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View Full Version : Knitting with Red Heart :not so great: lol instead of YUCK!


Duckling326
10-22-2007, 02:54 PM
Ok so one day I walked into a local teriyaki place and the waitress there loved my poncho I was wearing.

So after talking a bit she asked if I'd make her two. One for her and one for her Mother. Ok fine, I told her the yarn I used for mine (Caron Simply Soft) said you can buy this at Walmart.

So what does she buy instead RED HEART YUCK!! Now if she turned around she would have seen that Lion Brand had a yarn she could have used as well.

Yes, I should have gone with her to Walmart but no way to contact her once I got there because she doesn't have a cel phone!!

Oh well I know the poncho will look great but I'm thinking of the people going up and touching it they'll go "EWWW".

C'est la vie makes me appreciate the yarn snob in me that's for sure!!

GiddyKnitter
10-22-2007, 03:00 PM
Hi Duckling326

What is this Red Heart your talking about is it cheap and nasty???
We dont have it over here.

suzeeq
10-22-2007, 03:05 PM
It's not really that bad; it softens up a lot after washing and drying. Just make it for her, she'll appreciate it, I'm sure.

PurlyGyrl
10-22-2007, 03:12 PM
Maybe she was worried about durability and washability :shrug: Anywho, like Suzeeq says, Red Heart softens up a lot after washing.

suzeeq
10-22-2007, 03:17 PM
Well Simply Soft is washable too. She probably just picked the color(s) she liked.

cranberry
10-22-2007, 03:38 PM
You could try soaking it in some fabric softner or hair conditioner. That will help.

It kills me to think about all the time I spent using Red Heart because I didn't know any better.

Duckling326
10-22-2007, 03:39 PM
Does this soften up I hope so, it's a bear to work with lol.

This yarn is a cheap yarn Pauline. I'm sure this is why she picked it.

Oh well I'm still getting paid either way...haha I was going to lower the price but after I heard what she bought I kept the same lol

Like I told my Husband I'll just get it out fast that way I'm not complaining very long hahaha. At least I can get one poncho out in maybe a week or two.

Thanks for listening I just needed to vent:roflhard:

MaleKnitter
10-22-2007, 03:41 PM
I completely agree with you, I HATE redheart. Everyone in my town buys it, but I think it has to do with the fact that they all crochet. Knitters seem to care a little more about their yarn choices, crocheters seem to go for the cheapest yarns like redheart "supersaver" (no offense to crocheters) maybe this is just the crocheters I have met, even though there are many.

But I think everyone has that aunt or grandmother or neighbor who has crocheted them a big lumpy afghan out of redheart and then gave it to them as a gift(?). It ALWAYS goes in the closet and is hardly ever seen again.

suzeeq
10-22-2007, 03:43 PM
I had a knitted acrylic afghan given to me years ago which is probably RH and I use it a lot. It's actually warm and not that rough after several washings.

Jan in CA
10-22-2007, 03:45 PM
It's too bad she didn't choose Red Heart SOFT, because that one is really soft and doesn't hurt your hands.

SabrinaJL
10-22-2007, 03:52 PM
Knitters seem to care a little more about their yarn choices, crocheters seem to go for the cheapest yarns like redheart "supersaver" (no offense to crocheters) maybe this is just the crocheters I have met, even though there are many.


Ya know, I noticed the same thing. When I went to a crochet/knitting meetup most of the crocheters seemed to be using Red Heart. But I've heard that crochet uses more yarn than knitting so maybe that's why.

Red Heart Supersaver and Sugar and Cream is the only yarn they sell where I am right now (small town in NM). I buy most of my yarn online.

sinistral_needler
10-22-2007, 04:15 PM
When I knew only how to crochet, I used Red Heart and Lion Brand yarns. I had no complaints back then .. Red Heart is a good functional yarn, especially for things like afghans .. I have rarely come across any of it that was too scratchy (or at all for that matter). Only once .. and I can give benefit of the doubt. :) The price makes a huge difference for those of us on a budget - $9 for a 50g ball of something "nice" really kills your cash a lot faster than aprox $3 for a 6 - 8 oz. skein of Red Heart. :thumbsup:

Jan in CA
10-22-2007, 04:26 PM
I have rarely come across any of it that was too scratchy (or at all for that matter).

I think it's a matter of perception or personal choice. I find Supersaver hard to knit with. I bought some to make some easter eggs and I hated working with it, yet my crocheting stepmom uses it all the time. :shrug:

There are so many really good and soft acrylics that aren't super expensive it makes no sense to buy something you don't like. ;)

cristina61
10-22-2007, 04:36 PM
I understand how you feel about RHSS. I don't want to dis it entirely; it does have its place in the scheme of things, and some knitters don't have a problem with it.

When I decided to knit my Simple Knitted Bodice I chose RHSS in Dark Violet, because it was inexpensive and I liked the color. I actually didn't mind the texture (!) and I knew it was going to soften up after washing and drying.

But now my goal is to knit another SKB in 100% silk, and I've got the yarn for the project. I doubt I'll ever buy RHSS again unless I didn't have any other choice. I'd much rather knit with Malabrigo, Noro, Cascade 220, and/or some of the yarns from Knit Picks.

:happydance::mrgreen:

Christine

Duckling326
10-22-2007, 07:04 PM
I think Red Heart has its purpose for somethings I suppose. Like I was thinking it would make a great scrubber for dishes lol.

I just hope it softens up for the person wearing the poncho. I know I wouldn't want this texture against my skin.
I keep biting the bullet and JUST KEEP KNITING!!

Total yarn snob here, my LYS has great hand dyed dk weight, worsted weight and super soft arylics(encore, cascade....)

Knitting_Guy
10-22-2007, 07:32 PM
I started my very first project with RHSS. It remains a UFO to this day. I still mostly buy cheap yarns, but I really like the Caron SS, and have recently started working with I Love This Yarn which isn't quite as soft as CSS but it's still pretty soft.

Yarnlady
10-22-2007, 07:37 PM
You could try soaking it in some fabric softner or hair conditioner. That will help. Not really...that only works with animal based products.

However as others have said, washing and drying softens it up very nicely.

