Knitters? Crotcheters? I Need Yarn Advice

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AZ_Dawn

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There's a few loom knitting projects I want to do over the summer: a neck pillow, a scarf, and a hat. Acrylic yarn feels fine on my fingertips, but itchy on my neck and forehead, and wool feels itchy everywhere. Is there a good brand of cotton yarn you'd recommend? Preferably a brand I can buy in a brick-and-mortar store (I like to feel yarn before I buy it). I've checked the online reviews, but they didn't help. I'm open to itch-free non-cotton suggestions, too. Thanks!
 

Silver King

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You could contact our very own K1P1, who might be able to answer your your questions. She's our resident knitting expert and an all around nice person.

(I purchased one of her books for my mom, who loved the gift and picked up some valuable pointers.)
 

cray

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indeed. she took some time and helped me out quite a bit as well.

quiet!
no. i don't knit.

not that there's anything wrong with that but my questions were pertaining to one of the crayettes and knitting.
 

nevada

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AZ Dawn I don't work with cotton much, but i have a Lily Chin Pima Cotton/Merino Wool that's awesome, it's called Gotham.

Also Rowan Yarn Luxury Cotton DK is very nice, it's a cotton/viscose/silk blend.

as for itch free wool, right now I'm knitting a scarf with Rowan Yarn Cashsoft Aran that's a extra fine merino/microfibre/cashmere blend and it's soooo soft. I love it.

Also the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is wonderful. The trick toworking with any wool is to get cashmere or a blend of merino/cashmere. Not cheap and they don't sell it at Wallmart but it feels amazing and knits up like a dream.
 

MaryMumsy

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I use a ton of Sugar N Cream. It is 100% cotton, comes in 4 oz balls, and you can get it at Michaels. They have the same thing in bigger balls at Joanne. There are probably 20 or so colors. It is 4-ply, which I think is the same thing as 'worsted weight'.

MM
 

Dichroic

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Sugar and Cream can be hard on your hands, as it has no give. Southwest Trading Company is based in Tempe, AZ, so is likely to be carried in lots of AZ stores (I can recommend ones in the Phx area, but not south of that). SWTC specializes in yarn made of anything from soy to corn to milk protein.

Another possibility is something like Cascade Fixation, which is cotton but is elasticized, or any mercerize cotton, which will be very smooth. My best suggestion really is to join Ravelry and read its reviews on hundreds of yarns (and see examples of finished objects in those yarns), or to look at the yarn reviews on Wiseneedle, or just to go to a store and fondle yarn. (The first and third options will be most fun and distracting.)
 

nevada

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I just checked my stash (stashette, it's not that large) and I have some cotton left that i worked in that I liked. It's Grace by Pattons. Very smooth, very soft. But it's cotton, so whatever you knit will have no stretch or give whatsoever. I'm just not a fan of cotton, can you tell? lol Whatever you do, don't knit anything special in Acrylic. It never stands up and all your hard work will be wasted. Phone around to the specialty stores and see who is having a sale. Or check out the yarn in the store and then find an online site where it's cheaper. If funds are an issue, of course. If not, only buy cashmere. lol
 

AZ_Dawn

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Thanks, guys! I'll have try out some of these suggestions.

Silver King said:
You could contact our very own K1P1, who might be able to answer your your questions. She's our resident knitting expert and an all around nice person.
cray said:
indeed. she took some time and helped me out quite a bit as well.
Sounds good. I'll need to PM her and see what she says.

MaryMumsy said:
I use a ton of Sugar N Cream. It is 100% cotton, comes in 4 oz balls, and you can get it at Michaels. They have the same thing in bigger balls at Joanne. There are probably 20 or so colors. It is 4-ply, which I think is the same thing as 'worsted weight'.
Dichroic said:
Sugar and Cream can be hard on your hands, as it has no give.
I've seen that brand in the stores! I take it from reading these statements that it's a good yarn, but I wouldn't want to use it for the hat and scarf at least?

Dichroic said:
Southwest Trading Company is based in Tempe, AZ, so is likely to be carried in lots of AZ stores (I can recommend ones in the Phx area, but not south of that). SWTC specializes in yarn made of anything from soy to corn to milk protein.
Darn, I do live farther south! Why does Phoenix get all the cool stuff? :mad:

Dichroic said:
My best suggestion really is to join Ravelry and read its reviews on hundreds of yarns (and see examples of finished objects in those yarns), or to look at the yarn reviews on Wiseneedle, or just to go to a store and fondle yarn. (The first and third options will be most fun and distracting.)
:e2cloud9: I like that third option! I may rub it on the back of my neck, too, just to make sure.

