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View Full Version : What can I do with Acrylic yarn?


Nanaof6
01-19-2009, 02:18 PM
DH recently purchased about 35 to 40 pounds of 100% acrylic yarn for me off of eBay. He knows how expensive yarns can get after going to the lys with me. He is addictive d to eBay . We are trying to cut back on spending and he thought he found a great deal on yarn for me on eBay.

I prefer blends and natural yarns myself but I have to find something to make with all of this yarn now. I don't want DH to think I didn't appreciated the thought.

I started using some of it to make my Einstein coat and noticed it is a bit stiff knitted up. I am hoping this will change once it is washed. And the dye that they used is coming off on my fingers as I knit :shrug:


Has anyone used 100% Acrylic yarns before ? If so what do you make with it and will it still be this stiff after a washing?

I've looked for patterns calling for 100% Acrylic yarns .but I can't find any. This yarn doesn't drape at all , at least not while I am knitting it up it doesn't .

I know I should love the yarn I use, I know most knitters prefer blends and more natural yarns. I know knitters say don't waste your knitting time knitting with a yarn you don't love. But, and that's the problem here is 'But' I don't want to hurt my D(sweet)H'S heart, he was only trying to help and at the same time ease the pain to his wallet .


I would appreciate any input or ideas on what to do with it .

Marria
01-19-2009, 02:23 PM
I don't care for acrylic to make garments. However, I think it's great for afghans because it tends to hold up well. You might also use it to make small blankets to donate to animal shelters. They need stuff that's machine washable.

I can tell you that in my experience, the stiffer acrylics (like the old fashioned Red Heart) do tend to soften up a bit when you wash them, especially if you use plenty of fabric softener.

ETA: That's a LOT of yarn! Maybe you could donate some of it?

ETA2: Here's an organization that collects snuggles for animals: http://www.snugglesproject.org/

Karina
01-19-2009, 02:27 PM
I think you must have a wonderful husband. If I was you I would knit up a swatch with the different yarns and hand wash them to see how they behave colour wise. The acrylic I have used do soften up with washing and a gentle tumble dry. You can use them for baby/toddler blankets or lap blankets to use in front of the telly. A lot of people use acrylic for children's clothes for ease of care.

Does Nana of 6 mean you have 6 grandchildren maybe they all need a cardigan/sweater to run around the garden in.

You could always join the charity KAL's here on this site

Nanaof6
01-19-2009, 02:35 PM
Yes I am Nana of six !

I never thought of washing the swatch that made, great idea! Thank you.

globaltraveler
01-19-2009, 02:43 PM
I love the idea of using up stuff like this for the charity knitting -- lots of ideas in the thread on charity knitting! (Your guy sounds so sweet!)

Jan in CA
01-19-2009, 03:02 PM
Acrylic yarns are great for kids because they can be easily washed, they are great for charity items that you don't know how they will be washed or treated, toys, and they can make nice afghans if the are soft enough.

Here's a few charity ideas if you are inclined.
7x9 rectangles for Warm Up America (http://www.warmupamerica.com/home.html)
pet blankets for The Snuggles Project (http://www.snugglesproject.org/)
Sweaters for Knit for Kids (http://www.knitforkids.org/) (they only want acrylic)

Mike
01-19-2009, 04:06 PM
You can make anything with acrylic. That's almost all I use.
91 skeins?
You could crochet me 3 blankets, all single crochet. Or 4 if you want to go HDC. Seriously that's how much I would get out of that (I like yarn blankets for the weight so I know these things). Even at Walmart prices that's $180 for 4 blankets.
The price of yarn for my wool blanket would've been $350+ if I didn't get it on clearance.
How can anyone afford anything but acrylic?

It would help if you'd give the brand(s). Not all acrylics are created equal.
I have no problem with Simply Soft or Lion Jiffy for a sweater, definitely no problem with them for a cardigan.
I crochet afghans with Red Heart SS.
I do like clothing from wool until I figure up the price so I limit that to socks and hats although I do plan on splurging and making a wool sweater.

I don't think "most" knitters prefer naturals, or maybe they'd prefer it but I doubt most use it all the time. I recall my grandmother, aunt and mother only using Red Heart and that's almost all my sister uses. Other than cotton I don't think one of them has ever touched a natural fiber yarn.

