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View Full Version : Should I try a natural fiber to knit with??


aineepooh1
09-28-2006, 03:28 PM
I have used acrylic since I started knitting(3 mos) ago and am pleased with the results so far.But i keep hearing everyone say how great alpaca, wool, silk and malabrigo are. It is more expensive, you get less yarn (3.5oz on the average) and it's not machine washable.
Would anyone like to share why the feel natural fibers are better?
would apprectiate your input as I am thinking this over
:?? :?? :happydance:

Ingrid
09-28-2006, 03:33 PM
Most of the 'natural' fibers just feel better to knit with. :shrug: There are many acrylics out there that are soft, but after working with the soft natural fibers, the acrylics feel like plastic to me. It's a shame, because acrylics are good for a lot of things--I just can't stand the feel of it anymore. I can use a blend, like Encore, but straight acrylic, no.

Superwash wools are machine washable, and they're very soft, so you get the best of both worlds there.

suzeeq
09-28-2006, 04:10 PM
I've used both, depending on what I'm making. But 100% wool isn't near as soft as a lot of acrylics. Merino and alapacas, yes, they're yummy, but I won't be making things from plain wool.

sue

kemp
09-28-2006, 04:18 PM
You should absolutely try something besides acrylic. Once you try it, you'll be able to decide for yourself. It's true that a lot of them aren't washable but you can't beat the feel and breathability of them!

Calamintha
09-28-2006, 05:11 PM
I'm with Ingrid. The first time I knit with natural fibers I knew I could never go back to acrylic. It has a completely different feel to it. To me acrylic has a harsh, cold, somewhat sticky feel. Compared to natural fibers, it's not a good insulator so it doesn't keep you as warm. From an ecological point of view, acrylic is a product of the petroleum industry whereas natural fibers are a natural, renewable resource.

There are rough wool yarns certainly but many of them are not. Merino wools are especially soft. As Ingrid mentioned there are types of wool that have been specially treated so that they can be washed without felting called Superwash wools. Alpaca, mohair, silk, cashmere, and other fibers all have their charms and are different from one another. If you want to try natural fibers without breaking your budget try Elann.com. They have some great discounts on yarns.

brendajos
09-28-2006, 05:26 PM
it is everything i can do to keep from stopping people from using acrylics...i know they are great for many things but they maketh me crazy...i just don't like the feel. I don't like spending crazy amounts of money on yarn but i will definitely spend more for what i perceive to be better quality. Do you have a local yarn shop in your area where you can go to experience other fibers?


anyway you look at it, there are great reasons to use acrylics...one of the very good reasons is that not everybody can use natural fibers because of allergies and another is cost. you are definitely right...in most cases you do get more yardage from acrylics. when i first started knitting i couldn't imagine ever wanting anything other than Lion Brand.....and then i went to the LYS....*sigh* i am pretty sure the LYS is the reason I keep the second job...lol

suzeeq
09-28-2006, 09:57 PM
I'm with Ingrid. The first time I knit with natural fibers I knew I could never go back to acrylic. It has a completely different feel to it. To me acrylic has a harsh, cold, somewhat sticky feel. Compared to natural fibers, it's not a good insulator so it doesn't keep you as warm. From an ecological point of view, acrylic is a product of the petroleum industry whereas natural fibers are a natural, renewable resource.


Heh. I find things I've made with acrylic much hotter than wool.

sue

psammeadred
09-28-2006, 11:04 PM
When I'm knitting with acrylic, it's warm, but it doesn't wick moisture away, so my hands get all sweaty and gross.

Doublereeder2
09-29-2006, 12:15 PM
I knit with both acrylic and natural fibers. No need to be exclusionary. Find something you like and go for it. After all, variety is the spice of life!

horve1
09-29-2006, 12:20 PM
I use both, but prefer natural fibers for most things. The bottom line, IMHO, is try everything you can afford, and then use what you like!

mulene
09-29-2006, 01:13 PM
When I started knitting agian I started with various fancy and acryllic yarns. I wasn't bothered by wool since I knew it made me itch. Then wowzers I knitted with some wool and then some bamboo and the difference is big =D

Natural fibers are yummy to work with =D

VictoiseC
09-29-2006, 01:37 PM
Life is too precious to knit with acrylic....

alpaca is so fantastic

mohair is fun

silk is incredible

handspun wool wow

cozy
09-29-2006, 03:54 PM
I've knit with acrylic, but it's not my first choice. Although some acrylics are very soft (like the ones they make for baby), it just doesn't feel as good to me as natural fibers, even the wools that aren't as soft. I agree that elann.com & KnitPicks are good places to find affordable naturals.

mwedzi
09-29-2006, 06:06 PM
There are good quality and bad quality acrylics, and the same thing goes for natural fibers. The worst yarn in my stash by far is this wool I got for real cheap on Ebay. It's so stiff and nasty, it literally hurts me to work with. I would rather knit with a good quality acrylic any day. But I also like a lot of natural fibers. I like cotton, but don't enjoy knitting with 100% cotton as much as I like crocheting with it. Why say that life is too short to waste on acrylic? If you enjoy knitting with it, that's no waste. And since knitting is so in vogue, the cost of yarn (acrylics also, but more noticeable in natural fibers) have skyrocketed.

But I would definitely try knitting with various natural fibers so you can see what you like and what you find best for your money.

orcoastknitter
09-29-2006, 07:38 PM
When I first started knitting I used acrylic yarn. It dried out my hands terribly. I still use them from time to time. Most of the time I use natural fibers. I say try what you want and see what works good for you. I love to experiment with different yarns.

cgd
09-30-2006, 07:52 PM
Like you, I've been knitting with acrylics for a few months. I've also used 100% cotton because I love to knit and crochet dishcloths (many are for gifts this Christmas, plus I like using them). Cotton is of course totally natural, but it's a bit hard to get the tension right at first. As for the silk, mohair, and alpaca, my budget doesn't permit at this point so I can't comment on them. I'm sure I'd love them if I got my grubby paws on them!

You can buy some Lion's Brand wool at WalMart for not too much money. However, as others have pointed out, that might be a case of getting what you pay for. Others are allergic. I've bought some to see if a hat and scarf set might get made without the wool itching me.

But if your budget permits, try anything you can. That way, as the others said, you can decide what you like or not, even if you DO like acrylic! I love it myself and can't imagine living without its easy care. Also, I live in the deep south, so our winters are milder and you don't need so much wool as you do further north.

suzeeq
09-30-2006, 08:08 PM
Right, try *everything*! As far as your budget permits, of course. ;)

sue

cheesiesmom
10-01-2006, 03:13 PM
Knitpick Andean Silk was really nice. I made a scarf for my DD last year which was absolutely gorgeous to work with and knitted up beautifully. I also found some great natural fibers relatively cheap at Elann.

nadja la claire
10-01-2006, 03:31 PM
I knit with both acrylic and natural fibers. No need to be exclusionary. Find something you like and go for it. After all, variety is the spice of life!

I agree. I'll use either. I really like Caron's SS and right now I'm using James C. Brett Marble which is soft and the color is so lovely. It is nice to treat yourself every once in a while with cashmere or silk or alpaca.

Nadja xxx

suzeeq
10-01-2006, 03:44 PM
Is Mary Maxim the only place to get Marble yarn? I don't think I've ever seen it anywhere else.

sue

nadja la claire
10-01-2006, 05:31 PM
Is Mary Maxim the only place to get Marble yarn? I don't think I've ever seen it anywhere else.

sue

I got mine at ACMoore. If you're talking about on line I don't know. I tryed to find the James C. Brett web site but it' not up yet.

Nadja xxx

suzeeq
10-01-2006, 05:39 PM
Is Mary Maxim the only place to get Marble yarn? I don't think I've ever seen it anywhere else.

sue

I got mine at ACMoore. If you're talking about on line I don't know. I tryed to find the James C. Brett web site but it' not up yet.

Nadja xxx

Thanks, I'm not near ACMoore though. So if I want some, guess I'll have to order it.

sue