?

sara_jayne
02-05-2007, 01:37 PM
Plymouth Yarn has a line called "Dream Baby" that is 50% nylon and 50% acrylic - it comes in DK weight and 4 ply (which is 1/2 the size of the DK weight). This yarn has a lovely sheen and drape to it and might be a good option for you.

mwedzi
02-05-2007, 01:39 PM
The thing is, most non-knitters wouldn't know an expensive yarn from an inexpensive one when presented with it. I mean, if you made it from Caron Simply Soft, would he know that it was not an expensive yarn?

If you want something more pricey, there's always the superwash wools. there's some superwash merino on sale at littleknits.com right now, debbie bliss i think.

lauraknits
02-05-2007, 01:40 PM
I am pretty sure Rowan Cashsoft DK is washable!

cookworm
02-05-2007, 01:48 PM
Being a mom, I can tell you that personally, I'd appreciate a handmade, washable, easy-care yarn for a blanket, and it wouldn't have to be a natural fiber, either. I began learning how to knit before I found out I was pregnant this last time, and once I found out, I was determined to knit my baby a blanket and finish it (with the other two kids, I began crocheting them blankets but never progressed beyond scarf sizes! :oops: :teehee: ) I saw SnB's "Big Bad Baby Blanket", but didn't want to spend out that much on yarn for the Koigu, so I got some Paton's Classic Merino Wool instead for the blanket. Although the blanket is very nice and warm and looks great, I can tell you that now that she's almost 2, that blanket has been hand washed more times than I can count, and waiting the few days for it to dry is frustrating. I just finished knitting her an acrylic blanket to use all the time and especially when her wool one is being washed and dried and she LOVES it (it's out of Lion Brand's Homespun).

In my own personal experience, I have found that for people that don't craft--knit, sew, quilt, crochet, etc.--it's not usually important to them that you used say for example 100% cashmere to make something...it's been my own experience that they're touched that you just spent the time to make them something. And sometimes, people are a little bit intimidated by things knitted out of finer things too...I know that my mom and sister don't want to ever wash shawls I made for them! :teehee:

In my humble opinion, if it were me, I'd go ahead and use the Simply Soft yarn you already have. Even if you suspect they might be a bit put off by an "acrylic" yarn, I can guarantee that after enough midnight/wee hours of the night trips to the washing machine after leaky diapers, etc., that blanket will be the most loved and useful out of anything else you could've knitted it out of, and they'll be THANKFUL you chose an easy-care yarn! Not to mention that Simply Soft is just that--very soft--and it has a nice sheen to it. And chances are, when the baby gets old enough to voice his/her opinion about it being their favorite little "lovey" blanket, it will become their favorite too, because their child loves it so much (and because it's so soft!). And if you suspect they might be the least bit put off about something homemade, I'd be even more apt to go cheaper with the yarn because it really would be frustrating to me to go out and spend a fortune on yarn for something a friend of mine never used. Just my two cents' worth, though. :wink:

I'm very glad you posted this question, because I'm in the same boat. I have a friend that's pregnant, and she really likes the finer things...things I can't afford! So I've been wondering what I can make for their baby, and actually, now that I've reasoned it all out in my response to you, I think I too will select a more economical, manmade fiber. So thanks for posting! :hug:

itscryttle
02-05-2007, 01:57 PM
I would totally go with the Caron Simply Soft. I also have some and its beautiful and soft yarn that is perfect for a baby.

I agree with others who have said that if they are not knitters or yarn people themselves they won't have ANY clue its not expensive yarn.

Normally people associate the softness and texture to being more "high end". Being that Caron Simply Soft is so nice they will probably assume you spent a small fortune on it.

I say go for it. :eyebrow:

bip
02-05-2007, 02:00 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I have made a few sweaters for friends out of silks and cashmerinos, and I always feel like I'm giving them work rather than a gift. I'm saying, "Here, you take care of this" lol.

Someone asked the question would a non-knitter even know, and I guess that's what I wasn't sure of. I don't think they would be able to tell the price, but they would probably be able to tell the quality. Then again, some acrylics are pretty good quality, so I guess it all depends.

