Monday, March 28, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week: Day One

Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns. Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

I just learned about Knitting & Crochet Blog Week a couple of weeks ago so this will be my first year participating. I hope you enjoy my commentary.

I am far from an expert on fibers. My yarn experience has been mostly limited to budget yarns. Worsted weight acrylics bought at the local discount store. I have had occasion to sample some of the "luxury" yarns picked up at my old LYS, but my experience with those are quite limited.

Because of this lack of hands on experience I had a difficult time choosing the 2 yarns to discuss. Should I go with one of the Noro? (Which I absolutely LOVE by the way.) Or maybe the much dreaded (too hard to crochet with and better suited to knitting projects) boucle? Or better yet, assess my stash and choose the two yarns I have the most of and use most often? BINGO!

The two yarns that are predominate in my stash are Red Heart Super Saver, RHSS for short, and I Love This Yarn, also known as ILTY. Both are worsted weight acrylic "budget" yarns. The RHSS is best known for its durability and value, while ILTY can attribute its popularity to its softness.

First up is the well known RHSS. I love it for its durability and affordability. I know a lot of people don't like it, but for me it's the obvious choice since my budget is often limited. I do love that it's available nationwide from Walmart and most other major chain craft stores so availability is rarely a problem. I've heard many people complain about its scratchiness but a quick trip through the washer and dryer will take care of that nicely. But most importantly is its durability.

Below is the throw I made for Cyndi about 7 years ago. It has suffered the usual abuse but is still hanging in there. It's just a regular 5 row granny made with RHSS in black, Plum Pudding, and Banana Berry.

And this is a throw I made for myself around the same time as the above. It's the Traditional Classic Afghan. The pattern originally called for TLC Essentials, but I used RHSS in its place. The afghan has held up exceptionally well through nightly use and multiple washings. It's one of my favorites.

ILTY is the Hobby Lobby store brand of yarn. It costs a little more than Red Heart, and has a tad less yardage, but what it lacks in frugality, it totally makes up for it with softness. Hobby Lobby is not yet a national chain, but they are ever expanding and they do sell from their website I wish I could attest to its durability, but the fact is that I've only been working with it for a few years and so far haven't held onto anything that I've made with it long enough to see how it wears. I love to use it for charity items, especially scarves as shown below.

I did recently complete the Regency Square afghan for myself with ILTY in Light Sage. We'll see how it holds up over time, but for now it is very soft and snuggly to cover up with.

Just as a bonus, and for contrast, I thought I'd throw in a commentary about another yarn that is (unfortunately) abundant in my stash. It's is at the opposite end of my "rate-o-meter"... It's Boucle. Doesn't matter which brand it is, it's all hard to work with in my book. I went crazy buying a bunch of it several years ago when I was still building my stash, and those same skeins are still sitting here taunting me. I do like the colors, and I've used a few to make shawls, but for the most part it's a yarn I avoid. It's hard to work with, the little nubs make it hard to form the stitches and nearly impossible to frog. I've had minor success with using a larger hook with it, but it's still not a yarn I look forward to using.

Shawl made with Rainbow Boucle by Sensations from Joann's. Pattern is Silver Shawl from Lion Brand.



  1. Thanks for posting this. I clicked on your link, got the info, got hooked up on Ravelry and have posted.

    Who knew there were so many yarn-y type blogs out there?

    Renee :)

  2. We recently got our first Hobby Lobby here and I have fallen in love with ILTY.

    Oh, and your Regency Square afghan is AMAZING.

  3. Thanks for the heads up about Knitting and Crochet Blog week! And I agree with Julie, your Regency Square afghan is simply amazing!


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