Yarnlady
10-22-2007, 07:41 PM
I completely agree with you, I HATE redheart. Everyone in my town buys it, but I think it has to do with the fact that they all crochet.

I beg your pardon.... I knit and I use Red Heart for a lot of my knitting and I do care about my yarn choices. I also care about my budget.

And I crochet too, and make things out of Red Heart and wool.

Isn't it about choosing the right yarn for the right project with a little budget throw in.

But I think everyone has that aunt or grandmother or neighbor who has crocheted them a big lumpy afghan out of redheart and then gave it to them as a gift(?). It ALWAYS goes in the closet and is hardly ever seen again.How rude....

brendajos
10-22-2007, 07:50 PM
I must say I am a complete yarn snob and won't knit with Red Heart anything. it isn't that it is red heart really, i just don't find it all that wonderful to knit with. HOWEVER, that is all my grandmother knit with and i think it makes me love on the afghan I have from her even more knowing how much I dislike working with it. (That and knowing how much i HATE knitting afghans...lol)

There really is nothing wrong with this yarn. If it makes you happy to knit with it, then do it. The people who don't love your knitted gifts, no matter what the material, probably weren't worth knitting for anyway.

rosefields
10-22-2007, 07:53 PM
Red Heart isn't THAT bad...especially if that is all you can afford :neutral:

I am truly grateful to have a good job (and generous husband) to be able to afford more expensive yarn...but I know there are alot of folks who have fallen on hard times, especially here in Michigan, who can only afford Red Heart.

moreyarnplease
10-22-2007, 07:57 PM
I gotta say, that after visiting many other forums, and getting the feeling that there was sooooo much judgment on what someone else was using for yarn, and not seeing that judgment here every where I turned around, this post kind of surprises me. Im am not sure if this is actually a real complaint, or a chance to let the world know what kind of yarns are "worth" knitting? Personally I think waht ever is in my fingers at the moment is "worth" knitting, or it wouldnt be on my needles.

I think its great that your lys has such a great selection, so does mine, but that doesnt mean that Im not allowed to buy rhss, and if the caron ss is right next to it, then if I still want to buy it, it really makes no difference.
Again, I am really surprised by the judgment here...

But, maybe is just me taking this the wrong way?

jess_hawk
10-22-2007, 08:04 PM
I knit once in a while with RHSS still... but mostly, I am a complete yarn snob simply because I like the way nice (read: 100% expensive animal fiber, ie alpaca) yarn feels to work with. It murders my budget and I understand the advantage of cheap yarn. On the other hand, I met one lady who obviously had never tried the more expensive varieties, and claimed "they are exactly the same."
Not to knock those who can't afford to do a project in $10/ball yarn (because I'm a college student, and usually in this category), but if you're going to claim that my 100% baby alpaca, hand spun and hand dyed, is exactly the same as RHSS - you need to knit some more before we converse about fibers.

brendajos
10-22-2007, 08:11 PM
Moreyarnplease, i think that is the point that some are trying to make. I have no kids and pretty much only have to worry about supporting myself so I can afford to pay more for yarns that I really like, BUT that doesn't mean I don't have sticker shock when I see some fibers and have got to REALLY be splurging before I will use some of them. There is a top end to my yarn snobbery, but there is no bottom end. Meaning that as long as I am knitting I will be happy... And that includes knitting with RH. In the end... Knit with what you like... and come and pull up a chair with the rest of us. We will let you into our knitting group no matter what you are knitting with...


now if you are crocheting however........ (i kid i kid! :teehee:)

cristina61
10-22-2007, 08:57 PM
There is a top end to my yarn snobbery, but there is no bottom end. Meaning that as long as I am knitting I will be happy... And that includes knitting with RH.

Brendajos -- very well said, and I agree 100%.

Before I read your post I was thinking that if for some reason I didn't have access to any of the more expensive yarns, if the only yarn available to me was Red Heart, you would find me knitting with it very happily, no complaints!
:knitting::knitting::knitting:

I think it should be made clear that there's a difference between being a "yarn snob" and just being a snob in general!:hug:

Christine

Braden
10-22-2007, 09:03 PM
I find Red Heart a bit hard to work with, but I will definately use it if I have it on hand. The only reason I don't use it is because there is no Wal*Mart/Joanne's in my area.

Duckling326
10-22-2007, 09:09 PM
OK my complaint about this yarn is the feel of it in my hands while working with it lol.

If I were there I would have suggested a different brand or have a look at my LYS (for Encore)

I like my yarn to feel good while I'm knitting, I want to enjoy working with it. I don't like going "ugh guess I have to work on that again..."

Seriously didn't mean for it to blow out this much steam!

Knitting_Guy
10-22-2007, 09:26 PM
I gotta say, that after visiting many other forums, and getting the feeling that there was sooooo much judgment on what someone else was using for yarn, and not seeing that judgment here every where I turned around, this post kind of surprises me. Im am not sure if this is actually a real complaint, or a chance to let the world know what kind of yarns are "worth" knitting? Personally I think waht ever is in my fingers at the moment is "worth" knitting, or it wouldnt be on my needles.

I think its great that your lys has such a great selection, so does mine, but that doesnt mean that Im not allowed to buy rhss, and if the caron ss is right next to it, then if I still want to buy it, it really makes no difference.
Again, I am really surprised by the judgment here...

But, maybe is just me taking this the wrong way?


Honestly, I think it's more people expressing their opinions about the yarns themselves, not the knitters who use them. Big difference IMHO.

I use cheaper yarns myself, I just don't care for the feel of the RHSS.

jdee
10-22-2007, 09:55 PM
OK my complaint about this yarn is the feel of it in my hands while working with it lol.

If I were there I would have suggested a different brand or have a look at my LYS (for Encore)

I like my yarn to feel good while I'm knitting, I want to enjoy working with it. I don't like going "ugh guess I have to work on that again..."

Seriously didn't mean for it to blow out this much steam!

I knew what you meant. You weren't expecting her to buy high dollar yarn. Just one that's soft to the touch, so it would be pleasant for you to work with.

I think sometime people get sensitive because there really are yarn snobs out there who look down on people who knit with inexpensive yarns. Thankfully, there's not a lot of that here on KH. There are many different opinions and budgets, but no real put downs or excluding people. At least none that I can see.

