Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yarns-part 1

How do you chose the yarn for a project?
Do you go with whatever the pattern uses?
What if you aren't using a pattern?
Do you prefer costly or inexpensive?
Does it depend on the project?
Or who it's for?

I mentally separate projects into 2 categories: 1. Warrants expensive yarn, and 2. Doesn't warrant expensive yarn. I'm carefully avoiding the word, "cheap", because I have some great quality yarn that didn't cost much.

I'll tackle category #2, inexpensive, in this post, and the costlier yarns in my next post.

I have a couple of go-to solutions. The first is Knit Picks DK Swish.

It's merino wool, it comes in lots of colors, it's soft, it's machine washable AND machine dryable, and the price is great. I love it. I have a ton of it. I use it for most of my "experiments", even ones I know I should use worsted for. Knit Picks does have worsted wool in the same colorways, I just feel like I should use up some of my DK before I buy more.

I've made a lot of things with it, including my pillow-in-progress:

  This hat:

And this baby blanket:

The second is Lion Brand Yarn, which I often don't like that much. However, their store is right near where I work, and I just can't stop myself from walking in there. It offers the immediate gratification I can't get from an online site like Knit Picks. It also gives me the opportunity to touch the yarn before I buy it. I've made some nice things with their yarn.

This bag:

was made with Lion Brand microspun in "sterling". It works up slightly shiny, which is just right for an evening bag. But it tends to separate a lot when you crochet with it.

I've also used some yarns from Red Heart. I made this baby blanket with their Soft Yarn:

It's nice and soft, but it lacks the specialness of wool.

And I made this throw:

with their Super Saver yarn. The fabric it creates has a nice feel to it, but I hated working with it, because it's quite rough-I found it uncomfortable for my hands.

That's it for today. Next time: Costly Yarns

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