AZ Dawn I don't work with cotton much, but i have a Lily Chin Pima Cotton/Merino Wool that's awesome, it's called Gotham.

nevada said:
AZ Dawn I don't work with cotton much, but i have a Lily Chin Pima Cotton/Merino Wool that's awesome, it's called Gotham.

Also Rowan Yarn Luxury Cotton DK is very nice, it's a cotton/viscose/silk blend.
nevada said:
I just checked my stash (stashette, it's not that large) and I have some cotton left that i worked in that I liked. It's Grace by Pattons. Very smooth, very soft. But it's cotton, so whatever you knit will have no stretch or give whatsoever. I'm just not a fan of cotton, can you tell? lol
I take it that you'd suggest a cotton blend rather than straight cotton?

nevada said:
Whatever you do, don't knit anything special in Acrylic. It never stands up and all your hard work will be wasted.
Too late. I've already made several hats (mostly for dolls, but still!) and a pair of booties for a stuffed toy. I made a hat for myself, too; that's how I found out that acrylic makes my forehead itch.

nevada said:
Phone around to the specialty stores and see who is having a sale. Or check out the yarn in the store and then find an online site where it's cheaper. If funds are an issue, of course. If not, only buy cashmere. lol
Don't know if we have specialty yarn stores in town, but I could check that out. I wouldn't say funds were a huge issue, but I've balked at $6 for a 3.5 ounce skein before. Cashmere's goat wool, right? Maybe that be less itchy than sheep wool.
 

nevada

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Cashmere's goat wool, right? Maybe that be less itchy than sheep wool.

Cashmere doesn't itch at all. It's super soft. Only straight sheep wool will itch. If you buy wool get a merino, it also is goat's wool and doesn't itch. Unfortunately, the wool blends and cotton blends that I'm suggesting run about $10 to 15 a 50g skein. that's the small ball. Which is why I suggested phoning around for a sale or buying it on line. The scarf I'm knitting in the cashmere/merino blend is super super soft and not itchy at all. It was $12 a 50g skein, I need 4 of them, but I got them at half price. Lots of time, specialty knitting stores will also discount yarn they only have a few skeins left of, simply because it's not enough to knit a sweater with but you only need one or two or three for a scarf or a hat. And 3 balls at $10 each is better than 20 or 30 balls for a sweater. lol (these are canadian prices and they might be a bit less in the US)

Cotton, in my opinion, is useless for hats and scarfs. Unless you get it blended with wool. Then you get a beautiful smooth thread that still has some elasticity.

Cotton's good for crocheting lace doilies. :D
 

MaryMumsy

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Cotton's good for crocheting lace doilies. :D

That's a different weight of cotton :D

I use the Sugar N Cream for baby afghans. I like the fact it doesn't have a lot of give. That way it doesn't get all stretched out of shape with use. And my 60 year old hands don't have any problem with it.

MM
 

nevada

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I've knitted some baby sweaters in cotton and they were really cute. My mom loves knitting in cotton. I just love the soft warmth of cashmere and merino and silk blends. I would never knit a sweater out of that though, couldn't justify the expense. But scarves are so so luxurious that way and not ridiculously expensive.

I'm out of practice. Yesterday I loosened the thread and in an instant forgot how to wind the thread around my fingers. total blank. I still don't know how I do it, I just do it. Muscle memory is a weird thing.

ETA did anyone notice the google ads at the top of the thread are for knitting yarn sellers. I knew the ads were targeted, I just didn't realize they were that targeted. I feel almost invaded. lol
 

Carole

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Although I don't usually go for celebrity endorsements, Vanna White has this yarn that is delicious. I can't for the life of me remember the brand it is under, but she's on the labels. There are different varieties, but all of them that I have knitted or crocheted with are great. They don't pill like cheaper yarns do, and they don't come out knotted up some some do. I usually get it at Michael's or Jo Anns. There are super fluffy yarns, baby yarns, wool blends, all acrylic, and lots and lots of colors.
 

AZ_Dawn

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I see what you meant by "they don't sell it at Wallmart", nevada. Some of your suggestion aren't sold it at Michael's or Joann's either. I searched the web for yarn stores in my town, and there's a couple close to my zipcode that sell them, so they're still possibilities.

nevada said:
Unfortunately, the wool blends and cotton blends that I'm suggesting run about $10 to 15 a 50g skein. that's the small ball. Which is why I suggested phoning around for a sale or buying it on line.
The stores didn't show the prices on their sites, though one store announces its sales online. Still, if it doesn't itch and it's cheaper that buying the finished product, it might be worth the sales price at least.

