I’m thinking of knitting a sweater soon once my winter break from college starts. I’m wondering on what type of yarn I should use. I don’t like wool (it’s itchy) so I was thinking of doing acrylic. I’m a relatively new knitter so I’ve only ever used acrylic before but it seems that more experienced knitters look down on acrylic. I was thinking of using Caron Simply Soft. Would this be a good choice? Any suggestions for other worsted weight yarns/ different fibers that come in a nice emerald green color, but are good for a college student on a budget and easy to care for?
Acrylic is a perfectly fine choice especially if you don’t like the feel of wool.
I think that many knitters prefer the look and feel of wool not the least for its ability to hold up over time. That doesn’t mean that acrylic isn’t perfectly suited to lovely knit items. Caron Simply Soft is a wonderful choice which I like, too. Plymouth Encore and Cascade Pacific are lovely wool/acrylic blends.
The only reason I stick to wool is because acrylic makes me feel too hot. But there are some beautiful acrylic yarns, so go with what you feel best in.
You should use WOOL! Wool is wonderful in every way! Wear a long-sleeved cotton T-shirt under it! You won’t have any itching. It will be an heirloom that you can pass down to your children! It’s a natural product, and it comes in many different colors and textures! Try a wool/silk blend for a higher quality sweater or a bulky wool for a quick-knit sweater. Anything less than wool and you will regret it!
Cotton is very soft and comfortable against the skin and ranges from very inexpensive to pricey depending on the type and brand, but tends to be among the more affordable fibers. Cotton can be processed and spun a lot of different ways to make yarns with different properties and feel. Almost all are machine washable and easy to care for; some are more durable than others. It doesnt insulate as well as wool but can still be a warm but breathable layer for cooler weather or indoor wear. I’ve owned a couple of very nice cotton sweaters that lasted years.
IMHO acrylic has properties that make it a poor substitute for animal fibers, and while it is affordable and easy to clean, the environmental impacts of its manufacture, and laundering (when “micro-beads” of plastic are released each time from the fibers into the graywater or sewage), are also problematic. (I have used it occasionally, but its never my first choice…)
Thanks for the great reminder of why Acrylic is not nice to knit with other than it really doesn’t last or wear well for a long time like wool or cotton does.
Thanks for the suggestion! I was thinking cotton but wasn’t sure about it. I will definitely look into it!
I have made my infant son a couple cardigans. So far they wash and wear nicely. We just avoid washing/tumble-drying them with anything with buckles/zippers etc on it or put them in a mesh bag first—otherwise, no special care.
One thing I have learned about cotton tho is that ribbing doesnt work very well for stretchy cuffs, etc.—it stretches, but doesnt spring back like wool ribbing so it just gets kind of weird. I’ve been trying garter st for cuffs, hat-brims, etc which I think works and looks a little better. exhibit A: the hat I’m wearing now:
I took up knitting again after a 35 year hiatus and chose acrylic for its washability when knitting my sweater. I also figured it would be cheaper if I didn’t like how it turned out, or if my diet was successful and the sweater was suddenly too large. I tried I Love This Yarn worsted weight from Hobby Lobby, and the sweater came out great. Not only that, but the members of my knitting group all remarked on how soft it is. It was easy to knit with, too.
I am using wool blends for socks, cotton for dishcloths, and am getting ready to try alpaca for a sweater, but none of this has made me think ill of acrylic. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for a future project if I deemed it suitable.
It’s all your personal preference. Caron Simply Soft is nice. However, I’ve noticed that some yarn labels say it’s a category 4 worsted weight, but it’s awfully thin compared to other worsted weights. Your sweater may end up too small. Caron SS, to me, is more like a #3 sport weight. I would look for a sweater pattern for that weight. The patterns on Ravelry have a filter where you can search for patterns by yarn weight and preferred needle size. A lot of your yarn choices depend on climate and personal life style. If you just hop from car to house and vice versa, acrylic is fine. If you are an outdoor person, shovel a lot of snow, or live in the Frozen Tundra of Wisconsin where it gets -40 like I do, you need 100% wool. Wool is fairly snow/water repellent and stays warm even when wet.
Caron simply soft is a nice acrylic yarn. It comes in worsted and dk weight, though the dk can be a little harder to find, I think. Premier everyday is also soft and tends to split less than caron. Just make sure that if you are using acrylic that you either handwash or wash in cooler water and low heat dry. Acrylic can become rough or scratchy if you overheat it when washing. Cottons also a good choice, and the Peaches and Cream brand sells some of their colors in larger sized skeins–a couple of them would probably make a decent sweater.