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tokmom
02-24-2008, 02:22 PM
question about yarn.

I read that acrylic yarns can be murder on your hands? What's that about?

Would organic cotton make ok baby socks or would there not be enough stretch?

My son's teacher is having a baby this summer and I want to make a lightweight, but very soft blanket and some socks.

Any help would be appreciated.:mrgreen:

knittingymnast
02-24-2008, 02:27 PM
Lightweight but soft? Hmmm. I would say Superwash Merino Wool would be MY first choice. Yes, acrylic yarns are murder to MY hands at least. I use them for donations because they are washable and such. Superwash Merino Wool is the way to go. Hope this helps! :mrgreen:

lmsloman
02-24-2008, 02:29 PM
Lightweight but soft? Hmmm. I would say Superwash Merino Wool would be MY first choice. Yes, acrylic yarns are murder to MY hands at least. I use them for donations because they are washable and such. Superwash Merino Wool is the way to go. Hope this helps! :mrgreen:

What do they do to your hands? I guess I haven't been knitting long enough to experience this! So far, all I've worked with has been acrylic and I haven't had any issues (yet).

tokmom
02-24-2008, 02:32 PM
Really stupid question, but what does the acrylic do to your hands? I'm thinking small cuts? I could be way off, but it doesn't sound pleasant.

Thanks for the yarn suggestions. I will be looking to add that to my growing order.:wink:

suzeeq
02-24-2008, 02:50 PM
Everyone has different experiences with acrylic. If you knit tightly that may hurt your hands from tension. I don't have a problem, but some may be rougher than others. Many are softer than regular wool. Blends are nice; I just got some Bernat Alpaca which is 30% alpaca, the rest is acrylic. Mmmmmm soooo sooooofffft.....

And cotton acrylic/wool acrylic blends are nice too and machine washable.
Knit with what feels good to you.

knittingymnast
02-24-2008, 03:03 PM
Suzeeq is right. Knit with what feels good to you. The only type of acrylic that I found to be murder is the hard, stiffer stuff. It scratches up my hands and theyre all calloused and yellow (ew!) in some places.

fibrenut
02-24-2008, 03:14 PM
OK, guys, to clarify a little bit... acrylic yarns are NOT all created equal for one and second, they won't cut your hands it's just that some seem rougher (almost like those green scrubbies).
I have found an acrylic/nylon blend yarn that is almost (almost but not quite) like knitting with alpaca. It's softer than some of my more expensive wool. Of course I am gonna toot about it cause it does come from a local place here in Colorado but it knits up very nicely, comes in lightweight worsted and other weights, they also carry wool and some of the funkiest novelty yarns on the planet.
Dark Horse Yarns (http://www.darkhorseyarn.com)in Commerce City, CO And yes, you can order online.

suzeeq
02-24-2008, 03:25 PM
They look like nice yarns.

gingerbread
02-24-2008, 03:44 PM
Thank you for the nice link. I bookmarked the page.:waving:

brittyknits
02-24-2008, 03:56 PM
I have never heard this before. But I would have to say that IMHO, it makes no sense what so ever. I mean, take something like Caron's 100% acrylic Simply Soft and compare it to the 100% wool Noro? Although the problem with the latter could of course be due to the twigs and other foliage it's infamous for. But think of Lopi compared to Lion Brand Fun Fur, and I just can't think why someone said that acrylic is harder on your hands.
But given that this project is for a baby, here would be my suggestion-- no wool! Babies can be allergic to it, the cleaning is often more complicated, and new parents need to be able to throw it in the washing machine on a regular basis-- sometimes daily, knowing how infants have no control over either end of the their digestive tracts:) . Actually, the aforementioned Simply Soft is an excellent bet, quite cheap, and with many lines within that name. It'll work for socks as well, and babies' feet don't sweat, so it would still be a good choice.

tokmom
02-24-2008, 07:37 PM
Hmm, never thought about a wool allergy before. I have some ideas now, thanks to you ladies. Now to see if it's a boy or a girl. I'm hoping for pink so I can use girlie colors. :wink:

Mike
02-24-2008, 08:48 PM
You better stick with machine washable for baby items.
There are plenty of soft acrylics.

