Thursday, January 10, 2013

Keeping it Simple (and cheap)

some acrylics I bought a year or so ago
If there is one thing that my yarn group has done is opened my eyes to all the wonderful types and variations of yarn and yarn color. I have learned new styles and had my eyes opened to new patterns. I think it was my yarn group that was the real inspiration behind my actual "like" of knitting.

What I also learned is that with new wonderful types and variations of yarn and yarn colors comes the need for budgeting - some people are able to spend 15$ for a ball of yarn and buy 8 for a project.

I am not one of those people.

I wish I had that much to spend on yarn because I guarantee you that I would have a room full of exotic yarny wonder that would shame any local yarn store. I would have it all. But, that's not a reality. The reality is I have 1 hank of alpaca I bought when I went to my first alpaca show and I have a ball of camel that was given to me by a friend. Everything else I have is relatively cheaper yarns.

What I also admit is that sometimes, at yarn group, I feel a bit shamed in pulling out my projects because I'm knitting in a sea of women who have spent quite a pretty penny on the majority of their yarns. Or, at least those are the projects they are bringing (and boy oh boy are those yarns luscious!)

I went last night, after yarn group, and bought some yarn for a new afghan I plan on making (which will be revealed soonish). I ended up leaning towards good ole' Red Heart Super Saver ... why? Because they have made leaps and bounds as far as texture of that yarn since 1975 and because its simply just cheaper than anywhere else (and even then, I got it on sale!). I wasn't able to buy ALL I will need but I got 5 skeins, a good start to my afghan and it will be a while before I buy more (because of the type of project, not the price). Red Heart also tends to not have dye lots which makes it a lot easier to match up yarn color now to yarn color later. NOW - I admit, of the acrylic yarns, Red Heart is not my top, but as far as the colors I was needing - it was the logical place to go.

I'm not exactly sure of where I'm going with this or why I even brought up the topic. My friends from yarn group are not yarn snobs. It all crochets the same (ok, that sounded good in my head but we all know that's not true). I don't know why I sometimes let myself feel inferior due to my budget restrictions - but I can say that I rarely see Red Heart make a showing at yarn group.

Personally, I really like Joann's Sensations yarn and I Love This Yarn (ILTY) brand. Granted, Red Heart does now have Red Heart Love which is very comparable to ILTY.

Are you on an acrylic yarn kinda budget too? Do you actually budget for yarn as part of your monthly expenses? What is your favorite acrylic yarn and what is your favorite organic yarn? Am I the only one that keeps a ball of soft goodness in their yarn room to pet but never crochet/knit into something?


Marsha said...

I am also an acrylic yarn person. Not because of budget (but that is part of it) but because I am allergic to wool as are several people that I knit/crochet for. I love Red Heart for afghans as I think it wears so well. ILTY is top on my list too but it seems to pill more than RH. I am trying out Debbie Norville's Anti Pilling acrylic next. I found it on sale and bought enough to make a nice sweater. But RH has great colors for so many projects as does ILTY but like I said, ILTY seems to pill a bit more.

CrochetHappy said...

I know what you mean, Chris. I've been an acrylic girl all my life due to cost but I recently had a chance to work with a very expensive luxury yarn...and I hated it. To be fair, it hated me too. This "naturally hypoallergenic" hank of goodness triggered an allergic reaction in me like I haven't had in a very long time. And to be honest, I'm not as fond of the color choices available from the natural fibers. I just love my acrylic and I'm gonna be an acrylic girl from now on.
I'm with you about Red Heart gets a bad rap. I would say it totally doesn't deserve it, but I guess with everything there are going to be those that just aren't great...I made a camouflage afghan that I thought would never end. The camo yarn was stiff and scratchy and it didn't soften any after I washed it ..several times! But that's the exception, not the rule. I love my Red Heart.

Cris said...

Organic does not mean hypoallergenic - EESH! I have used some of the naturals before and enjoyed them, but I definitely don't think its logical to not use acrylic because "its cheap" - there are some mighty find acrylics out there! Oh, and I don't buy anything I can't throw in the washer, so even the superwash wools may be wool - but they are wool blends... and blended with good ole acrylic!

Cris said...

We have 1 person allergic to merino in our yarn group and its an understood rule that no projects with merino are brought to yarn group. I think you are right though - ILTY seems to pill more than RH. I wonder if Red Heart Love will do the same - I haven't used that one yet.

Colletta said...

I'm a big Red Heart buyer!

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