LiezelMiller
01-20-2009, 09:01 AM
We get very little local wool that is not acrylic here in South Africa. There are some that are made of super acrylic that is slightly better, but if its giving off color thats maybe the reason it was sold on ebay. I thinks it fab of your DH to spoil you though and I think it would be fine to use for the grandchildren. You could always try a slightly bigger needle size if its very tight because that will make it much looser and soft. The idea with the swatch is a great idea. I like also making toys from acrylic because its so durable and it does not have to be washed that often. What about making teddy bears with it?

suzeeq
01-20-2009, 11:26 AM
Good point. Even nice yarn knit at a dense gauge is rough and stiff, a larger needle makes the item softer. And then it softens up more with use and washing/drying.

jamiejeans
01-20-2009, 05:18 PM
i use acrylics for afghans. my afghans get so much use that they need to be durable and machine washable. I've done a few with lion brand and red heart.

ArtLady1981
01-20-2009, 06:08 PM
I agree with the other's answers. Especially Marria's answer.

Here's another thought about the afghan:
use the yarn 'doubled". Find a pattern that you can knit on one needle (no piecework) but use two strands and use a larger needle of course. That will suck up double the amount of yarn, and the blanket will be warmer and cushier.

Nanaof6
01-21-2009, 11:14 PM
We get very little local wool that is not acrylic here in South Africa. There are some that are made of super acrylic that is slightly better, but if its giving off color thats maybe the reason it was sold on ebay. I thinks it fab of your DH to spoil you though and I think it would be fine to use for the grandchildren. You could always try a slightly bigger needle size if its very tight because that will make it much looser and soft. The idea with the swatch is a great idea. I like also making toys from acrylic because its so durable and it does not have to be washed that often. What about making teddy bears with it?

I have bought very good yarn off of eBay before and I have not had any problems. This is the first time I bought a no brand, no name yarn. eBay has a lot of good deals on top quality ,name brand yarns . DH just hasn't learned what to look for yet.But I'm working on that.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
01-22-2009, 12:27 AM
when you go to make something, give it a wash using white vinegar and see if that helps to set the color...

i use arcryllics for baby blankets (you could see about joining one of the oddball charity groups) and they're extremely durable and do last.

Craw
01-22-2009, 12:01 PM
Acrylics = afghans for me. I can't afford to make an entire afghan in a quality yarn. Too pricey for me. You got lots of good ideas here, especially using a double strand. Kids hats, sweaters, mittens, etc. are all good for acrylic. Kids clothing needs to be machine washable IMO. Pet items and toys too!

I would have said to turn around and resell some of it on ebay because that's a lot of yarn but that would probably hurt DH's feelings and we don't want to do that. You're lucky to have a hubby that will buy you any yarn. Mine just complains about yarn!

quistess
02-19-2009, 03:42 PM
I use 100% acrylic as well. But Bernat. Lately my favourite Bernat yarn is the Automn Harvest collection which is softer than their old stuff. They also have new softer regular acrylics now. I just started knitting last year in August so I wouldn't knit with expensive yarn until I got used to knitting a pattern without making too many mistakes. It costs about $6 for approximately 200g super saver ball. Is Red Heart cheaper? I just haven't found a Red Heart colour I like yet. They tend to sell Red Heart in Toronto Zellers stores in solid colours only.

Crycket
02-19-2009, 07:00 PM
If I am going to use acrylic, I have a preference for Caron Simply Soft....

But that aside, I will only use acrylic for baby stuff...for washability and because Acrylic is cheaper for a garment that will be grown out of so quiclkly....

It was theknitter that told me to try washing acrylic in with hair conditioner instead of fabric softner....

I tried it once with a project I did in Red Heart super saver....did the job, imho.....

kidlets2
02-20-2009, 02:09 PM
I too knit almost exclusively with acrylics because of the durability and the cost.

I really like Lion Brand, Caron Simply Soft, and Bernat.

dturner
02-20-2009, 09:37 PM
I like the afghan idea. Are all the skeins the same color, or would the colors blend in an afghan?

I ordered several skeins of cotton yarn one time from Elann. The color was completely different from the color that showed up on my browser. Anyway, I decided to donate it to a friend of mine who teaches knitting to the ladies at one of our local halfway houses. She was delighted to get the yarn, and I was happy for the yarn to be put to good use. I think that the return postage on the yarn would have been almost as much as the yarn was worth!

sylvia
02-21-2009, 10:09 AM
i do make all of the above for charities
and quick gifts
i think acrylic behaves better than wool yarn
noro for instance which i love
but i do something else with acrylic
i try out new patterns and if they turn out nice
i donate it
i am not a yarn snob i do love noro
but if ifind pretty colour in acrylic i buy it
sylvia

Minerva
07-22-2013, 10:50 PM
I'm sure we have all 'killed' a commercially produced acrylic knit at sometime in our lives! We washed it on a too hot wash, or the washer went haywire and spun permanent creases into it?