Duckling326
10-22-2007, 10:13 PM
Exactly Jdee!! This lady that I'm making this for isn't a knitter or crocheter and probably didn't think of the texture of this yarn.

I will make it clear to her that if she refers my knitting to anyone that I prefer not to knit with this particular yarn.

debinoz
10-22-2007, 10:25 PM
If she wasn't a knitter/crocheter, she probably didn't now one yarn from the other. I vote for the fact she just liked the color.

I bought some rhss for my dd a sweater because she loved the color. When I got home, I noticed that it was totally different than the usual stuff. It was much softer, shinier and plied loosley. I don't know what happened to it, but it looked and felt a lot like css.

Most of you know (I've mentioned/complained about it enough!) that I'm allergic to animal fibers and most plant fiber (hemp, jute, bamboo) which leaves very little room for going above the cheap acrylics at craft stores and wally world. So I'll live vicariously through all you lucky people that get to pet, snuggle, grope and fondle all that lovely softness!!

So knit on my friends... be it with uber expensive or cheapo acrylic!!!!

madametj
10-22-2007, 10:41 PM
yeah, i'm kind of embarassed to say that my stash is mostly RHSS. (I was a new knitter, there was a RHSS 50% off sale. went a little crazy. what can i say:shifty:)

red heart is what i learned knitting on so i really don't think its too rough, or hurts my hands or anything. to me its just the norm:shrug:

right now i'm trying to bust my Red Heart stash and replace it with Caron SS and yarn of natural fibers. i am soo ready to move on:roll:

PamJ
10-22-2007, 10:42 PM
Hi Duckling,

This is off-topic, but I'm really impressed that someone saw your poncho and asked to have TWO made! Could you share your pattern and do you have a picture?

brendajos
10-22-2007, 10:59 PM
The other thing to be considered too is that there are some yarns that are considered more expensive yarns that I won't knit with either. I absolutely LOATHE Plymouth Encore and will only knit with it under duress... (yes i have a lot of duress knitting going on over here!) and Noro Kuryeon... The colors are spectacular but I hate the yarn. Price does NOT make a yarn more desirable! :muah:

ekgheiy
10-22-2007, 10:59 PM
yeah, i'm kind of embarassed to say that my stash is mostly RHSS. :grrr: Don't be embarassed! There's no need to be. :hug:

Funny I should read this post today though. I just added a button on my blog on Friday about this subject. :teehee: :teehee:

suzeeq
10-22-2007, 11:20 PM
One of the the things I've discovered about knitting with acrylics is knitting it on smaller needles. That makes for a very stiff, scratchy and dense fabric, whereas a looser gauge is much softer. I have some Bernat Softee chunky which is fairly soft in in the skein and when knit on 11s or larger. I saw a swatch at the store that had been knit on size 10s (the `suggested' size because that's on the label) and I couldn't believe it was the same yarn! It was stiff and rough and not nice at all. Knit worsted weight on 10 or 10.5s, and bulky on 11s, 13s and 15s and they turn out much softer and nicer.

suzeeq
10-22-2007, 11:23 PM
I agree with brendajos, a lot of expensive name wool yarns are awful to touch, and much scratchier than supersaver even. I'll use softer yarn, no matter the fiber or name. Price though... it has to be inexpensive. ;)

Duckling326
10-22-2007, 11:28 PM
Here is a link to my Sleeved Poncho I made. It's a kit from Mary Maxim. I have made three of these in a year, now working on four and five. http://knittwittbasketcase.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html

She totally went for color, it is a nice color I'll give her that, just an off white.

I'm glad that this is being made on size nine needles so it will be a fast knit lol.

Totally agree that even expensive yarns can be hard to work with. I also thought that I wouldn't like to work with Noro.

suzeeq
10-22-2007, 11:47 PM
That is nice.

Size 10s would make it even faster..... ;)

Duckling326
10-22-2007, 11:55 PM
:roflhard:

bip
10-23-2007, 12:08 AM
The way I see it is that my hands are my "machine", and my machine has a given life. If I take care of them, they last longer and if I do things that hurt them, I am shortening my knitting life. I'm only 31, but I use my hands for work too, so it is imperative that I take care of them.

Regular red heart hurts my hands, fingers, wrists, and rubs a spot raw on my pointer fingers. Same with Sugar/Peaches n cream cotton, Patons Divine, and Berroco Suede. There are yarns in all of those price ranges that don't hurt my machines, so I stick with them. And I would rather wait for forgiving yarns to go on sale than buy yarns that hurt my hands just because they are cheap.

I can afford and appreciate more expensive yarns, but I am a firm believer in choosing the right yarn for the project. I use Red Heart Soft and Simply Soft for all baby projects. I've used those plus Wool Ease for most big blankets I've made. Then again, I'm using Wool Ease Thick n Quick for a big afghan at the moment, and I find it hard on my joints, so I probably won't use it again.

I really don't see why people are so sensitive about this issue. Not everyone is going to like the same kind of yarn, and just because someone doesn't like a given inexpensive yarn doesn't make them a snob. There are lots of reasons to like or not like a yarn other than the price, and this should be a place where we can come chat about our experiences with different yarns.

MaleKnitter
10-23-2007, 12:38 AM
You know what, I really am sorry if my earlier comment offended anyone, I didnt mean to do that:sad:. The truth is, there are many quality projects that can be made with Red Heart, I was just thinking along the lines of afghans and sweaters (where the yarn is right next to your skin). But I went through my yarn stash today and found a great deal of Red Heart mostly intended for toys, because it comes in just about every color imaginable and is durable enough to be washed a million times and still keep its shape and color. I don't completely hate Red Heart either, I think I spoke to harshly earlier. Because when you really look at everything that the company has to offer you find a lot of very nice yarns and many colors.

But still, i do not usually like Red Heart Super Saver and when there are other options (like Caron Simply Soft which is soft AND cheap) I don't see why people don't take advantage of the better option.

suzeeq
10-23-2007, 12:51 AM
In what way does it hurt your hands, bip? I could see if you knit tightly, it might rub, but is that the only way?

Songbirdy
10-23-2007, 12:54 AM
It hurts my fingers too... I have dry skin and I find it rubs more than most yarns. Perhaps it isn't as combed or something?