I will stop by LYS tomorrow and check out the brands you all suggested and see if I think they are really so much better than the Simply Soft.

aineepooh1
02-05-2007, 02:06 PM
I also agree Caron simply soft IS soft.. and I got some for Christmas.. a lovely :pout: lime green and hot pink :cheering: which I started knitting up as hat and before it was done it looks like a watermelon hat :teehee: :teehee: me likey..
and Red :heart: soft.. IS actually soft and comfy.. go for acrylic.. and new mom has too much to do.. to HANDWASH anything.. IMHO~!
:hug:
Ainee

knitqueen
02-05-2007, 02:20 PM
I really believe that a non-knitter wouldn't know the difference! When my first baby was born, our landlord's wife knitted us a beautiful baby blanket as a surprise. It was beautifully done, gorgeous stitch pattern, lovely cream colour, the perfect size....etc. Now that I'm a knitter I can feel it and realize that it's probably acrylic but really I could care less! She worked hard on it and it is a treasure.

Knitting_Guy
02-05-2007, 02:38 PM
One thing to keep in mind that there is no way of knowing if the baby-to-be will be allergic to animal hairs. It's a very common allergy. Some sort of washable, soft, synthetic yarn would be a safe choice.

misha rf
02-05-2007, 03:23 PM
I totally agree with making something washable for babies. While I don't have kids yet, I can't imagine wanting to take the time to handwash and air dry a blankie (or whatever). I also won't knit something made from pricey yarn for anyone I know who'll toss it into the machine (which is most of my family!!) If I can't guarantee that they'll care for it properly, they get it in some kind of an acrylic. Then no one has to worry. :teehee:

nadja la claire
02-05-2007, 03:39 PM
You could use KP Swish Superwash which is washable, I've used it for a scarf and it's pretty nice, and it gets softer with washing. But like Mason said you want to be careful about allergies.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

aineepooh1
02-05-2007, 04:04 PM
good Point Mason~
Babies DO have VERY sensitive skin~!! :pout:

miccisue
02-05-2007, 04:18 PM
As someone who can't wear wool, I'd go with a synthetic. Caron Simply Soft is wonderful IMHO. Also, lots of people don't like Red Heart Super Saver but I've found that the more it's washed, the softer it gets - in fact, my mom has an afghan that I crocheted over 30 years ago that she calls her "magic afghan"...she gets in her recliner and covers up with it and she's asleep within minutes. :teehee: It definitely doesn't feel like Red Heart does right off the skein (and it hasn't taken 30 years for it to soften up in case you're wondering. LOL).

I made a bunch of lapghans for Christmas and used lots of different synthetics, and washed them before I gave them to the recipients. All of them washed up beautifully, but I think the one I made in Caron Soft Quick was probably the softest after one washing.

The pattern you use can easily disguise using a "cheaper" yarn - ripples or feather and fan makes even the least expensive yarn look fabulous.

Definitely ease of care is a biggie to think of in this case, as well as whether a child would be irritated by an animal fiber. As they get older, all they really care about is the "cuddle factor", and soft synthetics can accomplish that extremely well - anyway, that's been my experience.

Silver
02-05-2007, 04:19 PM
It's true that babies have sensitive skin, but a true allergy to wool is rare, even in babies. Mostly, they just need something very soft next to their skin.

Bip, a very nice baby yarn is Dale of Norway Baby Ull (http://www.kidsknits.com/dale_of_norway_baby_ull_yarn.html). It's a 100% merino wool that is machine washable and buttery soft. I've used it and the results are gorgeous. You'll also find Dale's patterns (http://www.kidsknits.com/baby142.html) for babies just divine, and sure to impress. :) The links here take you to kidsknits.com... I've ordered from them and had wonderful service!

aylaanne
02-05-2007, 04:26 PM
I've knitted baby blankets out of Lion Brand Microspun and Homespun, and I had nice results with both. Now I'm making one out of Misti Pima Silk, and the yarn was expensive and I haven't seemed to finish it yet. Go figure.

I'd use something soft and washable (Caron Simply Soft is a great choice) and bollocks to whatever anyone says!

Mama Bear
02-05-2007, 04:49 PM
I guess I'll be a dissenting voice.

It sounds like you really want to make something your friend will use and fits his lifestyle. With that in mind. this not being a pro or con on acrylics in and of themselves...

If the guy really is anything like Frasier, I would hazard a guess that he would know the difference between higher end fibers and acrylics. I doubt he would buy a polyester suit ;)

From your post I didn't get the idea that cost was your biggest deciding factor?

Baby Ull is lovely. Another possibility is organic cotton. Put a nice tag, made using the label of the yarn, that tells how to care for it (machine wash and dry) how it's organic, color grown so no fading or bleeding. Good for baby. Colorgrown organic cotton actually develops a deeper color in washing.