I've just bought several balls of budget acrylic to knit clothes for my first Grandbaby and am finding it scratchy, coarse and dense. So, I did a bit of Internet trawling and have discovered that heat and moisture knock the life out of man-made fibres - particularly acrylic! Washing garments in with the family wash gives the fibre a good bashing, and using a moderate heat in the dryer, works wonders too.

BUT, even better... if you wash and dry the yarn before creating a garment, you don't have the misery of wondering if you can bear to finish the project! Just the bliss of working with baby-soft yarn. :woot:

Minerva
07-22-2013, 10:53 PM
As a newbie, I wasn't allowed to add a link in my first post, so here it is:

http://agirlandherneedle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/soften-scratchy-yarn.html

GrumpyGramma
07-22-2013, 11:25 PM
Hi, Minerva, thanks for the link. I'll have to try that pre-knit softening. For various reasons, I do a lot of knitting with acrylic yarn and used to crochet with it. My cheap acrylic yarn blankets are really quite soft and hold up well. One on my bed must be close to 20 years old, it's nothing but seemingly endless rows of single crochet. Others are lacy patterns, I did entrelac crochet blankets for my GKs. They all tend to show up in family pictures on Facebook. LOL They are there, getting used, day in and day out, year after year. I recently got some of those steam dryer balls and they really help soften the acrylics and leave very little static behind even w/o fabric softener. When I use fabric softener it's almost always by putting some on a damp rag and throwing it in the dryer, it works better than dryer sheets for me and uses less than I need if I put it in the washer.

I wonder what Nanaof6 did with her acrylic yarn.

Woofens
07-23-2013, 01:38 AM
GG, I was wondering the same thing!! That's a LOT of yarn.

Minerva, thanks for reviving this thread! This gave me some good ideas for using and softening up acrylic!

DavidSydney63
07-23-2013, 03:05 AM
There seems to ve a fair bit of snobbery about acrylic yarn for clothing.

I just don't agree: It's a nice yarn that's easy to care for and holds its colour and shape reasonably well.

I do love natural fibres, for sure.

My two cent's worth.

Minerva
07-23-2013, 07:18 AM
Thank you for the responses, David, Woofens and GG.

Having made the acrylic discovery, (after remembering a complaint on another knitting message board, I checked a few other MBs, only to find that a) the threads were 'grey-haired' (anything up to 10 years dead) and b) no one had mentioned softening the yarn, rather than the finished project. Having recently join KH, looking for some other tip, and also reading this thread, which had a few less whiskers, I thought 'give and take'.

I have to be very budget conscious these days and I also recognise (after 5 children) that washability, non-iron and definitely NO blocking is necessary when new parents both have full-time occupations. (I also have the inevitable STASH to deal with... but we won't mention that!)

I bet I'm at least as grumpy as you GG - politics, wars, social welfare, carbon footprints, yarn snobbery which has pushed up the price of even budget yarn, the rise in postal prices which has badly cut the yarn bargains on the major auction site, and a certain baby... who is lower down my scale of priority compared with my first Grandbaby... I thought I'd be dead before becoming a grandma! I'm feeling a bit less grumpy now because I can trawl the free pattern sites looking for cool baby knits. :cheering:

I do very occasionally buy good yarn... for sox, but usually get it as Christmas presents from my sister in Europe. Everyone (who appreciates my knitting!) gets sox for Christmas and birthdays. I did get one bargain on Ebay recently - 200g of good sock yarn for 5.80, including nearly 50% postage. :woohoo:

One thing, David, that has surprised me (and, as a feminist, shouldn't have!) is the number of men who are serious knitters, since the New Revolution in knitting. What sort of things do you like making? Do you crochet, too? Have you tried spinning? I have a wheel and indulge from time to time. (Oops, just remembered, fleeces x n in STASH, but we won't mention those!) Come on, put in another few cents' worth. :thumbsup: I did teach my oldest son to knit when he was about 15, but I don't think he has done any since. BTW I'm antipodean too, by birth.