I use a lot of acrylic yarns. Its a fact of my life... that or I end up with nicely felted FO's.

Typically because I have 2 other people in my house helping me wash and dry my laundry!


I find when crocheting the yarn doesn't run through my fingers as much and therefore it isn't as bothersome. If worse comes to worse and I use it, I simply slip on a pair of inexpensive medical supply gloves that are missing the tips of the fingers (cut them off). I find that allows me to knit okay and not get sweaty fingers from the gloves. And I'm not all itchy afterwards!

SabrinaJL
10-23-2007, 01:57 AM
I agree with Mason. This isn't about being judgemental, it's about expressing your opinion. And my opinion is that RHSS is crappy yarn. It's not me being a yarn snob as I do knit with a lot of acrylic. I have tons of Caron SS because it's soft and has a pretty sheen to it. RHSS just feels horrible to me. And I agree with brendajos about Plymouth Encore. That's another yarn I deem "crappy".

Silver
10-23-2007, 07:17 AM
The fact is that RHSS is an inexpensive yarn, one of the least expensive. It's not super soft or in any way luxurious because the manufacturers wanted to keep the price low and affordable.

If Red Heart Super Saver suddenly got softer and lovelier, another yarn would take it's place as the "cheap" yarn. There has to be a top and a bottom of the yarn-food-chain.

I have used RHSS for several things including a sweater for my then 8 year old daughter, a cat bed, and a big Winnie The Pooh stuffed toy.

I may not use it for a lace shawl, but that doesn't make me a yarn snob. I would NEVER use silk & cashmere for a 5 year old boy's sweater either.

miccisue
10-23-2007, 08:39 AM
I'd have to hunt for this, but I'm sure that I saw a post on here (when someone was complaining about the stiffness, etc. of Red Heart) of putting the skein in an old nylon stocking or something, washing it, and drying it and then working with it.

I think the main problem with Red Heart is not the yarn itself, but the sizing agent they put in it. I've made many a scarf, hat, baby blanket, you name it from RHSS...and the difference from when I was working with it to after it had gone through the laundry and dryer was amazing. Once washed and dried (and I use dryer sheets instead of softener in the wash cycle), it does turn out really cuddly, IMHO.

And I'm proud to say that I am NOT a yarn snob, and most of my projects are done with RHSS. AND, they are NOT hidden away in closets as I see people using the items all the time.:fingerwag:

cranberry
10-23-2007, 09:30 AM
Not really...that only works with animal based products.

However as others have said, washing and drying softens it up very nicely.


For me it does help with the plain Red Heart. The more expensive the fabric softener, the better. I have two, yes two :doh: huge blankets and that's what I use. Just a regular wash and dry isn't nearly enough. Oh, and then I also use two dryer sheets in addition to the fabric softner. It helps but I still rarely use those blankets because I just don't like the yarn and it's scratchy even after all that. Another thing you could try is vinegar rinse, but I haven't tried that yet.

knitting4-2girls
10-23-2007, 09:38 AM
I am definitely not a yarn snob, but can't stand to work with RHSS. The texture of it in my hands just drives me crazy. I bought a skein after learning to knit to "practice" with because I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I ended up making a sunglasses case and the case. Now, the sunglasses case and the rest of skein are in my craft closet in the back corner. Just tooo scratchy to work with.

I'm glad to hear that it does soften up after washing. I have been thinking about doing some charity knitting for our local vets office and will probably use this to make dog beds with.

bip
10-23-2007, 09:57 AM
In what way does it hurt your hands, bip? I could see if you knit tightly, it might rub, but is that the only way?

No, it also hurts my joints because it isn't that flexible. I think my joints are pretty sensitive though, because I'm even having problems with some Simply Soft at the moment. For some reason, the black I am working with right now isn't as stretchy as most of the other colors I have worked with. Go figure! I do knit tight, and usually go up 2 needle sizes, but I don't GRIP the needles. I do just relax and let them do their thing. And if the yarn pulls against me, I make a note not to use that yarn again.

bip
10-23-2007, 10:01 AM
I'd have to hunt for this, but I'm sure that I saw a post on here (when someone was complaining about the stiffness, etc. of Red Heart) of putting the skein in an old nylon stocking or something, washing it, and drying it and then working with it.

That is a great suggestion! As I've been reading this thread, I've been thinking, Yeah, the projects that others have made for ME with RHSS are fine, they soften up with use and washing, and they are very durable (I'm not sure all the SS I use will be anywhere near as durable!) But that doesn't help me KNIT with the stuff!

I have this skein of RHSS in orange, don't even know how I got it. I will try this and report back :)

suzeeq
10-23-2007, 10:11 AM
I think it is the finishing they put on it at manufacture that makes it stiff and unstretchy. Ever buy a tshirt or other new clothes and notice it's pretty stiff? That's the sizing agent and it washes out.

Duckling326
10-23-2007, 11:17 AM
I know when I work with this yarn I find that it is eaiser to work with if my hands are well hydrated with lotion.

I had to do this when I worked with King Cole Sprinkles as well.

Too funny I think Encore Plymouth is enjoyable to work with haha.

Using RHSS for toys is a great idea. But for pets.....lol ok my cats are snobs they prefer wool:shrug::teehee:

And you know, if my Aunt that crochets ever made an afghan with this yarn. I probably would have stored it away, that's sad to say but when I'm lazing around I want to be comfortable. I would totally appreciate her work but thankfully she has used a softer acrylic for her afghans that she has made.

Well on this poncho I am making I have about four inces on it. I will post pics for sure!

jdee
10-23-2007, 11:36 AM
:aww:I'm sorry if my my use of the term 'yarn snob' offended people. When I wrote it, I was refering to people who have looked down on me when I used RHSS, not the people here. I love you all here. Even the people on here who call themselves yarn snobs are saying it jokingly, so I thought it wouldn't bother anyone if I used those words to make my point. But, I reread my post, and I can see how it can be taken wrong. I hope you all will forgive me.:hug:

Duckling326
10-23-2007, 11:41 AM
Jdee, this is way off topic I have a torti who I think is your cats twin! There is a picture of her in my knitting blog. We have three cats, Phoebe, Kacy and Toby. Phoebe is the torti.

jdee
10-23-2007, 11:51 AM
OMG! She does look like my Annie. :) Except for the sweater and hat. Annie would take my arm off if I tried to dress her up.:roflhard:

I have another tortie named Mabel. She belonged to my niece, but she and her family had to move, and they could keep her...so now she's mine. It seems to be the way of my life. If our cat needs a new home, don't worry...the cat lady will take it... I have five indoor only cats, and several strays that come and go. We had them spayed and neutered so they woudn't continue to reproduce, and they decided to stay around.

