Downsides of acrylic?

Hi - Just wondering about acrylic. I’m starting a baby sweater and I think I want to use acrylic for it (the Vanna brand). All wool and alpaca itch me, so I assume that my DS would find them itchy as well. Acrylic is inespensive and non-itchy - so why do all the knitters that I talk to turn their nose up at it? Thanks!

To be honest the Caron Simply Soft feels much better than the Vanna stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the Vanna stuff but CSS feels much better.

There are a number of acrylics made in “baby” textures that I think are quite good. Even Lion Brand, which I normally hate, has a very nice baby acrylic.

I think acrylic is better for a baby. No allergy issues and it’s washable.

I’m not a fan of Vanna’s regular yarn for babies (haven’t felt her new baby yarn line). But, as Mason noted, the CSS is super soft and there are many other acrylics that are great for babies.

I think a lot of knitters turn their nose up at acrylic because it used to be real yucky, there weren’t too many choices and it felt like asbestos. Now they are so many varieties of acrylics and they’ve made them softer so people turn thier nose less and less these days. I must admit to be a yarn snob once. But now there are all kinds of yummy acrylics. Just go to yarndex dot com and check it out. THere’s lots of nice baby yarns that are acrylic with great colors.

A lot of people are into natural fibers and as Femmy said the old acrylics were nasty. Acrylic also doesn’t breathe so some some people get clammy in it. I’ve made lots of baby clothes from acrylic and think it’s fine for that. They don’t recommend it for sleepwear though because it melts.

When I was young and I first learned to knit I use a horrible acrylic. It was squeaky and sweaty to knit with. I soon began to prefer natural fibers.

I’ve seen lots of lovely sort baby acrylic yarns. I think they’re great to us in children’s projects as they’re easier to care for if you need to wash things often!

Hi – Yarn Snob here :aww:

I think the beauty of today’s acrylics are that some are lovely and you can use them if you find wool itchy.

I don’t use them mostly because I can use wool and alpaca without the itch factor and wool is warmer than acrylic in a sweater.

Do you need to use something that is completely acrylic or would a little wool be ok? I like the Encore wool because it is a blend yet still has some of wool’s nice warmth and feel for a decent price.

Acrylic has greatly improved but I find that once it’s been washed a few times, it pills. I’ve used the Vanna yarns. I love cotton for babies, cotton/acrylic blends are lighter weight and don’t pill as much.

I agree, Vanna’s Choice, imho, is not soft enough for babies. I agree about Encore -it’s a nice compromise if you want wool for warmth but want the ease of acrylic.

I really think Lion Brand Cotton Ease would be a lovely choice- it is very soft and washes very well, too~just throw it in with everything else! My DD has a beautiful sweater my DMom made for her from it and its soft and cooshy and WONDERFUL to the touch :slight_smile:

In fact, I want one too :teehee:

I also like Caron Simply Soft. There are lots of nice acylics these days (I don’t care for either Vanna’s Choice OR I Love This Yarn).
Remember that you cannot really block acrylic well. If something curls, it will stay curled.

My mom has issues with wearing wool and likes to wear socks to bed in the winter as her feet get cold. This has presented us with a bit of a problem.

I have used just about every acrylic on the market and REALLY REALLY REALLY like Caron Simply Soft and I even like the NEW Caron Simply Soft Eco. It knits up like a dream and is very soft on the foot.

Bernat Baby is also a good soft yarn and I knitted my 3 yr old a shrug type sweater with it and its held up really well.

I honestly don’t mind using acrylics. I LOVE Caron Simply Soft, and Simply Soft Eco. I also like I love this yarn. Sometimes acrylics are just better for people on a budget, too, IMHO.

I usually knit strictly with acrylics because of how cheap they are. I usually stick to CSS though, because of the softness and the drape usually turns out very well with what I’ve knit.

Some of the acrylics out there, like Red Heart Super Saver, are just too rough to work with unless you’re starting out. You usually can’t block them or even iron them. I often like the blends though, typically easier to wear since acrylic doesn’t absorb liquid.

For baby clothes, it’s good though. There’s PLENTY of acrylic baby yarns out there. Some of them are soft, and others I wouldn’t want to touch a baby. Like someone else said, it’s easily washable if something gets spilled on it. You wouldn’t really have to worry about allergies either.

I won’t argue with you that Red Heart is pretty rough to work with, but did want to add that after the first wash, it’s hard to believe it’s the same yarn. I use RHSS for baby blankets, and I always wash and dry them before giving them away…and after they’ve been washed/dried, they’re very cuddly.
It seems for some reason the RHSS tends to have more sizing in it than other acrylics, but once the sizing is washed out, it’s an awesome, durable yarn.

I’ll second that. I used RHSS to make my doctor who scarf because it was a lot cheaper than the others and once I washed it, it was so yummie soft, I couldn’t believe it was the same stuff. So if you can deal with the roughness while knitting it, then you’re golden.

Mostly I prefer to use acryllic because I’m poor, but if I branch out I usually grab I Love This Cotton at hobby lobby. I find its a lot eaiser to knit with than normal cotten and it feels a heck of a lot softer.

Thanks for all the great info! Looks like Caron simply soft is the way to go. However, I bought the Vanna yarn because I like the colors that it comes in. I went back to check the colors of CSS and there weren’t many to choose from at my Joann’s. I would order online, but we’re going on a trip very soon and I would like to bring this project with me. I’m planning on the baby wearing the sweater over a onesie, so I’m not too concerned that it won’t be super soft (as long as it’s not itchy). My only concern is that the Vanna yarn won’t drape very well. Thanks again to everyone!

If you have the same sales at HL as we have here, I love my cotton is on sale this week at HL for $1.99. I just picked some up after work today.

Superwash wool shouldn’t be itchy at all to you. The scales on the wool that make it itch are removed. It breathes so much better and is more comfortable.

Hmm … never tried superwash wool! Thanks for the tip!

I think Vanna’s Choice is plenty soft but you’re right, it won’t have the drape Simply Soft does. I was going to make a poncho out of Vanna’s and after I started it I realized it was going to feel more like wearing a blanket (it was thick and heavy) soooooo I tore it out, purchased some more Vanna’s, and now it WILL be a blanket. :wink: IMO, acrylic is perfect for kids clothing, toys, blankies, what not. I wouldn’t buy pricey yarn for them, they just throw up on it anyway. :roflhard: