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View Full Version : Best acrylic or plant fiber (cotton/linen/etc.) yarn for afghans?


gamerchik
07-11-2010, 07:20 PM
Hi there!

I want to make several throw blankets this winter, but I don't want to use wool or any wool blends. I'm especially interested in knitting some cabled throws.


I generally dislike acrylic yarn but I'm thinking about using it for some of the blankets. I'm would also consider using cottons or plant-fiber yarns.


Anyway, I generally just want yarn that is soft, not squeaky and that washes really well without pilling. If you know any acrylic or plant fiber yarns that fit that description, I'd appreciate your feedback! :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

etoilechaude
07-11-2010, 07:59 PM
I really LOVE the Mirasol T'ika yarn, it's pima cotton and soft and feels really nice. It also doen't hurt my hands to work with like most cottons do. That being said... it's kinda pricey and you only get 91 yards of DK weight yarn per skein, so probably not ideal for an afghan.

Makes me wonder if there's a nice worsted pima cotton that isn't too spendy.

Ravelry linky (http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/mirasol-yarn-tika)

gamerchik
07-11-2010, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the recommendation! I have only knit with cotton one time (a scarf) and I didn't like the way it didn't stretch as I was knitting, but the scarf looked pretty nice. Does the Mirasol T'ika cotton stretch at all, or is the non-stretchiness a cotton thing?

I actually really like knitting with wool and with wool blends, but I'm thinking about not using any "animal" yarns, so I thought I would reconsider acrylics/cotton.

UruzPhoenix
07-11-2010, 08:43 PM
red heart is the yarn that WON'T die. or at least it was 10 years ago....

i like caron simply soft.

cftwo
07-12-2010, 11:24 AM
I have an afghan that is washed regularly (because my cats shed all over it) and was made with Red Heart yarn about 20 years ago. It has not pilled at all. I have another scrap-yarn afghan made with all sorts of acryllics that I had in my stash - it has also worn well. From experience, I would recommend using Red Heart Soft or Caron Simply soft yarns for their durability and washability - plus, they're affordable when you're talking about the amount of yarn that goes into an afghan.

I recently bought the Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans book, which uses Berroco Comfort yarn for all of them. I'm making a sweater with it, and I love how it feels. But I don't know if it pills or how well it holds up.

Mirl56
07-12-2010, 02:30 PM
I'll 2nd Caron simply soft.

also, I've been using some stash I inherited from my Mom, most if it is Red Heart. while it is nasty to knit with, it softens nicely when washed. I'm doing small projects like baby hats so the knitting w/it isn't dragged out long like an afghan would be. Not sure I could stand it for a whole afghan.

borealowl
07-15-2010, 04:39 PM
I recommend Bernat Berella 4 which you can find at joann.com and also read comments from users. It is nice for an acrylic yarn and I would definitely use it again. Just made a lavender afghan for a friend. I am making a log cabin blanket for myself in Caron Simply Soft which will be pretty but doubt I would use the yarn again. Also made one with Red Heart I haven't washed yet and hopefully it will soften up because it is rough. Encore Worsted would be a good one to use although more expensive - it is 75% acrylic, 25% wool, and machine washable (about 5.50 for a 100g skein.) As opposed to 2.49 for Berella 4.

borealowl
07-15-2010, 04:42 PM
One more idea. If you want to do an acrylic/cotton mix. I suggest Tatamy Worsted by Kraemer Yarns. I have used the dk version and it is really nice, wears and washes well. I think it is about 6.00 for 100g.

Mike
07-15-2010, 05:07 PM
Red Heart Super Saver may be rough to work with but after a few washings it's soft.

If you mind working with rough I'd say Simply Soft. If the store you go to has the Eco you can even recycle some plastic bottles while you're not using animal fibers.
I forget the exact amount of bottles in a skein but one of my waterbed afghans would sure put a dent in the landfills.

WandaT
07-16-2010, 06:55 AM
I like Simply Soft or Red Heart Soft too - RH Soft works up beautiful and washes nicely. It's become my acrylic of choice.

OffJumpsJack
07-16-2010, 03:38 PM
Thanks for the recommendation! I have only knit with cotton one time (a scarf) and I didn't like the way it didn't stretch as I was knitting, but the scarf looked pretty nice. Does the Mirasol T'ika cotton stretch at all, or is the non-stretchiness a cotton thing?

I actually really like knitting with wool and with wool blends, but I'm thinking about not using any "animal" yarns, so I thought I would reconsider acrylics/cotton.

Red Heart Super Saver may be rough to work with but after a few washings it's soft.

If you mind working with rough I'd say Simply Soft. If the store you go to has the Eco you can even recycle some plastic bottles while you're not using animal fibers.
I forget the exact amount of bottles in a skein but one of my waterbed afghans would sure put a dent in the landfills.

[Petroleum based knitter, removing that nasty oil from the ground one skein at a time.]

When I think of blankets or afghan's I think acrylics. Red Heart or Caron are the brands I know. They are what my mom used and still uses. Some of my mom's crochet work is now over two decades old and still wearing/looking good. My mom made each of her children a graduation afghan. Then with she made afghans for each each of our spouses.

Less than two years ago I had to repair my wife's afghan because our (then) puppy had chewed on the corner (unless one of our children had nipped it with scissors). The hole was in a white stripe and I had some white acrylic on hand. I did some Internet research about repairing crochet and then I made the repair. The patch was difficult to find even though the afghan had aged and the two white yarns weren't a perfect match. The patch was made working with the tails/loose ends from the old yarn doubled up with a strand of the new yarn to bridge to the next tail. I guess that is what made the edges of the new "white" fade into the now "off" white of the old afghan.

Who ever said "Old acrylics never die" was right. You are more likely to find a close match to an old acrylic color. But just in case, my mom has now put balls of the leftover yarn with the afghans she has made for her grandchildren (my children). I guess she know if they get damaged I'll be able to repair them even after she passes on to the the next great adventure.

MMario
07-16-2010, 03:56 PM
Vanna's Choice is not bad, either. It was used in a project last year over at MenWhoKnit and people on the whole thought it worked well.

N0obKnitter
07-16-2010, 04:39 PM
I second Vanna's Choice...

Debbie
07-16-2010, 06:18 PM
I love Knit Picks "Comfy" 75 cotton 25 acrylic. It comes in lots of colors and in bulky for quick and fluffy knitting.

sissyv
07-17-2010, 01:30 PM
I always use acrylic and blankets and afghans are all I make! I have lots of projects otn and one I making is bernat satin, one regular cotton (I'm going to sew it on to a fleece) and one is chenille. Good luck with your afghan making
:knitting: