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Old 02-18-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
nanabug
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yarn quality
I'm a fairly new knitter. How do I know what is quality yarn and what is not? I noticed that my local yarn shop sells some Lion Brand and Paton yarn which can be purchased at Walmart and JoAnn Fabrics. Can quality yarn be bought at these stores?
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:17 PM   #2
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Its SO hard to answer that question....it depends on what you are making. For instance, for a felted project, it really doesnt matter what you buy, so long as its 100% natural fiber and you love the colors. If you are making a sweater that you hope will last for YEARS, then I might stay away from the cheaper acrylics.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:18 PM   #3
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The only places to really find the "good stuff" is at a yarn shop or on line. LionBrand has some decent yarns--not Homespun--and Paton's does, as well.
My Walmart only carries the very cheap acrylic and my JoAnns is mostly fabric; but lots of people here have had good luck finding yarns at JoAnn.

Many people only have access to the yarns available in craft-type stores, and they do carry some decent stuff. The best judge is you. Reach in and squeeze, rub it on your neck, and see if you like it. You do get what you pay for, generally, though.
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Old 02-18-2006, 01:26 PM   #4
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The Lion brand wools are OK. They do tend to pill.
But if you are like me, and access to a good yarn shop is limited, the wools are a huge step up from red heart

In my opinion its not a bad thing to start with the lower priced yarns if you are just starting out. (be careful - just because you can buy it in the craft shops does not mean its cheap)
If you are not sweating the cost of a your project you are more apt to just enjoy the process.
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Old 02-19-2006, 11:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips. It sounds like natural fiber content is preferred? I have heard seasoned knitters raving about a yarn called "Encore" in my local shop. It is a blend of 75% acrylic and 25% wool. Is it the wool that makes a difference? Are acrylic yarns always lower quality?
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nanabug
Thanks for the tips. It sounds like natural fiber content is preferred? I have heard seasoned knitters raving about a yarn called "Encore" in my local shop. It is a blend of 75% acrylic and 25% wool. Is it the wool that makes a difference? Are acrylic yarns always lower quality?
I love Encore. It's a blend, but very soft, lots of colors and easy care. I use it for anything for kids' because of the washability/dryability, and have used it for baby blankets. I even made two fair isle sweaters with the dk weight.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:51 PM   #7
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I love encore!! Its right in my price range too... I like Caron Simply Soft thats a brand you can normally find in Wal-mart or Joanns.. I haven't knitted with much Lion Brand right now I'm making a sweater out of the jiffy though...I tried knitting a sweater out of the homespun and gave up although with bigger needles I did not have trouble making a shawl out of it.. I have tons of red heart from 5yrs ago and I have used the baby red heart for afghans to be washed.. plus my grandmother only crochets with red heart and hers have held up really well.. only thing is after I found Encore its hard to go back to the red heart
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:38 PM   #8
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Encore is wonderful!! And it's a great yarn for beginning knitters; my LYS always recommends it for beginners, in fact.
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