Here are both of my torties. Mabel is the baby, and Annie's half hidden...

lelvsdgs
10-23-2007, 12:42 PM
The fact is that RHSS is an inexpensive yarn, one of the least expensive. It's not super soft or in any way luxurious because the manufacturers wanted to keep the price low and affordable.

If Red Heart Super Saver suddenly got softer and lovelier, another yarn would take it's place as the "cheap" yarn. There has to be a top and a bottom of the yarn-food-chain.

I may not use it for a lace shawl, but that doesn't make me a yarn snob. I would NEVER use silk & cashmere for a 5 year old boy's sweater either.
Bingo, that is how I feel as well. I think it has it's place and was a good yarn for me to learn on. Way back when it seemed much better but now, I use it for things that aren't to be worn. And I have found that for an afgan, it does soften up in the wash. I am going to have to try the Caron stuff, it has just started showing up in my area in better supply.

SabrinaJL
10-23-2007, 01:19 PM
:roflhard: Cats + clothes = awesome!

madametj
10-23-2007, 09:34 PM
One of the the things I've discovered about knitting with acrylics is knitting it on smaller needles. That makes for a very stiff, scratchy and dense fabric, whereas a looser gauge is much softer. I have some Bernat Softee chunky which is fairly soft in in the skein and when knit on 11s or larger. I saw a swatch at the store that had been knit on size 10s (the `suggested' size because that's on the label) and I couldn't believe it was the same yarn! It was stiff and rough and not nice at all. Knit worsted weight on 10 or 10.5s, and bulky on 11s, 13s and 15s and they turn out much softer and nicer.

that is soo true, i never thought about it that i way. i can't really do that, though. when i knit with needles that are too big, my work always looks really sloppy. it seems that the differences in tension when i knit are much more noticable :shrug:

suzeeq
10-23-2007, 11:15 PM
On the other hand, I don't use anything less than 10s for worsted weight, and I have a medium to loose tension. I prefer 10s actually, and sometimes use 7 and 7.5mm. It's very stretchy, so I knit sweaters with negative ease and I don't have to do shaping (not that I have a waist ). Washing or blocking will even out the stitches a lot and makes it all look better. ;)

kokum2
10-24-2007, 09:18 AM
It really is not as bad as some people think. The darker colors seem to be a bit rougher than the light colors.

As for the comment that those big bulky afghans made by a relative being tossed into a closet never to be seen again... that is not true about ones I have made:p In fact I had made an afghan when my son was a few months old....... he left home a few months ago and I gave him permission to take it with him IF he wanted it. Yes he took it with him and the are both 23 years old:roflhard: It still looked like just made and I used it all the time to cuddle up with on the couch:)

Attached are some pictures of a few of the ones I have made. The ripple one was just trying to use up some of my yarn, same with the flower one. ( crocheted Blocks)

ekgheiy
10-24-2007, 09:26 AM
Attached are some pictures of a few of the ones I have made. The ripple one was just trying to use up some of my yarn, same with the flower one. ( crocheted Blocks)
:drool: Mmm, nice blankies!!! I'm totally digging the ripple one! :thumbsup:

bip
10-24-2007, 09:44 AM
As for the comment that those big bulky afghans made by a relative being tossed into a closet never to be seen again... that is not true about ones I have made:p

I have to agree with you, the FOs are plenty nice. My mom has a crochet afghan that her favorite aunt made her, which was made with RHSS oh, about 30 years ago. When my brother and I go home to visit, we fight over it, lol. And more recently, my grandma gave me a crochet blanket out of RHSS. DH and I fought over it so much, she gave us a second. He is a HUGE softness snob. I don't exggerate at all when I say that the way he chooses his clothes is that he goes around the store and then buys whatever is softest, almost regardless of what it looks like (ahem, or what it costs, Mr. 100% Cashmere Corduroy Sport Coat). But he liked the blanket so much, he took it to work with him for a while when they were having a/c problems that made their conference room FREEZING (he was a scientist, and the 4+ hour lab meetings were unbearable w/o it, though his lab mates took to calling him Dr. Granny, particularly after he fell asleep on the conference room couch DURING lab meeting).

And I agree that working it up more loosely helps. We have a third blanket that my aunt knit on like 13s or 15s and it is muy soft. DH obviously always leaves the formerly preferred crochet blankets to me now, in favor of that one!

Nunnemaker
10-24-2007, 10:50 AM
My Grandmother made me a ripple afghan when I was born. It is a ripple crocheted blanket with different shades of pink. She made it 32 years ago and it still looks great and it is the most comfortable blanket I have. I agree that Red Heart is all scratchy and rough when your knitting with it but after washing it is a very comfy fiber. I agree about the Simply Soft though. I crochet baby blankets for shower gifts and I only use Simply Soft.

redwitch
10-24-2007, 11:24 AM
I think those who were offended by opinions on this wool are partly so because of comments like 'it has its place' and 'some people can only afford this stuff'. For some people, it seems to be a slight compromise for the great price, but remember that for others it feels perfectly fine, just because you don't like the feel doesn't mean that everyone else agrees it feels awful and those who use it only do so because they can't afford the good stuff or because its for a project that doesn't require quality. I don't think there is anyone who hates it but uses it frequently because they can't afford anything else, or because they are only knitting items for (insert unworthy/unappreciative recipient here).
Those who do like it don't do so because of poverty, they just have a different taste. I know of many knitters who find cotton very hard on the hands and can't knit with it, but you don't hear them saying 'well it has its place, I suppose if you can't afford anything better...' - in matters of taste there is no arguing remember!
P.S. those of you whho have acrylic that you now dislike and won't use, how about donating it to a good cause... a school, or a charity group that knits blankets, or anything else (sorry been reading Rabbitch's blog today)?