Carole said:
Although I don't usually go for celebrity endorsements, Vanna White has this yarn that is delicious.
I've seen that in stores. Can't remember if I liked the feel or not; I have to put my hand on a skein again.
 

KikiteNeko

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Where are you buying yarn that you can't feel first? Michaels and AC Moore and even Walmart have their yarn out for shoppers to touch.
 

AZ_Dawn

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Braaaaains! Uh, I mean, Yaaaarns!

First a quick update on the projects in the OP. I did the neck pillow with Lion brand cotton. The yarn was fine, but I hit an operator error and couldn't close one end of the tube (I was work in the round). Lesson learned: always close the first end of the tube as soon as possible.

The hat is finished, though the scarf still has about 15 inches to go. I used Patton Silk & Bamboo for them, and boy, does it feel great! :e2cloud9: Which leads to my new yarn problem...

My little sis announced she was pregnant. Naturally, I thought Baby Blanket! One of my older sisters suggested I use the Silk & Bamboo for it. No doubt the baby would love that, but the stuff's handwash only; I couldn't do that to my sis!

Any suggestion for baby blanket yarn? It needs to be machine-washable and -dryable, and of course, safe for babies. ;) Acrylic is allow for this project.
 

Dicentra P

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knitpicks (knitpicks.com) online store has some nice cotton blends. I have heard they can be spotty in quality (fair warning) but I have not had problems in my (very limited) own experience. I used Cotlin which is probably too light for a blanket and Shine worsted.
 

Kitty Pryde

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I love those fluffy Lion Homespun yarns in baby pastels. My friend did a baby blanket and it came out so soft she didn't even want to give it to the baby! They are synthetic material. So soft!
 
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veinglory

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I would agree that nicer wool doesn't itch unless you have a lanolin sentivity or something like that--and it is much warmer! Look for cashmere and merino. (But merino is a sheep, you may be thinking of angora?) Higher grades of wool are more expensive but good from projects you want to be warm and last (and not pill).
 
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regdog

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indeed. she took some time and helped me out quite a bit as well.

quiet!
no. i don't knit.

not that there's anything wrong with that but my questions were pertaining to one of the crayettes and knitting.

crayettes, ssssssssuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeee
 

AZ_Dawn

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Thanks, guys! I should check these out.

Kitty Pryde said:
I love those fluffy Lion Homespun yarns in baby pastels. My friend did a baby blanket and it came out so soft she didn't even want to give it to the baby! They are synthetic material. So soft!
I've heard of that one. I'll have to grope a skein at Jo-Ann's to refresh my memory.

veinglory said:
Look for cashmere and merino. (But merino is a sheep, you may be thinking of angora?) Higher grades of wool are more expensive but good from projects you want to be warm and last (and not pill).
Sounds a bit expensive for something a baby's gonna blurp all over. :D
 

Susie

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Hey, guys,

Can someone tell me what is the difference between a petal and a cluster in crocheting? Many thanks!
 

Carole

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While we're asking, I would like to find a good resource for learning how to knit on circular needles. It seems there's something pretty fundamental that I'm missing.
 

MaryMumsy

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Hey, guys,

Can someone tell me what is the difference between a petal and a cluster in crocheting? Many thanks!

Susie: I'm a self taught crocheter, and I don't know what those mean. Is there an actual yarn shop you could go to, as opposed to Michael's or somewhere like that?

While we're asking, I would like to find a good resource for learning how to knit on circular needles. It seems there's something pretty fundamental that I'm missing.

Carole: Same advice as for Susie, although I don't knit. Also, search out K1P1 here on the forum. She has published two knitting books.

MM
 

Carole

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I wish yarn shops existed in the Knoxville area. I don't know of any. There used to be an amazing one just a little north, but they closed a couple of years ago. Still kicking myself for not picking up bundles of all that beautiful wool they clearanced out.

I'm so sad about the state of real craft shops, and I don't mean places like Michael's. To me, Michael's is pretty much like a Walmart of craft supplies. They have a lot, but you can't really get much information there unless its in the form of a leaflet or book. And then there's Walmart, which is the closest place for me to buy yarn. All they have is junk, and they won't even have that junk for much longer. I don't really want to spend $6 on a skein of yarn that I know is going to pill up and lose its shape the first time I wash it.

So I guess I'm stuck buying on the Internet. Bah. Maybe I need to raise sheep and give them all gentle little haircuts every year to make my own yarn!