Organic clothing for babies is rather "in" with the crowd you are describing and anytime people see it they get all interested and "amazed" ;)

A few options would be Blue Sky Organic Cotton (100 gram skein is $9.40 at Webs, discountable) so a bit pricey. They cottons is VERY soft, so much so that you do need to be a bit careful as it has been known to pull apart if you work it too hard. Easier on the hands to work with than most cottons. (EDITED to add, blue sky says handwash on WEBS site. You might want to check around and see if anyone knows how it holds up to machine washing. I have machine washed several other organic cottons and they do GREAT, but have only made a teddy bear out of this, so haven't washed it).

Nearseanaturals.com sells a 1 pound cone of organic cotton yarn for ohh... twenty something .... I think I figured with shipping cost to me it was going to run a bit over $30, equal to close to $4 per 50 gram skein, figuring about 9 skeins per pound. So not a lot cheaper than the blue sky, but a little. I have not used this yarn, but if it's anything like Pakucho, it's firmer than the blue sky, but still very nice. They will send samples for very little cost. Again, if it's like the pakucho, and it looks similar in the photo, it's a bit harder on the hands.

Seems there are a few other organics coming on the market, but I don't have the details on them.

I'm not sure how the Debbie Bliss superwash merino holds up (anyone?) but littleknits.com had some dk weight for $27 a bag of 10 in amathyst or in an aran weight for $24 in mossy green (and a few other colors). None are traditional baby colors, but so what! :) Great price for a washable merino.

If your friend uses a lot of natural fibers for their clothing or the baby's, they may find washing acrylic a pain, as mixing polyester and acrylics with cotton and other natural fibers increases the pilling of the natural fibers.

So it might depend on your friends leanings in the types of fibers they dress with.

Mama Bear

miccisue
02-05-2007, 04:59 PM
It's true that babies have sensitive skin, but a true allergy to wool is rare, even in babies. Mostly, they just need something very soft next to their skin.

Bip, a very nice baby yarn is Dale of Norway Baby Ull (http://www.kidsknits.com/dale_of_norway_baby_ull_yarn.html). It's a 100% merino wool that is machine washable and buttery soft. I've used it and the results are gorgeous. You'll also find Dale's patterns (http://www.kidsknits.com/baby142.html) for babies just divine, and sure to impress. :) The links here take you to kidsknits.com... I've ordered from them and had wonderful service!

Just curious...you say a true allergy to wool is rare. Do you mean to the extent where one's throat closes up and they can't breathe, etc.? Maybe I've been using the term "allergy" wrong...I just know that I break out in a horrible rash and scratch myself raw wherever the wool touches my skin. I've been afraid to even consider using alpaca for that reason...I'd hate to spend the money and then not be able to use it. :??

Whichever, people that are able to use wool without problems are lucky in my book as there appear to be a ton of beautiful wool products out there. :thumbsup:

Silver
02-05-2007, 06:37 PM
Just curious...you say a true allergy to wool is rare. Do you mean to the extent where one's throat closes up and they can't breathe, etc.? Maybe I've been using the term "allergy" wrong...I just know that I break out in a horrible rash and scratch myself raw wherever the wool touches my skin. I've been afraid to even consider using alpaca for that reason...I'd hate to spend the money and then not be able to use it. :??

I mean in the sense that the allergy is strictly and specifically an allergy to wool. In most cases, a "wool allergy" is either just a sensitivity to coarse fibers, or a sensitivity to all animal fibers. Then there are those who are honestly allergic to wool... or more likely, the lanolin on the wool.

In any event, what I meant was that you needn't automatically avoid wools when knitting for babies. Just stick with something very, very soft such as merino. Chances are, it will be perfectly comfy for baby. :)

boyforpele13
02-06-2007, 03:17 AM
allergies are a great point, but just wanted to add a friend of mine just finished up a baby blanket with a simple eyelet pattern in Cascade 220 Superwash that came out magnificent. Not too terribly pricey either, as it's still 220 yards, although closer to $10 a ball for the superwash.

I think any handmade knit gift will be cherished no matter what you make it with and I don't think a non-knitter will know the difference, but will appreciate the handwashability. (Anyone see the insanely expensive and impractical Lily Chin Heirloom Baby Blanket on Knitty Gritty? Lovely thought and all, but I would encase that thing in glass if I received it as a gift! ) :shock:

Yarnlady
02-06-2007, 10:29 AM
It's true that babies have sensitive skin, but a true allergy to wool is rare, even in babies. Mostly, they just need something very soft next to their skin.I totally agree. Most wool allergies are sensitivity to the chemicals used in processing or dry cleaning wool, not the wool itself.

I made an heirloom baby blanket out of Lamb's Pride superwash Oatmeal. The border was dyed with Kool Aid cuz we knew it was a girl.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/th_A3.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/A3.jpg)