cheap yarn love
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  1. #1
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Default cheap yarn love

    Yes, I love cheap yarn and I am not ashamed to admit it.

    I have been doing thinking, way too much thinking, about yarn.

    In many online groups for knitting and crochet there is a fair bit of yarn snobbery. People who buy cheap or moderately priced yarn are looked down upon for being poor, cheap or having bad taste.

    It makes me want to scream. "I can afford to spend $15 for a little ball of yarn. I just don't want to."

    Wool is touted as the best type of yarn to use. Like the only reason you would not use wool yarn is because you are poor, cheap or completely ignorant of what a good quality yarn is. As a side note, vegans often form their seperate knitting or crochet groups - probably because they are sick and tired of people encouraging them to use wool yarn.

    Well wool makes me itch - even the good stuff.

    So I am going back to good old cotton and acrylic. If I really wanted to I could find expensive acrylic. I just don't want to.
    KathyB

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    Registered User JKuhns7448's Avatar
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    I'm definitely with you on this one, Kathy! I love my cotton yarn and since I mostly make things for nieces and nephews, I use a lot of cheap, washable acrylic. And you know what? They love their toys! I did buy some fairly expensive yarn at 80% off, but I don't know what I will do with it,yet. I'm thinking hats and scarves for the older girls this Christmas.

    I just love making kitchen stuff, though. Every one in my family gets potholders and washcloths for Christmas. If I don't make them I get a lot of disappointed looks.

    Jen

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I feel that way sometimes about quilt fabric. I've been in some quilting forums where it's like if you aren't spending $15 a yard on designer name fabrics you aren't considered a good quilter. That somehow those "lesser" store brand fabrics make you a bad person, or that your fabric isn't good enough and neither are you.

    Snobbery is the right word, alright.

    I guess they'd be shocked to find I use generic laundry soap on my quilts too.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I used to quilt and was in a quilting forum for a little bit where the people were very snobby. There was a lady there who did not have much money to quilt because she lived on social security. She admitted that she mostly got her fabric from Walmart or yard sales or where ever she could get it cheap. And the people on the site just made her feel like trash. I quit the site shortly after that.

    I imagine you get supply snobs with almost every type of craft. Recycling crafts can sometimes be an exception because you they are "in" amoung a certain group of the craft population. And it is often assumed (or stated) you are doing it for environmental reasons, not financial reasons.

    Sometimes I feel like the craft world is split between the thrifty crafters and the "only the best for me" crafters.

    A phrase keeps popping into my head: "I can afford to buy a $15 ball of yarn, but I would rather buy more than one ball." I am referring to the small $15 balls of yarn not a big one pound $15 ball of yarn.

    I was poking around on ravelry (a group for knitters and crochers) and they have sub groups for thrifty crafters, people that use dishcloth yarn, people that use acyclic yarn, etc. The group called "I use acryclic yarn and I'm not ashmed to admit it" is much more active than a group of self proclaimed yarn snobs. It warms my heart a little to see that.

    I think cheap/frugal crafters out number the snobs. We just need to not be ashamed to make our voices heard.
    KathyB

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    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    I'm allergic to acrylic. I can't work with it. Even blends make me react. I get disgusted when I go to find a nice yarn and everything is acrylic or acrylic blend. I look at lovely projects made with cheap acrylic yarn and I think, "What a waste of labor. This would have been a much nicer piece if it was made with a better yarn." If you're learning a new technique, making dog toys or something that will be easily destroyed, go ahead and use acrylic. But if you're putting a lot of effort into making something nice, then make the article "collectible" and something a person can treasure and use a nicer yarn.

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    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
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    I use a lot of cheap yarn. I got on a knitting kick making hats. In 2012, I made over 400 hats
    I like yarn. It can be cheap acrylic, wool that I tore a sweater apart to recycle, or pricey yarn that I picked up at a garage sale or thrift store. I really like Bernat yarn. However I cannot afford to pay retail price for it. If it's pricey and I found it for cheap, I buy it

    I crochet, hand knit and machine knit, all self taught.
    I am right handed and knit left handed.

  8. #7
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CookieLee View Post
    I'm allergic to acrylic. I can't work with it. Even blends make me react. I get disgusted when I go to find a nice yarn and everything is acrylic or acrylic blend. I look at lovely projects made with cheap acrylic yarn and I think, "What a waste of labor. This would have been a much nicer piece if it was made with a better yarn." If you're learning a new technique, making dog toys or something that will be easily destroyed, go ahead and use acrylic. But if you're putting a lot of effort into making something nice, then make the article "collectible" and something a person can treasure and use a nicer yarn.
    I am the opposite of you. I am allergic to wool, but not acrylic.

