Tools of the Trade- Yarn

I’ve decided to do another blog serial to review the goodies I use and where I get them. Your experiences may vary.

YARN!!! Please keep in mind that the main kind of yarn I use is acrylic worsted weight yarn, and that’s what this post is going to cover. I know some people swear against acrylics, but they are what works best for me. Also note that this is all personal opinion, and other people will love or hate the things I hate or love.

Red Heart Super Saver, also known as RHSS. This is the main kind of yarn I use. It’s cheap, it’s readily available (everywhere that sells yarn has this), and it does soften up pretty well in the washer/dryer. There are a TON of colors. A ton.
The biggest problems I have with RHSS are that some of the yarns (especially the variegated) has a waxy feel to it pre-wash, AND the yarns are not consistently thick with each other. The white is always super thick. Always. That’s the thickest yarn they make. The light gray and the baby pink tend to be considerably thinner, which isn’t a problem until you go to change colors on a project. :/ I’ve had to frog half a project because I ran out of one skein (heather gray, incidentally) and when starting the second skein, discovered that the thicknesses were so different that the leg I made out of the new skein was about 20% smaller than the other limbs.

Caron Simply Soft, also known as CSS is also readily available. It’s considerably softer than RHSS, but it’s also considerably thinner. They call it a “light worsted.” They have a good variety of colors, but they are lacking a few (like just orange wtf). It’s what I use to make most of my wearables. I don’t like it, honestly. It always feels limp and floppy, and it is the splittiest yarn I’ve used. Some people love it! All of the colors are evenly thick with each other, though. Hooray!

Bernat Super Value is my favorite yarn to use. It comes in a huge skein like the RHSS. It also has a bunch of groovy colors, is generally the same thickness as the average RHSS (and the thickness is the same between different colors). All of my specific color-match yarns come from Bernat (like the ones for the red panda, and the blue pitbull).
It is a little more spendy than other varieties of yarn, and because I have crappy craft stores locally, I can only order mine online. It is also not as a soft as some of the other yarn brands.

I Love This Yarn is Hobby Lobby’s house brand of yarn. This is the softest acrylic I’ve ever felt, is the same thickness as RHSS and Bernat Super Value, and there are a TON of colors to it. Seriously. So soft.
It’s a little more spendy, though, and can only be found at Hobby Lobby (both in store and online). I’ve heard rumors that they changed the manufacturing process for it too, and the new kind isn’t as soft as the old kind. Hobby Lobby has also had nationwide store-stocking issues, so it can be a little hard to track down.

Herrschners Worsted Weight Yarn is Herrschners.com’s house brand of yarn. It’s… Not worth the price, in my opinion. It’s cheaper than the other yarns I’ve mentioned and also has a lot of great colors, but it also comes in a LOT smaller size of skein. It’s pretty soft and I’m sure the waxy feeling would wash right out. It is a similar thickness to RHSS, Bernat Super Value, and I Love This Yarn. I picked up two different colors, one of them had a slight waxy feel to it and both of them had the yarn flatten out randomly along the skein. I prefer my yarn round. I’ll use them for sure, but I won’t be getting any more.

Willow Wash from Willow Yarns is awesome. It’s super soft, it’s not splitty… The colors that they have are really rich. It’s a really nice yarn.
It’s also a little spendy, comes in a smaller skein, and doesn’t have a large variety of colors. It’s thinner than the RHSS et al.

Those are my experiences. If you have different ones (or different opinions!) please leave a comment!

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2 responses to “Tools of the Trade- Yarn

  1. Glad I’m not the only one to notice the differences between Red Heart colors; no wonder I always want to buy yarn in person rather than online! I love Caron SImply Soft, wish it was thicker and I would use it for ALL THE THINGS, especially the CSS Brites line!

    No Hobby Lobby locally for me, so I have yet to try theirs. Also no luck needing any of the colors the Bernat ones you mentioned comes in locally. My Herrschners colors in the 8 oz look like a kitchen cotton yarn (arg not -quite- thick enough to stuff firm), but the 4 oz ones seem great for thickness.

    I tried Deborah Norville Everyday in a Neon Pink since I had a coupon; reminds me of the CSS but a little less shiny. Would be amazing for non-ami projects.

    What have I learned from buying online? I think I want a WW 4 ply that is recommended for an I hook on the label to be the thickness I want.

    What is my surprise consistent favorite thickness yarn? Lion Brand Fun Yarn. Small skein so not for bigger projects, but some great bright colors and consistent thickness. I keep grabbing it at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet since I don’t see it in regular stock at the big box stores anymore. I’ve also found that if I am making something small, I will horse around with creating a 6-ply from what I have on hand to get the thickness I want, but it is time-consuming to keep pulling pieces apart to not have any waste.

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