I think conditioner will work on synthetics too, on animal fibre it's because the fibres are smoothed down, but on a synthetic it will still feel more slippery, conditioner's basically an oil/lubricant (or feels as slippery).

I am really jealous of all you people with such a range of stuff available!

Duckling326
10-24-2007, 11:48 AM
I am loving the crochet afghan, what great work!

Maybe we should start a RHSS knit a long hahaha

The poncho is knitting up very well I will post pictures of the FO as soon as it is done. i'm hoping to have this one completed in a week or two.

bip
10-24-2007, 12:10 PM
just because you don't like the feel doesn't mean that everyone else agrees it feels awful and those who use it only do so because they can't afford the good stuff or because its for a project that doesn't require quality.

Ack! Every project requires quality! Otherwise why go through the trouble? I make baby blankets out of bargain yarn not because I think more expensive yarns are "too nice" or because I don't think baby stuff needs to be high quality, but because I truly don't believe they will hold up to all the washing and use they will get.

Maybe the pricey superwashes do hold up, but I just don't trust them enough to put the money down. I only trust hardy bargain yarns to hold up because we have projects that have been in our family for decades that prove that they do. We don't have anything of an expensive yarn that is still around ... though that may be because previous generations in my family couldn't afford more expensive yarns.

I don't think people really assume that just because people use RHSS that they can't afford more expensive yarn. But every time there is one of these threads, many people who use it SAY that they can't afford more expensive yarn, or choose not to spend their money on more expensive yarn.

That is where the idea comes from, not the people who aren't using it.

simplethings
10-24-2007, 02:01 PM
I'm not a big fan of RHSS. Or acrylics in general. One of the main reasons is that I prefer to use wood needles. Wood and acrylics don't mix. Acrylics squeak and 'stick' and act all stubborn on my woodens.

Acrylics aren't completely horrible though. The top reason on my list to use them is that they are completely washable. Once in a while I'll grab a skein of Simply Soft... because it's simply soft and VERY affordable. ^_^ I like to use acrylics when I'm learning/conquering a new technique. Of course, I'll have to drop my bamboo and choose metal needles when working it.
I think RHSS makes an awesome teaching yarn. It's inexpensive and the plies don't separate very easily (unlike Simply Soft) which gives great stitch definition and an overall easier knitting experience for beginners (not a lot of poking through the yarn, splitting it, and then knitting into the split).

On the other hand, someone mentioned earlier that RHSS hurts their index finger. I couldn't agree more, the roughness of the yarn rubs the top knuckle of my index finger raw and I'm not a tight knitter. Like an ongoing rug burn. :teehee: When I work with not-so-soft yarns I'll end up wearing a band aid as protection.

miccisue
10-24-2007, 02:22 PM
I'm the opposite - I have to use bamboo needles with Red Heart (which, along with Caron Simply Soft is about all I use) because the aluminum needles are too slipppery for me.

And, even though I shouldn't speak for Redwitch, I think she meant that people felt that anything made from Red Heart was not a quality item - not that she felt that way. It's a definite impression I get from the forum......:oo:

annomalley
10-24-2007, 06:48 PM
Count me among the people who aren't fans of the RHSS. I don't like how it feels when I work with it. But I would never look down on someone who knits (or crochets) with it or likes to work with it. If RHSS floats your boat, then go for it! :thumbsup:

It pains me sometimes that some of the most affordable yarn is also the ones I like to work with the least. I would love to make an afghan, but buying yarn for that can be expensive. I once attempted an afghan with Bernat Softee Chunky, but quit because I could literally feel the petroleum in it to the point where I was sure I could take a ball of that yarn and wring the oil out of it. :frog: I ended up giving the yarn away.

Most people who aren't knitters probably won't know the difference between natural and artificial (unless they're allergic), and at least from judging from the reactions that I get when I've given knitted things to people, they're more impressed with the fact that you took the time to make something hand knit for them. When I gave my son his gloves (http://msannomalley.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/stick-a-fork-in-them-theyre-done/) for his birthday, he didn't care that I did not buy the most expensive wool yarn at the LYS (I used Lion Brand Lion Wool I bought at one of the bigger box stores). He was touched that I took the time and made them for him.

People should knit with what they can afford and what they like. Knitting should be for everyone, not just for those who can drop a large chunk o' change on enough cashmere to knit a sweater and not bat an eyelash when the total comes up. Just because someone only buys the most expensive yarn at the LYS doesn't make them a better knitter than the person who bought a boatload of RHSS at Hobby Lobby on clearance. It just makes them a knitter with a bad attitude.

One the subject of yarn snobs, I haven't come across many true yarn snobs on this forum. I see people refer to themselves as yarn snobs, but I don't see them put someone else down because they knit with RHSS or other synthetic/inexpensive yarns. But my definition of a yarn snob is someone like the person who wrote the pattern for the Big Bad Baby Blanket in the first SnB book. She suggests that we should knit a baby blanket in a very expensive hand painted 100% wool yarn and forget about ease of care because acrylic yarns are "cheesy" (her words, not mine). I don't know about you guys, but I don't think I would appreciate having to find the time to hand wash a blanket when I barely have time to think, much less having to wash baby poo out of a blanket made from hand painted wool yarn because the diaper leaked. :ick:

Jan in CA
10-24-2007, 07:36 PM
In what way does it hurt your hands,

It doesn't matter how tightly I knit it, it's just kind of rough on my hands and the last time I used it I ended up with sore spot on my fingers. I think it may be a combination of the way I knit and the yarn it self combined with slightly sensitive skin.

If someone enjoys it then I see no problem using it, but if you aren't happy there are other choices. :thumbsup:

redwitch
10-24-2007, 09:45 PM
I did see someone post to this thread and say that some people can't afford anything better. And others who say 'it has its place'. Those who say they buy it because of price don't say 'yeah it is hideous and yucky everyone knows that but it's a great price'. I meant that phrases like this can sound really condescending and the implication is that RH IS in fact crappy and those who use it accept its crappiness and still choose to use it because some projects are fine to do with crappy wool (e.g. RH) and not worth more money, or they can't afford wool that is not crappy. When in fact those who use it rarely think it's crappy or inferior. And thank you miccisue, you're right, I don't think that RH is bad quality, I myself have never seen (even in photographs) or touched it and wouldn't make a value judgment beside 'I like it' or 'I hate it' if I had.
IMO, a yarn snob is not someone who prefers a type of fibre (lux like silk/cashmere, animal fibre only, natural fibres only) but someone who thinks their preferred wools are superior and anyone who uses something else is wrong or too poor to get good stuff. That could include someone who says acrylics are better (rather than 'I prefer them') and she can't believe anyone else would work with scratchy wool wools like Noro. There are plenty of expensive wools that are hideous/scratchy/hurt one's hands and lots of good cheap stuff too.

