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Soft Yarn Recommendations

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I love working with soft, yummy yarn, but have experienced it "unraveling" as I work with it and "splitting" as I crochet so I am only picking up a thread or 2 instead of the whole strand, Very frustrating. Any advice in technique or yarns that don't split like that?

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Which specific yarns did you have a problem with?

 

Other specifics like the stitch pattern, and size of hook you used, would be helpful too.

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It does have something to do with the yarn.  I've seen more complaints about Caron's Simply Soft splitting more than others.

 

However, I think it has more to do with tension, hook and technique.  When I picked up crocheting after not doing it for a couple of decades, my tension was all over the place.  I also had the problem of yarn splitting.  The yarn splitting was infuriating, but not as infuriating as trying to get a dozen panels to all be the same size.  So, I googled crochet tension and learned a LOT.  I also found out that I was using the wrong type of hooks for me.  After some experimenting and a ton of practice, I was able to get my tension fairly even.  Along the way, yarn no longer split, regardless of the brand.

 

It may be that your tension is too tight, too loose or inconsistent.  Try holding the yarn a different way.  There is no right or wrong way.  It's what is works for you.  Yarn splitting could be a sign that how you're holding it isn't working for you.  Also, make sure that you're crocheting using the shaft of the hook and not just the tip.  Your stitches should be made between where the tapering ends and the thumb rest.  The shaft is the actual size of the hook.  When you insert your hook and pull through a loop, it's called the "golden loop."  You can pull the golden loop up to make the size of stitches that you want.  It should be at least long enough for the hook to be able to lay on top of your work, before you yarn over to finish the stitch.

 

It may be that you're using the wrong kind of hook for you.  There are basically 3 styles of hooks.  Boye, tapered with a round head, is on one end of the spectrum and Susan Bates, inline with a pointed head, is on the other.  The third style is in between the Boye and Bates.  In addition, there are ergonomic handles and plain handles.  Whether you hold the hook like a pencil or like a knife makes a difference in choosing the hook that is right for you.  I bought several brands of hooks all in the same size.  Next I made a plain dishcloth using the same yarn and same stitch with each one.  I learned what I liked best and got a set of them. 

 

Lastly, while I was doing research, I learned some techniques, like that bit about the golden loop, that I didn't know before.  All three combined to clear up my yarn splitting problem, regardless of the brand.  Doris Chan's article "Confessions of a Lifter" spoke volumes to me.

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Aside from the possibilities mentioned above, more tightly wound yarn is less splitty as a rule.  More tightly wound yarn tends tend to be less 'soft' in my experience, but that depend on the looseness of the stitch pattern/hook size.  Sorry I don't have a recommendation for you, because I also think the softer yarns don't hold up as well so I avoid them for the most part.

Edited by Granny Square

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I've never really had any trouble with yarn splitting, apart from a really lovely baby cashmerino that just loved to unravel from itself. A really nice soft yarn I tend to use is King Cole Cottonsoft, comes in a range of colours and I've never had any issues with it.

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Granny Square ~ you got it! Part of the problem really IS the yarn. Some of the process to make yarn softer is to spin it looser, then it feels nicer when we touch a skein, but can be harder to work with.

 

And they don't hold up as well. 2 yarns I like that are solf, but not too soft are Lion Brand Vanna's Choice, and Loops and Threads Impeccable. These are great for hats, scarves, leggies, and wristers.

 

These though are too soft for slippers, unless you don't want to wear them longer than 1 winter. These yarns wear through the bottoms, even double bottoms in 1 season. For slippers I always use Red Heart Super Saver. If there is a little breaking on the bottoms, I make little single crochet patches and sew them on, and have at least 2 seasons of use, and occasionally 3 with double bottoms.

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I've had problems a few times with yarns "splitting" and found it I used a size smaller hook than what the pattern calls for it helps to control easier. Caron Simply Soft is one that has done just that in the past.

I like Red Heart Soft and Love yarns for softness and I've used for some time now Lion Brand- Vanna's Choice and get satisfactory softness with it.

Recently I found the new lion Brand- Scarfie to be very soft for the scarves I made, but ,haven't used it for a large project due to cost.

Lion Brand- Pound Of Love is soft after I wash the completed project but I find it pills easily.

I have pretty much discovered what I like best through the years by trial and error. Hope a few of these notes help and you figure this out.

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