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Yarn Softness


Casey in Michigan
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Does anyone know of a way to soften (really soften) Red Heart Super Saver.  .  But I have a daughter, granddaughter and daughter-in-law who will not use anything unless it's very soft.  I am going to make all of my kids an afghan and that's 6 adults and 2 teens.  Red Heart has the best range of colors and the price and larger size skeins would be such a help if I could only soften the yarn. 

Thank you, Casey

p.s.  Would also like to know if there's anything else that you don't like about RH Super Saver and what you would use for 8 afghans if Red Heart won't soften.

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I 'get' that a lot of people think RHSS is 'not soft' I am not one of those people.  After moving from a place with temperate winters, to one where it actually snows a tiny bit but gets frosty a lot, I've knit a bunch of pullover sweaters in RHSS that I wear next to my skin and don't think it is uncomfortable in the least (I guess I would fail the 'princess and the pea' test !  :lol  )  

Acrylic is plastic, it can't absorb fabric softener (like, say, cotton could) that might make it softer.  The only thing I can think of is try 'Super Soft', it does act a little differently (maybe the fibers are a greater length?  just guessing).

Some people (I'm not one of that crowd, either) think that 'killing' acrylic with heat 'softens' the yarn.  To me, it gives it a nasty, crunchy texture, and makes it limp; 'soft' is not an adjective I'd use.  Make a swatch and try it if you have an iron; heat it up and hold it a couple of inches away from the fabric for a short period (just a few seconds).  There are probably youtubes out there that give tips.

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The RHSS that I buy now is noticeably less stiff and much softer than it was years ago.  The difference is incredible. Just last week I was working with some of the older stuff that I inherited.  It felt so different---stiff and scratchy.  It will also feel softer if you crochet with a larger hook and looser than if you crochet a tight dense fabric.  

 

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That's interesting, I'll have to check that out; I don't think I've bought any since I made all those pullovers. 

One brand I don't recommend (if you want something soft) is the Michaels bargain brand (Craftsmart), unless it changed too; THAT is the only acrylic I've considered scratchy; I used it for a cardigan instead of a pullover, so works fine since it's not touching skin.

Edited by Granny Square
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I've always had good luck with Red Heart Super Saver. After washing and using a bit of fabric softener, my blankets turn out fine. I also like Red Heart-With Love yarn. It's a bit more expensive but works well for blankets.

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9 hours ago, Granny Square said:

I 'get' that a lot of people think RHSS is 'not soft' I am not one of those people.  After moving from a place with temperate winters, to one where it actually snows a tiny bit but gets frosty a lot, I've knit a bunch of pullover sweaters in RHSS that I wear next to my skin and don't think it is uncomfortable in the least (I guess I would fail the 'princess and the pea' test !  :lol  )  

Acrylic is plastic, it can't absorb fabric softener (like, say, cotton could) that might make it softer.  The only thing I can think of is try 'Super Soft', it does act a little differently (maybe the fibers are a greater length?  just guessing).

Some people (I'm not one of that crowd, either) think that 'killing' acrylic with heat 'softens' the yarn.  To me, it gives it a nasty, crunchy texture, and makes it limp; 'soft' is not an adjective I'd use.  Make a swatch and try it if you have an iron; heat it up and hold it a couple of inches away from the fabric for a short period (just a few seconds).  There are probably youtubes out there that give tips.

I think that's the only thing I can do - make a sample and see how soft I can get it.  Thank you so much for your help.

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4 hours ago, ReniC said:

I've always had good luck with Red Heart Super Saver. After washing and using a bit of fabric softener, my blankets turn out fine. I also like Red Heart-With Love yarn. It's a bit more expensive but works well for blankets.

I've heard this before but also the opposite.  I love all the colors that it comes in.  Granny Square said crochet a sample and test it.  Why didn't I think of that.  Considering what all of you has said it'd be worth doing.  Thank you so much for your help.

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8 hours ago, Granny Square said:

That's interesting, I'll have to check that out; I don't think I've bought any since I made all those pullovers. 

One brand I don't recommend (if you want something soft) is the Michaels bargain brand (Craftsmart), unless it changed too; THAT is the only acrylic I've considered scratchy; I used it for a cardigan instead of a pullover, so works fine since it's not touching skin.

More and more of the stores seem to be phasing out other brands and just carrying their own.  I went to JoAnn's last week to check out the softness of other yarns and they mostly had their own brands and a fair amount of RH.  Our JoAnn's is not the best but Michaels has really cut back their yarn selection too.

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9 hours ago, bgs said:

The RHSS that I buy now is noticeably less stiff and much softer than it was years ago.  The difference is incredible. Just last week I was working with some of the older stuff that I inherited.  It felt so different---stiff and scratchy.  It will also feel softer if you crochet with a larger hook and looser than if you crochet a tight dense fabric.  

 

I bought 5 skeins of RHSS to practice on or see what some stitch patterns or techniques look like and it's not very old.  To me it seems thicker than worsted.  I think going up a hook size is good advice.  I did a small part of a new pattern with the hook size on the RH label and it was really stiff.  I'm better at knitting than crocheting but I don't want to knit all these afghans and I think crochet is more durable too.  I thank you for answering.  I'm glad to know this kind of stuff.

 

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9 hours ago, Granny Square said:

I 'get' that a lot of people think RHSS is 'not soft' I am not one of those people.  After moving from a place with temperate winters, to one where it actually snows a tiny bit but gets frosty a lot, I've knit a bunch of pullover sweaters in RHSS that I wear next to my skin and don't think it is uncomfortable in the least (I guess I would fail the 'princess and the pea' test !  :lol  )  

Acrylic is plastic, it can't absorb fabric softener (like, say, cotton could) that might make it softer.  The only thing I can think of is try 'Super Soft', it does act a little differently (maybe the fibers are a greater length?  just guessing).

Some people (I'm not one of that crowd, either) think that 'killing' acrylic with heat 'softens' the yarn.  To me, it gives it a nasty, crunchy texture, and makes it limp; 'soft' is not an adjective I'd use.  Make a swatch and try it if you have an iron; heat it up and hold it a couple of inches away from the fabric for a short period (just a few seconds).  There are probably youtubes out there that give tips.

It's too easy to really ruin acrylic with the iron.  I knitted my granddaughter a sweater for Christmas out of Premier's Puzzle yarn and I soaked that in some hair conditioner for a while.  It made it softer but it was pretty nice to begin with.  It smelled good ;).  I never thought of YouTube for this.  Good idea and thank you.

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18 minutes ago, Casey in Michigan said:

I bought 5 skeins of RHSS to practice on or see what some stitch patterns or techniques look like and it's not very old.  To me it seems thicker than worsted.  I think going up a hook size is good advice.  I did a small part of a new pattern with the hook size on the RH label and it was really stiff.  I'm better at knitting than crocheting but I don't want to knit all these afghans and I think crochet is more durable too.  I thank you for answering.  I'm glad to know this kind of stuff.

 

For awhile I noticed some colors were thicker and stiffer than most while another was on the thin side but they seemed to finally stabilize out.  About a year ago the bright yellow had a green cast to it but last time I looked it was back to bright yellow.

I had some baby colors in the Walmart store brand.  My initial attempt at a baby afghan felt horrible but was so much better when I redid it using a hook 2 to 3 sizes larger.

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