I really wish I liked acrylics more, because they are pretty and soft and shiny and often cheaper. The only reason I don't use them often is that they don't block :(

suzeeq
10-24-2007, 11:15 PM
the only reason I don't use them often is that they don't block :(
Okay, that brings up another question: Why do you need to block stuff?

Maybe because I've never knit a pattern to gauge because I use larger size needles and so modify the pattern to get a size that fits me, so I don't understand blocking to size. I guess some wool/natural yarns change when they get wet and do change gauge. In washing acrylics the piece stays the same size, and I don't ever need it to be a different size. If I do, I know I've miscalculated and need to start over. In that regard I find acrylic much easier to work with, you know what you're going to get. Washing evens out the stitches too.

So why the need to block? :??

cristina61
10-24-2007, 11:41 PM
This has turned into a very interesting thread; I'm glad we at KH can have such discussions where everyone's opinion is respected.
:muah:

I was one of those who said that RH "has its place" but I certainly didn't mean to sound condescending! I just feel like every type of yarn has a place in the wide range of options available to knitters (and crocheters) and RH is right in there too.:hug:

I did choose RHSS for its relatively low price and the color, and I'm still happy with my decision -- once I (finally) finish up my Simple Knitted Bodice I'll be wearing it proudly.

I tend to choose all my yarns primarily by those two characteristics (price and color), and then I consider the texture and what I want to use it for. That's just me, but I certainly wouldn't look down on anyone for their choice of yarns! I do love some yarns that happen to run to the expensive side, but I only buy them when they're on deep discount or on Ebay, where I bid and pay only as much as I have to.

Redwitch, I agree that it's wrong to make assumptions about why people choose what they choose. So many times those assumptions are based on faulty reasoning. I'd also like to thank you for reminding me that you can't judge the quality of any yarn by price alone! :thumbsup:

Christine

MaleKnitter
10-25-2007, 12:39 AM
Earlier when i mentioned "lumpy afghans that end up in the closet" I was referring to the afghan we currently have in OUR closet at my home. We got it in 1997, Back then it was about 5.5 feet by 4 feet (a good size for a twin bed or to always have by the couch to snuggle with) But it was made with 4 strands of Red Heart Super Saver and a size S crochet hook and a "net stitch" consisting of mostly a treble crochet stitch and chain stitch. SOOOO, not only is it lumpy, scratchy, has big holes in it (that let in the cold when you try to snuggle with it), but it also has stretched to about 10 feet by 8.5 feet. That is what I was talking about

Kokum2 posted some beautiful afghans that actually showed a little work and some pride in the finished product, I would not be surprised if those afghans are used every day and cherished for years (they are beautiful Kokum2)
But OUR 10-foot Red Heart fishnet that we have forever in our closet is never used and is just taking up space.

suzeeq
10-25-2007, 01:00 AM
That's more the pattern st used than the material it's made from then. I have a garter st afghan that was given to me about 25 years ago that gets used a lot. It isn't the softest thing in the world, but when I'm sick and need to sleep in the recliner, it's pretty warm and snuggly.

You do know that you could rip out that netting and make something more substantial with it?

redwitch
10-25-2007, 04:00 AM
I prefer to be able to block. I think this is mostly because I do a lot of lace, which improves drastically with blocking, and I like stranded colourwork too, ditto. I'm doing a gorgeous scarf (dolphin scarf from VLT) which I blocked partway through to see how much I liked it, the final size I could expect if I kept going, etc., and the difference is significant.

I don't do many garments made to fit the body (by which I mean tops etc., I like hats, mittens, scarves etc. a lot), one actually, so blocking to size is less important to me, but even in the case of proper garments, I like to be able to block. I think it evens up stitches and makes seaming easier and neater, and even when you are getting both row and stitch gauge well, you can have minor differences that add up, like an extra centimetre or two. In blockable fibres you can change this. In synthetics the front will always be a centimetre bigger if it is that way at the start.

Most importantly, you can block to shape. If your gauge were PERFECT you might still like to make corners right-angled (or whatever-angled), fix the fabric's natural inclination to roll away from the shapes you get in the schematic, etc. But mostly it's because i like lace.
I also think that a smaller synthetic component - basically small enough that the fabric remains blockable - is a real improvement, I think it increases wearability and softness.
Sorry if I were sounding confrontational Cristina, I have no interest in the matter really as I don't prefer synthetics so have no reason to feel put down as others may, but it makes me really angry when people put down your opinions to something they can sniff at or ignore culpability for. Like when a crude drunken yob hits on you and you politely decline and he says 'must be a lesbo' or one of those oddballs who say 'oh I am intimidating her'. I shouldn't care what idiots think but it really makes me want to smack them!!

I have occasionally seen REAL snobbishness about wools especially on some blogs, I think people need to distinguish between taste and quality. I really detest pink, I think it's a hideous colour and is really unpleasant to look at, but I know the colours I think are gorgeous would be hideous to others who don't like blues and greens. Likewise DPNs vs. 1 or 2 circs, wood or bamboo vs. metal, I often see on Craftster people saying 'drop your DPNs and switch to ML DPNs are awful!' or 'you will like bamboo needles much better than those metal ones'. Some have a preference, those who do may prefer either method.

mrslevite
10-25-2007, 07:29 AM
Very interesting thread. I've been avoiding it all week, but gave in this morning and have enjoyed the read. Love the poncho, too!

I grew up in the Deep South where Cotton is King and wool was scratchy and made you sweat. Now I live in the Mid Atlantic region, and wool is still scratchy and makes you sweat. But I have also been introduced to wool yarns that are soft. But it still makes you sweat. :roll:

Anyway. I guess it's all to do with what you're accustomed to. I was knitting a dishcloth the other day in cotton and thinking about how I would like a fall/spring sweater made of it. But even the nicest of wools haven't made me think about making a winter sweater. Go figure.

AngMac
10-25-2007, 08:00 AM
I also have been sitting back reading this thread and am glad that this is a place where everyone can voice an opinion.

My Nana taught me to Crochet when I was younger and she always used RH yarn. I have numerous afghans she made that are beautiful and I treasure them because she made them.

But, when I started knitting a year ago I knew that I didn't want to use RH for my projects. I find the yarn to be hard on my hands like many others here at KH. I prefer to use non-acrylic yarns. I pick the yarns based on what feel I am going for with the project. I am a bit of a yarn snob in that sense. I prefer to shop at my LYS instead of going to JoAnns, Michaels or AC Moore for my yarn. I just find that the yarns my LYS meet my taste more than the large chain stores.

I know people who have made a couple of blankets out of Caron yarn for a charity in my area. They turned out beautiful and soft.

ekgheiy
10-25-2007, 05:26 PM
... I think she meant that people felt that anything made from Red Heart was not a quality item - not that she felt that way. It's a definite impression I get from the forum......:oo: You're not alone. I get that impression also. I've been around the forums for a while. In the forum's "younger days", I never got that impression. It's only with the spike in the last year or so that I've gotten the impression. If a knitter reeks of a yarn superiorty complex I usually dismiss him/her as a yarn snob and call it day. Perspective is multi-sided though. At the end of day, all I can do is hope that the judgemental will be judged someday, and get a taste of their own medicine.

Becky Morgan
10-25-2007, 05:49 PM
Whatever anyone has, can afford and wants to use is fine with me. I have Red Heart and use it a LOT. If somebody gives me yarn, no matter how "smelly" (?) I wash it and use it. My hands are stiff and achy most of the time, and RHSS doesn't bother them, maybe because I tend to be a loose knitter and work Continental. I don't mind the sizing while I'm working, because it tends to make the stitches easier to see, especially when you work in a dark color or with multiple strands. After washing, the sizing comes out and it's quite soft. I do crochet and use it extensively for that, which is why I use it for knitting as well. Of course, I'm so crazy I knit with Lion Homespun :D

Like I said...whatever turns your swift. On one hand, I hate to see a new knitter stuck with very cheap yarn that won't come out of the skein, is full of knots, or otherwise makes life miserable. On the other hand, I used to frequent a board where the regulars made fun of everything I mentioned. After awhile, I realized none of them had actually knitted anything they talked about. The only yarn they would consider using was too expensive for their budget, and the only "decent" needles were too fragile and costly to use. Theytalked themselves right out of knitting, and where's the fun in that?

madametj
10-25-2007, 07:53 PM
Earlier when i mentioned "lumpy afghans that end up in the closet" I was referring to the afghan we currently have in OUR closet at my home. We got it in 1997, Back then it was about 5.5 feet by 4 feet (a good size for a twin bed or to always have by the couch to snuggle with) But it was made with 4 strands of Red Heart Super Saver and a size S crochet hook and a "net stitch" consisting of mostly a treble crochet stitch and chain stitch. SOOOO, not only is it lumpy, scratchy, has big holes in it (that let in the cold when you try to snuggle with it), but it also has stretched to about 10 feet by 8.5 feet. That is what I was talking about

Kokum2 posted some beautiful afghans that actually showed a little work and some pride in the finished product, I would not be surprised if those afghans are used every day and cherished for years (they are beautiful Kokum2)
But OUR 10-foot Red Heart fishnet that we have forever in our closet is never used and is just taking up space.

i have several of those in the closet received from aunts. i would use them but they have so many holes! you described it to a T, i thought it was pretty funny:rofl:

rissa
10-25-2007, 09:07 PM
I like to use other yarns if I can, but I do have some on hand. Its great to teach my kids on, to knit or crochet.

When I was in college (pre-knitting obsessed) I crocheted a huge blanket for my then fiance, now dear hubby. I was on a singing quartet for the college I went to and we had a 9 week summer tour. On the road constantly, and when we stopped it was at friendly people's homes along the way. I had so much time on my hands I had to do something. I was definately a poor college student. This blanket was so big, lol! I just kept crocheting, and picking up a skein here and there since there was no dye lot to worry about. To this day (15 years later) it is one of the warmest, comfiest blankets we have. Especially for a day like today, when I'm home sick and feverish, lol.

While I usually don't use Red Heart much anymore, I prefer other inexpensive brands, I definately still use it and wouldn't begrudge anyone else doing the same. I'd absolutely love to make a nice afghan with some soft merino someday. It'll have to remain in the future. Maybe I'll get money for Christmas...:happydance:

tootie44
10-25-2007, 10:31 PM
Nice poncho! I am knitting that too, but put it aside because I got a little stuck and don't have patience to figure it out at the moment. I was happily surprised with the softness of the acrylic yarn that comes in the kit and it was not too pricy either.

suzeeq
10-25-2007, 11:44 PM
I hate to see a new knitter stuck with very cheap yarn that won't come out of the skein, is full of knots, or otherwise makes life miserable.

Expensive yarn has the same problems. Doesn't matter the pricetag, some skeins are knotty - in more ways than one....

Duckling326
10-26-2007, 12:07 AM
Nice poncho! I am knitting that too, but put it aside because I got a little stuck and don't have patience to figure it out at the moment. I was happily surprised with the softness of the acrylic yarn that comes in the kit and it was not too pricy either.

Yah I was suprised with the Aran Twist in this kit. I've made two ponchos with that yarn. Then I made one with CSS. So where are you stuck on that pattern? I was stuck when I made my first one. Maybe I can help you.

I'm so thankfull that this thread is calming down haha it was starting to get pretty heated there for a bit :clink:

Well now that I'm almost finished the first panel, this yarn is looking pretty good. I know the buyee will be very thankfull and will enjoy it!

speattle
10-26-2007, 01:08 AM
I actually kinda like RH! My DD just made a gorgeous baby blanket and bootie set from it. I am using an inherited stash of RH to make the Mason-Dixon Log cabin afghan.