Woofens: I had to chuckle when I read about Nanaof6's massive windfall. A friend of mine also bought a large joblot of baby yarns for her 'Craft Fair project', which has now faded (with a 6th and 7th GC on the way, and now, her very own allotment - green fingers rather than flying needles!) I have knitted a giant diagonal, striped 'dishcloth' as a stroller blanket for my GC, in 25 year-old Chunky/Bulky... acrylic of course. The nearest I've come to making an afghan. It has turned out fabulous. I'm going to knit a mitred double layer edging, when I get some KnitPro tips and cables (to hide all the unwoven ends!) There is a knitter on the Web who makes beautiful log-cabin afghans and has a great set of video 'how-to' tutorials. She has NO STASH!

Thank you all for the friendly welcome... I guess I should have put this in Introductions, but I wanted to thank each of you personally.

DavidSydney63
07-23-2013, 10:01 PM
Not sure why gender and knitting should ever be a consideration, frankly.

But, as you asked, I knit garments mostly: hoodies, sweaters, scarfs, vests. Most of these I've made for myself, but there are two times when I've knitted a vest for a sister or a friend.

Woofens
07-23-2013, 10:28 PM
Not sure why gender and knitting should ever be a consideration, frankly.

But, as you asked, I knit garments mostly: hoodies, sweaters, scarfs, vests. Most of these I've made for myself, but there are two times when I've knitted a vest for a sister or a friend.

Being fairly sheltered, even at my age, mainly cause I'm from a really rural area, I am still a bit shocked at the numbers of male knitters, but am glad to see it. I never knew anyone who knit growing up, and anyone who quilted, sewed, crocheted, etc, was female.

Minerva
07-24-2013, 09:39 AM
David and Woofens:

I think my surprise (and delight!) in discovering so many male knitters is a generation thing: I grew up in an urban community, where males either didn't knit, or didn't mention it. It was very much 'women's work', and it was work, as they did it to clothe their families, after the heavy chores of the day - it was guilt-free relaxation. However, as a historian and genealogy buff, I know that my Scottish ancesters, in the 1700s, worked in textiles - the women spinning and the men knitting. After the Industrial revolution, the men went into factories and women took over the knitting, as well as spinning, at home - both, occupations that could provide an income into great old age, if they didn't get arthritis.

I'm sorry if you thought my remark was sexist: it was a simple observation, from the vantage point of many decades. Another happy step towards universal equality!

Jan in CA
07-24-2013, 11:13 AM
Not sure why gender and knitting should ever be a consideration, frankly.

But, as you asked, I knit garments mostly: hoodies, sweaters, scarfs, vests. Most of these I've made for myself, but there are two times when I've knitted a vest for a sister or a friend.

You can't take these questions personally, David. Consider these teachable moments. :hug:

I rarely see male knitters, but I know they are around from KH and from the rare sighting at the yarn store. Last night when I was knitting with a group (one was spinning on a mini spinner (http://http://www.hansencrafts.com/)) at a restaurant the server commented about it. He mentioned that his grandma taught him to knit although he didn't do it anymore. He was very friendly and it was nice to hear.

GrumpyGramma
07-24-2013, 02:15 PM
Not so long ago women who were doctors, lawyers, mechanics, and lots of other things were considered odd. I still hear "male nurse" sometimes and that seems odd. I'm glad the stereotypes are breaking down more and more. I occasionally see a man in a skirt and it seems odd to me but I don't care what he wears, it's his business. Now when men start having babies I'll consider we've really come a long way! :mrgreen: Meanwhile, happy knitting to all and to all a good knit! :woohoo:

knitcindy
07-25-2013, 09:30 AM
Well, to answer the op's original question..........I would tell her to send it over here! I only use acrylic here, due to allergies. I would be very happy to take some/all of it off her hands.

But I hope she's used some of it by now and is enjoying the results.

knitcindy

psquidy
07-31-2013, 03:44 PM
I love the teddy bear idea! What great gifts they make and they are soooo cute and fun to whip up.
When I first started to knit all I made was mittens and I only used acrylic.
I'm a yarn snob now and I only use natural fibers or blends because I love them but I must admit, for mittens I would still go back to acrylic.
It can knit up so tight and stiff, perfect for keeping out the wind and snow!
Your husband sounds wondeful, but don't let him come to the LYS anymore.:rofl:

psquidy
07-31-2013, 03:47 PM
when you go to make something, give it a wash using white vinegar and see if that helps to set the color...

i use arcryllics for baby blankets (you could see about joining one of the oddball charity groups) and they're extremely durable and do last.

I've used white vinegar and pickling salt to set color as well.