Even Red Heart Super Saver softens up some after washing (and fabric softener helps).

I don't have a problem with acrylics and my hands and I've gone through a single Super Saver skein in a long day crocheting and have gone through Super Saver skeins every 3 days for long periods of time.

Ingrid
02-24-2008, 10:51 PM
As much as I've come to prefer wool or blends, I've never had an acrylic 'hurt' my hands, nor have I heard about anyone getting hurt. It does feel different to knit with, but there's no pain involved--just personal preference.

For baby things, I always go with machine washable as much as possible. Nobody has the time to hand wash with a new baby in the house.:teehee: There are some wonderfully soft, beautifully washable baby yarns out there.

tokmom
02-24-2008, 11:08 PM
Yes, washability is a must. I remember those baby spit up days all to well.
I guess I will hit my local craft store and see what feels good and is pretty. I just can't wait to start.
Thanks for the input on the acrylic. Some other ladies on another site made it sound like my hands would be hurting and to beware of using acrylic.

brittyknits
02-24-2008, 11:38 PM
Some other ladies on another site made it sound like my hands would be hurting and to beware of using acrylic.

Oh THAT'S the problem-- they aren't knittinghelp people!:rofl:

fibrenut
02-24-2008, 11:40 PM
Probably not, Knitty, I think it's the bunch I ran into discussing whether or not some lady who owns n LYS should stock acrylic.
OMG!!! And we'll just leave it at that.

suzeeq
02-25-2008, 12:26 AM
Oh! I've been reading that thread too, and jumped in a couple times...

tokmom
02-25-2008, 12:40 AM
:rofl: No it wasn't from here.

fibrenut
02-25-2008, 02:11 AM
O suz didn't some of those ladies just make ya wanna choke em with a skein of redheart? :twisted: OMG how arrogant can someone be?
I love working with natural yarns but I also like some of the acrylics too. They are getting better. I remember those old "wintuk& sayelle" yarns OMG ya'll could scrub your pots n pans with that stuff. Dang I have 5 large rubbermaid tubs full of the acrylic stuff. I also inherited some from my MIL when she passed and she actually does have some of the ol' wintuk with the labels intact. Museum pieces now. LOL:roflhard:

hocns
02-25-2008, 07:02 AM
Different people have different hands that react to different things. I know someone who can't knit with red wool, doesn't matter what brand. If it doesn't bother you when you squeeze it in the store, it is not likely to bother you when you knit.

On another topic, a lot of people don't like acrylic for babies; in the event of a fire it will melt and adhere to the skin. Fabric softener will only make it worse; apparently fabric softener increases a fabric's flammability. Wool is supposedly naturally flame resistant; I've never tried it, but it is apparently very difficult to set wool on fire.

suzeeq
02-25-2008, 10:09 AM
I remember those old "wintuk& sayelle" yarns OMG ya'll could scrub your pots n pans with that stuff.

Yes, I have a few of them. Today's RH SuperSaver is much softer than that of 30 years ago.

a lot of people don't like acrylic for babies; in the event of a fire it will melt and adhere to the skin.

Yeah, yeah, I've heard that argument. And how often is a baby exposed to fire? Who's going to leave a baby unattended if a fire breaks out? Most of the garments made are sweaters and hats for over their other (flame retardant) clothing, or blankets for playing on, not sleeping with. That argument just isn't sufficient reason to not make baby things out of acrylic.

willowangel
02-25-2008, 02:10 PM
I've also had this discussion with some people about babies and acrylic - the awful, awful truth is that by the time the temperature is high enough and close enough to the baby for the acrylic to melt, it's too late anyway. Unless the fire starts in the cot somehow. Wool is fire retardant, as is cotton and some other natural fibers, but there are wonderfully soft, machine washable and long-lasting acrylics that are easy for new parents. I would say cotton would be a better choice than wool with the risk of allergies - the allergy, if it hasn't been diagnosed yet, can cause breathing problems if the blanket is pulled up near their faces.

suzeeq
02-25-2008, 02:38 PM
awful truth is that by the time the temperature is high enough and close enough to the baby for the acrylic to melt, it's too late anyway.

