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Old 01-05-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
LoveBugAngel
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Yarn Yarn so many kinds!
Anyone have a favourite yarn for certain projects?

As you know I have just started out so I am JUST learning about different yarns. I still need the lady at the store to tell me which yarn I need to use for what.

I plan on making a baby hat for my newborn cousin and bought Sirdar Snuggly baby bamboo double knitting yarn, its sooooooo soft!!!

The yarn I used for my scarf is soft too but i find it gets like little pully things on it. For that I used Patons beehive baby chunky yarn.


Do you tend to stick to the same yarn for your hats, scarves, sweaters etc.... or do you use what the pattern calls for?

Teach me about yarn!
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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You can use a similar fiber as the pattern does, often they're much too expensive for us regular knitters to use. Washable yarns - acrylics, super wash wools, cottons, blends - are better for baby and little kid things, or large items like blankets. They can also be used for sweaters and hats too if you prefer not to hand wash. Soft yarn of any fiber can pill (the little pully things) but it is soft. Some of that can be minimized by knitting it at a tighter gauge, but then it turns into something not so soft, so there's always a trade off somehow.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LoveBugAngel View Post
Anyone have a favourite yarn for certain projects?
I do have a few favorites. I like Knit Picks Wools for pretty much everything. Wool of the Andes Bulky for hats, love Knit Picks Felici superwash self striping sock yarn for socks. For socks I prefer superwash wool yarn only. But that's my opinion, your mileage may vary(YMMV).

I Love This Cotton! is a nice reasonably inexpensive worsted cotton from Hobby Lobby.

After so many years happily crocheting kids toys & afghans in Red Heart for durability, I find I loathe it for knitting - to me it feels like tire treads on my needles. Go figure... Again, YMMV.

Afraid I'd become a natural fiber snob , I was lucky enough to find an excellent acrylic baby yarn (almost sock weight) at my LYS called Babe. It knits up like a dream and from what I've seen it comes in a fairly extensive color palette.

My ultimate yarn is soft with a nice hand and tight twist...

Have fun learning what you like in yarn - there's so many new kinds of yarn come available just within the past good grief, 15 years? It's much like the search for the "perfect" knitting needles- there's something for everyone!

Before I forget: for those yarn pulls, I swear by a handheld garment shaver. Used with a light hand it zips those puppies right off of knitted garments and helps keep pulls from developing.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:20 AM   #4
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Im still very new to this but I've learned a tiny bit in my small steps. I first started knitting when I stumbled across boucle wool at my MIL's garage sale, she and I werent talking much until very recently so I didnt ask her advice when I finally started using it. The lesson learned, dont use mohair boucle as a beginner. Its very loopy and can be awkward to knit with, catching on the needles, and its difficult to see mistakes because of its fuzziness. For my next project I got as suggested by the pattern and bought some 8ply wool, just a few balls on special, and knitted up a nice scarf which Im very happy with.

Then on impulse, clearly not learning from my aformentioned lesson, I went and bought some really soft looking wool on special and you guessed it, it was boucle again...argghh. Its just so pretty and soft and hard to resist ..... but ultimately a waste of money because I still havent knitted anything with it. It wasnt quite enough for a jumper and I couldnt find a blanket pattern I liked so its in my stash. For the jumper Im currently knitting I decided to go with the elcheapo $2 per ball polyester, mainly because if I need to rip or unknit I wont cry as I split and tangle the wool and damage it....I rip and unknit alot, also because I didnt know if I would like the end result. Its like a practice wool, if I like the end result it will be a gardening jumper and I'll invest in some nice wool for a nicer jumper. If I dont like the end result I can just rip back and try something new. I needed 8 balls of wool for this jumper and to me $5-$10 per ball of wool was just too big of an investment as a beginner.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #5
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I'll give you hint about working with boucle - use much bigger needles than you think. The loops fill in the sts and being larger they're easier to get the needle into than with small needles. Maybe you can make a nice cozy wrap or shrug with it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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For baby items, my favorite is Bernat Baby Sport. Bernat is high quality yarn that doesn't split. This acrylic holds up well in the washing machine. New mothers don't have the time to handwash baby items. Despite your careful instructions, they will most likely toss it into the washer. You wouldn't want it to shrink. The advantage of the Bernat Baby sport is that anything knit from it is lightweight. You're not going to want a worsted weight or higher as it's too heavy weight wise and will be too hot for the baby. Babies are indoors most of the time in winter, and it's just a quick trip from a warm house to a warmed car. Car heaters get hot, so you'll want something light for the baby to wear in the car seat.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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A lot of it, too, depends on your climate and the time of year. For warmer climates and summer time, lighter cottons would be appropriate. For winter and cold climates like yours and mine, sport and worsted weights would be right. I have two sets of winter gear. One for the early fall/early spring when the temps are milder but you still need to cover up. I use sport weight for these. Worsted or bulky weights get too warm at this time and you'll sweat. For cold and bitter cold weather, I use worsted weights. Sometimes I'll layer and wear lightweight store bought (magic gloves) under my worsted weight mittens. I don't like using bulky weights in the winter because they get too warm, even in subzero temps. I prefer to layer.

Knitpicks is the best price and quality. They have great customer service and fast delivery. Wool of the Andes worsted weight is one of my favorites as well. Even with shipping costs, I end up paying a third of the cost of what my LYS would charge for the same type of yarn.

Example, Cascade 220 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. My LYS wants $10-12 for a 50 gram hank. Knitpicks has an almost identical Wool of the Andes (in skeins so I don't have to wind them) at $2 including shipping. I bought the sampler pack with 15 skeins for around $30. You do the math. How many more skeins would you get from Knitpicks compared to your LYS? I got 15 for the price my LYS charged for 3.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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My motto.. Life's too short to knit with crappy yarns. There are so many to choose from if one doesn't suit you another one is around the corner.

For babies I usually use something soft and washable. I like Plymouth Jeannee or Berroco Comfort and use them a lot. I sometimes use Plymouth Encore as well.

For other things it varies on who it's going to, what it is, etc. I buy 99% of my yarn in my local yarn store. I like to support them when I can.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:22 PM   #9
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A lot of it is your preference. You'll find your favorites as you gain more experience. It has to do with what's available, too. Some local stores just don't have much of a variety. Some lines have limited colors that I don't like. I would love to buy locally rather than online, but they either don't have what I want or are too high in price.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fatoldladyinpjs View Post
For baby items, my favorite is Bernat Baby Sport. Bernat is high quality yarn that doesn't split. This acrylic holds up well in the washing machine. New mothers don't have the time to handwash baby items. Despite your careful instructions, they will most likely toss it into the washer. You wouldn't want it to shrink.

I really liked the Bernat Baby Jacquards when machine knitting just for those reasons, but I have yet to work it by hand. I'd cry if someone threw my hand knit wool baby sweater into a washer & dryer!

That's why I was so happy to find Babe at my LYS for half off during their end of year yarn sale - bought a whole bag of their color #6, a gorgeous buttermilk color. And I won't have to worry about it going into the wash!
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