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Old 12-21-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
italiangal50
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yarn help
I am looking for yarns that do not split and is machine washable and dryable, can someone help me? thanks
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by italiangal50 View Post
I am looking for yarns that do not split and is machine washable and dryable, can someone help me? thanks
There is no yarn that will not split. (Sorry to disappoint, but it's true.)

That said, my "go to" yarn is Plymouth Select Superwash Merino, and one of the major reasons I like it so well is that it's very difficult to split (even for me, and I could split tungsten steel cable). It's machine washable (cold water!), and if you're careful you can probably tumble dry it on a no-heat setting. It won't felt in the laundry, but like any other wool it WILL shrink if it's washed or dried on a hot setting. (But it is SO nice!) Cascade has superwash varieties of their 220 and 128 wool, but the same caveats apply. the Cascade yarns are "splittier" in my experience as well (especially the 128, which is a bulky weight)

All of the acrylic yarns (that I know of) are machine washable/dryable, and they're usually pretty durable. How easily they split is mostly a function of how they're put together. If you take a strand of it and roll it between your fingers and it doesn't start coming unplied (un-twisted-together) it'll probably stand up pretty well to the abuses that lead to splitting. (That's actually true of yarn of any fiber content.)

"Fuzzy" yarns don't so much split as get the floof hung up on your needles. That's just as irritating, but doesn't do any actual damage.

A lot of folks here are partial to Caron Simply Soft, which I've used, and didn't hate but thought it split pretty easily. (But then, I may not be the best benchmark for splittability.) Red Heart has some smooth-finish yarn that's hard to split, but I've never been fond of the texture -- at least not for anything I'd wear. Plymouth Encore isn't too bad for splitting and can be machine laundered (I have some boot socks made of it that don't get any special treatment and hold up fine despite the 25% wool content).

The only cotton yarns I've used were Cotton Ease (a cotton blend I think) which splits if you look at it wrong, and Plymouth Fantasy Naturale. The Plymouth was less prone to splitting, but certainly not immune to it. Both have the laundering characteristics of cotton, meaning they'll shrink (and subsequently grow) but don't require a lot of delicate handling.

Off the top of my head that's all I can think of, but that's not anywhere CLOSE to an exhaustive list. I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses from the more experienced in the crowd.

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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Well, there is nonsplitty yarn; yarn splits when it's loosely twisted, which is what makes a lot of them soft. Sock yarn has a tight twist and most of them don't split.

However, using a tight tension and small needle will cause yarn to split. A looser gauge or larger needle won't be as bad.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
However, using a tight tension and small needle will cause yarn to split. A looser gauge or larger needle won't be as bad.
I've split yarn with a US 17 (he said, shamefaced). I remember staring at it, slack jawed in amazement.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Well some will split if you look at them sideways....

I meant using a larger needle for the yarn weight, like 11 with worsted or something. If you used a superbulky, but had a tight grip on the yarn, I could see a 17 splitting it.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mojo11 View Post
I've split yarn with a US 17 (he said, shamefaced). I remember staring at it, slack jawed in amazement.
That's frustrating but splitting the yarn with US 2 or smaller needles and trying to fix it is much worse IMO. At least with yarn you'd use US 17s with you can see what happened.

Other than some yarns that seem to arrive split (Caron Simply Soft comes to mind, and yarns like Homespun that split and are fuzzy too) IME splitting is mostly a matter of I should knit more loosely to lessen the tension on the yarn as it's worked and make it easier to actually get the needle through the stitch. I'm working on it. If I don't knit so tightly then even with the yarns that aren't as tightly twisted, I can get the needle through the stitch and leave the yarn intact more easily. Like I said, I'm working on it. Why does knitting bring out the control freak in me? That's a rhetorical question BTW. Moral: don't strangle the poor, innocent yarn. Cut it some slack...in a manner of speaking.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Sometimes I do wish we had a 'funny' button...!
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
Well some will split if you look at them sideways....

I meant using a larger needle for the yarn weight, like 11 with worsted or something. If you used a superbulky, but had a tight grip on the yarn, I could see a 17 splitting it.
I'm not sure if this qualified as super bulky or not, but it wasn't exceptionally tightly spun. But to be fair, it really wasn't the yarn's fault that I was able to harpoon it with a needle right out of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (well... it would've been if it were made of wood anyway). I had become accustomed to ramming 8's through Fantasy Naturale (in black naturally), and 6's through... practically anything. But when I skewered a strand with something the size of a Mk 48 torpedo, I was positively stunned. It takes real talent to do that.

Fortunately the yarn in question was pretty forgiving and didn't seem to hold my transgression against me. Of course, this WAS the spiral lace cowl I made for my daughter in common law for Christmas that looked SO SIMPLE (YO, k2tog, repeat until comatose). But it was, in fact, fiendishly difficult even you screwed up JUST ONE TIME. Luckily I had an honest to Bob Yarn Jedi Kninja Master on hand to bail me out.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
Sometimes I do wish we had a 'funny' button...!

Well! Really! What could possibly be funny about splitting sock yarn?
OK, enough righteous indignation. I'm still about the US17 harpoon. It sounds all to familiar, so I'm LOL with the perpetrator.

Yeah, I sometimes think a "Funny" or "Like" button would be good too. Some of these things, if I couldn't laugh about them I would cry and wet, split yarn is worse than just split yarn. I'm contemplating moving from US 0 to US 00 for my sock tops. Does that make me both a masochist and a sadist?
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Actually, this is what I found funny about your post....

"Moral: don't strangle the poor, innocent yarn. Cut it some slack...in a manner of speaking."
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