Yarn, Yarn Everywhere and not a stitch to hook!

That’s kind of how I feel these days! I’m so busy doing the CLF stuff, and now helping Candi Jensen (Executive Producer of the Knit and Crochet Today! Show), plus working on the 501(c)(3) paperwork for my library friend’s group, that I have gone from more tan 30hrs a week of crochet time to maybe 10 hrs. SIGH…and all of that yarn is calling my name!

In my last post I urged you all to not feel unworthy of any kind of yarn due to your skills. Budget is one thing, but skill set is another. I brought up spinning some camel/silk for my daughter who is 15. What I didnt’ say is that I taughter her on a “good” yarn. Now, I don’t mean expensive yarn, I mean well made yarn.  I taught her using Cascade 220, a wool yarn that ranges around $7 a skein (some times less in price). It’s a good work horse yarn, and easy to use, it’s well spun, and is very multipurpose. I also taught her how to use cotton by Lily (Sugar and Cream). I didn’t give her the old standby acrylics until her tension improved, and her understanding of how to manipulate the hook increased, from using cotton which has no stretch to it. That way she started out successfully, and didn’t blame herself for the yarn not working up correctly.

Half of a crocheters confidence issue comes into play when the “wrong” yarn is used for the “right” project. If you are expecting a certain stretch, or drape, or feel, knowing your fibers is beyond important. Sometimes it is you, and your skill level, but more often than not it’s the yarn (or the pattern some times those are off)…Four years ago I created a cute little two page guide to fibers and their best uses (not their only uses but the best uses in general for most people.) It’s very affordable and you can purchase it on Lulu.com as a download, it’s The Secrets of Yarn Fiber Guide.

But the comment was” “Can you give a review or list?”

Answer: Sure I can. I can list all of my favorite yarns and fibers. But you know what, I don’t want you to run out and buy a specific yarn because I said it was Fabulous, only to find out that you can’t stand it. What I can do is let you know which yarns I use, and about what they cost, and why I like them.

1) Anything from Cascade Yarns. From their cotton to their acrylic Cascade yarns are very affordable, running from around $5 a skein to $12 a skein and they always have a good amount of yardage.  Pistazza is my favorite from them, it’s a llama/wool blend and felts up like a dream.

2) Newton’s Yarn Country: I buy their yarn at West Coast shows. I really like their merino sock yarn, but I recently got a really lovely brushed cotton/bamboo blend (over 1400 yds) on sale for $25! I’m currently making a pretty broomstick lace over dress for myself with this yummy stuff!

3) Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice. Ok, this is probably the BEST acrylic yarn I have ever used. I like it because it has a non-scratchy texture and reacts to crochet like wool does. Meaning it has a lot of stretch to it, and can indeed drape! I used the Vanna’s Choice Glamour (sparkly) for a skirt for my daughter and I just adore it! Nice, affordable, around $3-$5 a skein with excellent yardage.

4)  Fiesta yarns “Heaven” it’s a mohair yarn. Not cheap but a nice lace weight. It cost me something like $21 if I remember correctly.

5) I love love love love Dale of Norways “Baby Ull” it’s a sock weight yarn, it’s washable and oooh la la, it crochets up like a dream. This yarn is under $7 a skein and has more than 200 yds  🙂 LOVELY!

See I like wool. You may not. I really am not fond of plant fibers, but I love silk. I don’t buy a lot of silk, and when I do it’s usually either handspun or indie dyer stuff. It’s my treat. Other wise I handspin and dye the silk myself, because it’s such a pleasure.

So, if you like plant fibers and not wool, then don’t use my recommendations for those yarns 🙂

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