Yes, that's right; most people are savvy enough to keep babies away from other open flames - fireplace, gas range, candles, etc....

fibrenut
02-25-2008, 02:51 PM
I agree, who is gonna let their babies get that close to open flames. :think:
Now an argument FOR wool. My hubby works in the oilfield and my son works at a power plant. Both need nice warm hats to wear in the winter as they both work outside year round. Acrylic is a definite NOT!! in those situations. So it's wool or some other animal fibre. Because of the danger of static electricity on the rigs or the sparks and sometimes arcing that happens at a power plant, the items have to be made from a fire retardant material. But that's for safeties sake and that's all well n good.
That being said, ya'll just make your items with whatever you would like and enjoy knitting with. That's what really counts now isn't it.:thumbsup:

lelvsdgs
02-25-2008, 03:38 PM
I've heard the same thing about acrylics but have never experienced a problem with it. I have, however, learned that I have to be careful with kitchen cottens (Sugar and Cream and Peaches and Cream). It seems to fire up my wrist problems so I have to limit how much I use it. Of course it could also be the new very slick Inox needles I've been using as well. Have to learn not to keep a death grip on them when using the cotton.

suzeeq
02-25-2008, 03:46 PM
Cotton yarns can have that effect because they're not as stretchy as wool or acrylic. I don't have a problem with them, maybe because I knit at a looser gauge than `recommended' with them.

tgwillis
02-25-2008, 03:56 PM
I Made a couple of baby summer baby hats for a friend, I really liked the Cotton tots yarn.

http://www.bernat.com/product.php?LGC=cottontots

lelvsdgs
02-25-2008, 03:57 PM
Cotton yarns can have that effect because they're not as stretchy as wool or acrylic. I don't have a problem with them, maybe because I knit at a looser gauge than `recommended' with them.
That is exactly what I am finding. I really hadn't knit with cotton before so this is new to me. I am just having to pace myself with this.

kellee0302
02-25-2008, 04:13 PM
I only use Caron Simply Soft for any baby items that I have made. I find that's it's softer than even baby yarn when working with it, and it washes up wonderfully. Lately this is the only yarn I want to use when making a project.

Mike
02-25-2008, 07:58 PM
I smoke around my acrylic afghans and work with a torch while wearing my acrylic hat. I haven't burst into flames yet.

This is what I found on softerners and knitted fabric.
Softening finishes: Our test results show that there is no effect of softening agents on ignition times of the fabrics at these add-on levels, but the polynomial regression analysis suggests that the level of softening agent has a significant effect on flame spread speeds of the fabrics. The highest flame spread speeds are for a weakly cationic microemulsion (MES) of silicone softener and nonionic softening agent. The lowest speeds, on the other hand, are for nonionic silicone (see Figure 5).

All softening agents cause the flame spread rates of the fabrics to increase dramatically. Burning rates of the fabrics increase from 18-20 to 35-42 mm/s. This effect may result from the fact that softening agents are already highly flammable materials because they include fatty acid condensation products and/or fatty acid derivates.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4025/is_200406/ai_n9433132/pg_4

So if your knit wrapped baby is one fire you should hope you didn't use softeners.
But you don't need to worry about them bursting into flames because you used softeners.

And
1. Soap, fabric softener and chlorine bleach will make fire retardant chemicals inactive within 3 washings. So make sure you wash you infant's clothing in detergent ,not soap, to maintain the clothing's fire resistance. Use a detergent free of perfumes and dyes such as Cheer, All or Tide's Free and Clear.
http://musom.marshall.edu/medctr/ped/patientbook/skincare.htm
So if you have flame retardent treated cloths you shouldn't use soap, softener or bleach on them.