Don't be a yarn snob!
As the cold winter months are approaching, I find myself thinking about mitts and scarves and all the lovely yarns that can be used to make them! In my internet travels I've come across the terms "Luxury" and "Economy" for yarn. So, what is the difference? Luxury yarns are made with materials like Alpaca, Bamboo or wool. Economy yarns tend to be 100% acrylic or acrylic/cotton blends. While I won't deny that working with luxury yarns are a delight, I am by no means a yarn snob.
Just because a yarn is economical, doesn't mean that it is not good. Acrylic can come in all kinds of textures suitable for babies and other clothing. My go-to yarn for all of my amigurumi is Red Heart Super Saver. It holds up to rough play very well and can be machine washed and dried. Red Heart has several brands of acrylics that are great for toys. The doll below was done in With Love. The blanket in the background was done in Bernat Sport.
I'm a fan of using bamboo for jackets and other clothing items. For some, especially beginners, bamboo can be a bit of a challenge to work with; it is very slippery and silky, but that is one of the reasons I love it so much! I learned the hard way that bamboo is not good for amigurumi, though. While having absolutely gorgeous texture and drape, it tends to stretch over time. No amount of hot drying can get my son's toys back into shape after he was done with them! For clothes bamboo is soft and breathable and flows so nicely. The tunic below was done in Caron X Patone.
Cotton and cotton blends are also great for clothing, especially summer items. Premier Cotton Fair is a good choice. Alpaca and wool are ideal for winter items. You can get beautiful Alpaca blend yarn at Alpaca Time in Harriston, Ontario. I am currently working on a campfire jacket with some of their wonderful dyed yarn.
The kids meeting the Alpacas at Alpaca Time last summer. I highly recommend you check them out.
Below are pot holders that I made from very cheap yarn I bought at the Dollarstore, proving that just because it is inexpensive, does not mean that it can't be made into a wonderful gift!
So what are your favourite yarns? Please comment and share!