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S/O - Expensive Yarn vs. RH

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After reading a couple pages of the other post, I got to wondering - if I was making a 'ghan that I knew would be 'loved' - i.e. used and laundered frequently - would that gorgeous, expensive stuff hold up?

 

Now I know (or think I do!) that some of it can't be machine washed. If you're like me, the hand wash/dry clean stuff gets put away for 'good'. LOL

 

I guess my question is: What do yarn snobs use when they are making something for a toddler? Or a person in a nursing home? I'm not trying to be mean here, just really curious.

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I can't answer that question because I don't make afghans and I only make wearables for myself which I have only started doing. I would be willing to make a scarf out of the nice stuff for someone else though since a scarf does not need alot of cleaning and doesn't get alot of wear either.

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I use acrylic for the things I make for charity. Most people in need don't have the means to 'hand-wash' or dry clean an afghan. Imagine being a patient in a hospital and having to trust your laundry to the hospitals industrial machines.

 

NICU and Pediatric units want acrylic for the easy care and softness.

 

When I'm gifting someone with an item I made, I only use machine wash and dryable yarns unless I know the person wants to say, hand wash a scarf.

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i usually will not make something for someone else with something i will not use for myself. i love the soft stuff over the scratchy stuff.

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...I guess my question is: What do yarn snobs use when they are making something for a toddler? Or a person in a nursing home? I'm not trying to be mean here, just really curious.

 

I used handwash-only alpaca for a baby sweater once,:P but that was because it was for my grandson, and I wanted to make something really special. I only made one, tho, because my daughter (the mom) about killed me when she found out she couldn't just throw it in the washer/dryer. :eek So I made another sweater out of acrylic Jelly Beans yarn. (I searched online so I could link to this. There are plenty of yarns called Jelly Beans, but not the one I used. Must be discontinued.) I also made him a blanket out of NY Yarn's Parfait baby yarns, which are 100% acrylic:

http://www.nyyarns.com

 

And I made him plenty of baby hats with Cottontots, Wool-Ease and Microspun (and one cashmere, which produced a very, long, heavy sigh from my daughter:blush ). I made him a teddy bear from Blue Sky Organic Cotton (cheaper per yard than Lion Brand organic cotton). I'm currently making a baby blanket (for someone else) from Simply Soft. I just made 5 baby blankets for charity with Cottontots.

 

I know how important it is for items like these to be washable, but they also have to be soft and look nice. I think Simply Soft is a good acrylic to fall back on for baby stuff: It's cheap, soft, comes in good colors, and is machine wash- and dryable. But sometimes I want different colors or more variety, so I shop the LYS for softer acrylics or other washables. There are plenty out there, and sometimes they're not any more $$$ than the craft-store brands, if you compare cost per yard.

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Cascade makes a great superwash wool which is about $10/220yds. Plymouth Encore is an acrylic/wool mixture which is machine washable and is around $6/200yds.

 

Those are the two major sellers at my LYS for washable items. They are both fantastic yarns which hold us, have great color schemes, and are a dream to work with.

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I LOVELOVELOVE Cotton. Blue Sky Organic is my fave but price-wise you can't beat Bernat Cotton Tots. Both hold up EXTREMELY well, even when thrown in with the towels. It is super-soft and feels much nicer than RHSS. It's warm, but not too warm - great for year round use!

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I use washable yarns for most things. There are great washable wools, cotton, silk, bamboo, and blends out there, I could crochet a lifetime washable without touching acrylics. But I do this also very often, because I am no yarn snob but I am a working mother of three and don't have the time to handwash often-used things. AND I don't have the money to get them done.

 

But I also have special things, which I wear to special occations, which don't need to be machine-washable for me. If I wear them two times a year to a party/an evening out then I can easily handwash them. But not the blankets for the kids or their clothes.

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I use acrylics for most afghans especially for kids because you need to wash stuff often with kids:P

 

I ditto Plymouth Encore is great and comes in WAY more colors the RHSS and it lots softer. My LYS Dale of Norway by weight superwash wool yarn in an awesome range of colors as well.

 

I mostly go for quality yarn for sweaters for me and shawls.

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I'm not a yarn snob by any extreme stretch of the imagination, but if I'm making something special for myself or just for our family, I second the Plymouth Encore, as it has a little wool but is washable.

Plymouth Sunsette cotton/acrylic blend good for clothing

 

For baby items, I just bought some yarn called Crystal Palace Bunny Hop, it has a small percentage of angora in it, soooo soft. Also machine washable. (Pricey though, so make sure you give it to someone you like!) I have personally yet to wash it, though, so keep that in mind.

 

Also for babies, I have heard suggested:

 

Knitpicks shine, nice machine washable blend in sport and worsted.

Plymouth dreambaby soft acrylic

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i use a lot of acrylics and there are so many different textures of acrylics out there. i agree there are some very nice superwash wools that are very soft and machine wash/dryable. usually i stick with acrylics or cotton just because of the value for a large item. i work part time and am deffinately not made of money, but i do buy the nice stuff occasionally for myself or a special project.

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Another vote for Plymouth Encore. It has a little wool but machine washes and dries well. I also like that it its available in a lot of colors and I am not restricted to pastels. I have used it for several baby blankets. I know it can be ordered from patternworks and I can also buy it at my LYS.

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I almost always use acrylic yarn. It has the great advantage of standing up well to repeated washings while still retaining color and shape. As it has no natural fiber, the allergy issue is virtually eliminated. It also can look and feel like alost any other type of fiber. i love it.

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I'm curious about Plymouth Encore, which a bunch of people mentioned. How does it compare with Woolease?

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I use RH if its an afghan, so it can be washed. And I think it should be said (if it hasnt already) that the more you wash RH, the softer it gets and the "scratchy" goes away. Two times through the wash with some Snuggle or Downey, and its UBBER soft.

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Hobby lobby has a great selection of sportweight yarn (baby bee sweet delight) that comes in a ton of colors, not just pastels...just my :2c

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I think it definitely needs to be said again that RHSS isn't scratchy once you wash it; I wash it before crocheting it sometimes (in a stocking), and it's just fine.

 

Now, I wouldn't use if for wearables, but for an "everyday" afghan, it's just fine.

 

There are many other acrylics that are made differently that are pricier and are also softer.

 

One tier up in pricing and softness is TLC Essentials. I'm making both and afghan and a sweater out of this.

 

Lion Brand Homespun is a bit more expensive, and softer still, but is bulky.

 

For me, acrylics are the only option, as I'm allergic to wool, even a tiny bit in a blend makes me itch.

 

I haven't worked much with the cotton blends, and as soon as I go through some of my stash, I'm going to try some.

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For me, acrylics are the only option, as I'm allergic to wool, even a tiny bit in a blend makes me itch.

Exactly. I had a friend who is allergic to wool. Unless you know the person and know for sure, be careful.

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This is one of those things that makes me cringe a bit. I'll see swaps and what not that say 'and none of that cheap, dimestore yarn'...well what the heck is cheap dimestore yarn? No offense, but on my limited budget, even RHSS is not 'cheap' ;) And some of my best stuff's been done in Caron SS! That said, I do LIKE some wool yarn, but most of it's a bit scratchy no matter what... IMHO RHSS and CSS + a little woolite and they're nice and soft and washable...important since mostly I've been doing baby blankies :)

 

Viva la RHSS! The colors are fun (even if the lots are not).

 

CJ

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I just found out that I can use alpaca and mohair - so for me, it's either cheap, or waaay expensive. Nothing in between, lol!

 

Or silk. Yeah, a nice silk/alpaca blend would be great for a queen size afghan. I wonder how much THAT would cost?

 

Hmmm....maybe $5.00 per granny square? At 115 granny squares, I'll be buying a nice comforter set, thank you very much!

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I wouldn't dare to wash this precious thing, even if its super-washable.

I'd rather put it in a closet so that no kid could touch it. :lol

 

IOr silk. Yeah, a nice silk/alpaca blend would be great for a queen size afghan. I wonder how much THAT would cost?

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I rarely buy expensive yarn unless it's to be an heirloom piece or a wearable why would you need to. I like my Simply Soft & RH for afghans Also homespun is thick & works up quick. Cottontots is great too :hook

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I make afghans for Project Linus, and they required the yarn be acrylic (or otherwise synthetic) to avoid problems with allergies.

 

I saw one person mention TLC Essentials, and I'd love to second that! It's a smidge pricier than RH, but is in most of the same colors (with tons of colors available), is readily available at Hobbly Lobby and Michaels, and is a lot softer than RH. I do use RH at times, but I really love the TLC the most.

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Thank you, ladies! You've given me some ideas beyond RH - I am so bad about not venturing out of my little rut, I haven't looked around much.

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this is an interesting thread!

 

You can go with the Walmart yarn, now on sale for about $4 per lb. It's acrylic but softer than RH, and also cheaper too. Therefore you can knit your heart out :manyheart

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