Confessions of a Yarn Snob

Here’s the thing: I think wool is the very best thing to knit with, followed by organic cotton.

I think acrylic has its place, and that place is my Aunties’ apartment, with all its little trinkets just so and the dollar they press into your hand when your parents aren’t looking. They were my father’s Aunties, really, my grandfather’s unmarried sisters. And they knitted and crocheted with the most revolting squeaky acrylics you can imagine, and it is just right that they did. Nothing else would have been right, really. But those Aunties are long gone now, even Auntie Ann who we all thought would live forever just to be mean.

I am a yarn snob. My favorite yarn ever is probably a tie between Blue Sky Cotton and Noro Cash Iroha (a wool, cashmere, and silk blend). I horde sock yarn, mostly Joni‘s Whatnot Sock.

Today I bought two balls of yarn to make Sammy a little pair of pants that I saw and fell in love with on Ravelry. I used the yarn that’s called for in the pattern with no hesitation, because (here’s the confession) I have used it several times and I LOVE IT. Lion Brand Cotton-Ease is my secret half-acrylic lover on the side. Andrea and I designed a project that uses it! I have substituted it for other, technically superior yarns! I am a fiend for the stuff.

And now you know.

It doesn’t hurt that it only costs $4 a ball. But I really love it, cost aside.

Since it is still March and I am stubborn, here is a list of projects I have started even though I am still not even halfway done with my sister-in-law’s stole (her birthday was yesterday so it is now officially a Christmas gift):

  • A Better Bucket Hat–so far I’ve only swatched
  • Green Gable– about 1/3 through, considering bust shaping
  • Monkey Socks–still cannot get gauge, looking for 2.5 mm needles
  • Kanoko Pants–cast on, despite promising myself I would not

Sigh. I need to actually finish something, but I keep starting new projects instead.

15 thoughts on “Confessions of a Yarn Snob

  1. Katherine

    March 19, 2008 at 9:27pm

    You only have four project OTN?

    I don’t know if I believe you! ;-)

    I’m afraid of my yarn stash and my project basket. I think I have six projects OTN. Maybe more. I serious case of castonitis.

    Katherine’s last blog post..Top 5 Cartoons

  2. Annika

    March 19, 2008 at 9:30pm

    That is not counting projects I have abandoned. There are, um, a lot of those.

  3. Vicki

    March 19, 2008 at 10:01pm

    I’m no opposed to a blend, but I’m not a fan of 100% acrylics either. Especially when there are so many nice natural yarns that are really affordable (Paton’s Classic Merino, I and my budget salute you!). That being said, my grandmother makes the most beautiful afghans out of Red Heart Super Saver, so go figure.

    Cotton-Ease is lovely; I’ve got a bunch of it, in that purple-blue colour, lurking in my stash just waiting for me to find the right pattern for a Spring cardigan. But I can’t start that until I tackle more UFOs; Ravelry says I’m up to 13, and I know that I have more that I’ve been too embarrassed to cataloged. So I feel your pain.

    Vicki’s last blog post..1 of 13

  4. SilliGirl

    March 20, 2008 at 4:59am

    Is that fisherman’s hat I was admiring made of the cotton-ease? I loved the weight and feel of that yarn, and I am not a lover of either acrylic or cotton (although Michael’s has started carrying some super soft acrylics that don’t feel like plastic. Not that I would know since I never shop there. Um, nope, I ONLY support my LYS.)

    SilliGirl’s last blog post..30!

  5. SemiCrunchyMom

    March 20, 2008 at 5:03am

    I have always found that knitting or crocheting with acrylic yarn makes my hands ache. Beats me why. I admit to having mostly used that stuff to work with, but I will also say that I became a wool convert the first time I used it. So much nicer!

    SemiCrunchyMom’s last blog post..Still not getting it

  6. Annika

    March 20, 2008 at 6:48am

    Silligirl–yes! Isn’t it marvelous? I don’t know how they did it, but it’s got all the best properties of cotton and the best properties of acrylic and as far as I can tell none of the bad of either. That hat is knitted at a slightly loose gauge, which adds to the drape of the fabric, but it’s really good yarn at any gauge.

    I totally shop at Michaels. My LYS doesn’t carry Lion Brand. I am not (very) ashamed.

  7. Lauren

    March 20, 2008 at 9:27am

    I pretty much love the way you wrote that second paragraph.

    Also, I wish I could knit. I can crochet – just straight things, like scarves and blankets – but knitting is beyond me. Which is a real shame, because my mom has roughly fifteen pairs of knitting needles!

  8. Annika

    March 20, 2008 at 9:50am

    Lauren–Thank you! I tried to learn how to knit for 12 years before I learned. (I wasn’t trying the whole time! That would be a crazy learning curve.) I think knitting is something that your brain and hands either “get” or don’t, and someday it will click for you. Try Stitch ‘n Bitch: the Knitter’s Handbook if your library has it. Or come to California and I’ll help you.

  9. Amy

    March 20, 2008 at 12:43pm

    I have a Lion Brand Yarn bag.

    I haven’t knitted anything in a while, nor attempted to. I’ve been reunited with my first love, which is cross-stitch. For the first time ever, I’ve decided to make something for myself, for when I (in theory) finally fix up my room.

    Carry on.

  10. kara marie

    March 20, 2008 at 3:20pm

    *whispers

    I have a secret love for Lion Brand “Homespun” yarn to crochet afghans with.

    There. I said it.

  11. Grandmere

    March 20, 2008 at 4:22pm

    I love wool yarn. I love my family. My family is allergic to wool in any form. Even oils. lotions. or shampoos with lanolin. So I use cotton yarn but I also use acrylic when I want the look of wool and there are some acrylics out there that mimic the look of wool quite well. I use a lot of Red Heart for toys, mittens, scarves and hats that I know the grandchildren will either grow out of or lose. It is inexpensive for those purposes and it washes well. No dye lots wither so I can match things easily if I have to replace one lost mitten or a hat that matches mittens.

    I love to go into my LYS and look at the displays of wool. I don’t even consider using it for myself because no one in the family could come near me! Those of you who can use wool are os very lucky!

    Grandmere’s last blog post..First Day of Spring!

  12. Cazzle

    March 21, 2008 at 7:40am

    See, so far I have only really used acrylic, until recently discovering the joy of cotton. It is only a 60% blend, but it is much softer and nicer to knit with.

    Unfortunately, I am a sucker for the 85p bargain bin at the knitting/sewing stall, and most of my yarn stash seems to come from there.

    I LOVE those pants – moss stitch is my favourite EVER. I told this to my mum, and she said it was always her favourite too! Scary.

    Lastly, I feel ya with the “lots of projects” thing. I currently have two WIPs, and am about to start another. But this will only be a quick one, I promise.

  13. Ren

    March 23, 2008 at 12:19pm

    thanks for the comment on my blog! i happen to be a big fan of cotton-ease, too, especially for baby things since it is machine washable. and the colors are fantastic. and it’s really soft. haha, maybe i’m a big fan. : )

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