    I have ran into a few low quality acrylic yarns that were a little scratchy, but I am okay with most of them.

    I find that people often make judgements that something is a low quality based on its price. I feel like higher price does not always mean better quality. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it does not. I think each thing should be judged on its individual merits.

    I apply that to yarn the same way I apply that to food and lots of other things I get.

    There is cheap yarn I dislike, but there is also cheap yarn I like. Maybe yarn I like is not the same as nice yarn. Maybe I have crappy taste. But if I like it and it seems like god quality to me that is more important that whether other people think it is nice.

    Having allergies myself, I completely understand you avoiding materials you are allergic to. On the other hand, I have met people who do not have an allegry to acrylic, but will refuse to concider the possibility that any arcylic yarn might be nice.
    KathyB

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    Super Moderator josantoro's Avatar
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    trying to figure out what vegans have against wool.... As far as I know no sheep are killed in its production.

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josantoro View Post
    trying to figure out what vegans have against wool.... As far as I know no sheep are killed in its production.
    I kind of agree with you there. On the other hand I have been on a site where a member said she was vegan and was not comfortable using any animal products. And the response was a large number of people bombarding her with posts about how she should use wool yarn because wool yarn is the best kind of yarn there is. It kind of looked like harassment to me.

    I try to respect other people's choices even if I do not agree with them. I choose to eat meat, but I do not tell vegans they should eat meat.

    I suppose I sympathize with them just a little because I am allergic to wool. And people will still tell me about how wool yarn is the greatest yarn ever even after I have told them it makes me itch.
    KathyB

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Wool makes everyone itch. It's scatchy and almost nobody is used to that in modern fibers. But after you've worn it a while you get used to it. That's not the same as being allergic to wool.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    If I'm making items for children, or homeless -- I like to use Caron's simply soft yarns - bright, cheerful colors, washable, etc.

    If I'm making heirloom type items for adults - then I like bamboo yarns, or corn yarns. . . or alpaca. . . or angora rabbit (I raise angora rabbits and spin my own yarn), etc. Lots of options, lots of price ranges. . .

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    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    Vegans don't like wool because they don't like the idea of "using" an animal for our benefit. In other words, they think the animal's fur should stay on the animal and not be draped over a human's skin. Personally, I struggle with how they reconcile using synthetic fibers that are derived from earth-destroying petroleum products.

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    Super Moderator josantoro's Avatar
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    maybe they like cotton. Although who knows how many critters die when a field is plowed and planted in cotton.

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrary Housewife View Post
    Wool makes everyone itch. It's scatchy and almost nobody is used to that in modern fibers. But after you've worn it a while you get used to it. That's not the same as being allergic to wool.
    Then why is it considered better that acrylic? I have ran across some cheap acrylic that I think is scratchy, but there is other acrylic, that does not feel scratchy. I even found cheap acrylic that is not scratchy like Caron Simply Soft.

    How long do you need to wear wool till you get used to the itch? And do people think it is worth the itchy period? It drives me crazy after a few minutes. But I can crochet with wool and not have my hands bother me, so your theory seems reasonable. I have very sensitive skin, but my hands are not as sensitive as the rest of my body.

    In response to comments about crafting heirloom stuff:

    I have never really crafted anything with the idea of it being an heirloom. I have just never bought into the idea. I am not meaning to put down the idea, or people who buy into it. It just is not the way I think when I craft.

    There is a lot of complex psychological stuff behind the idea and who it appeals to and who it does not. Crafting is not big in my family. I do not have a mom or grandmother or aunt who is into crafting. My son does some crafting. The lady who may one day marry my brother crafts. That is about it. My mom, and others think of making stuff as something you do when you cannot afford to buy stuff. They just do not place the same kind of value on homemade stuff as I do. It annoys me, but there is not anything I can do to change the situation.

    In terms of crafts that will be passed down generations....
    I have an adult child, but I will not be having any grandchildren. It's complicated. I am not looking for sympathy. I am okay with the situation. It is just that there will not be future generations to pass things down to.

    So I craft mostly for my pleasure, and I give things as gifts sometimes. And as for whatever happens to anything I give.... The joy is in the making and in the giving. I do not worry about what happens to them after that.
    KathyB

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    For me, it depends on the article of clothing. I have wool socks that do not itch at all. A scarf that is scratchy in fall, that I get used to after a few weeks of cold weather. I have wool leggings that itch for a little while, but I soon forget I am wearing them. I have a wool shirt that only bothers me on the backs on my hands. I think it highly depends on the quality of the wool and how it's been woven. You can have coarse scratchy cotton and linen too, but generally the finer the fibers are, the better (and more expensive) the garment,and the more comfortable it will be.

    A wool sweater, taken care of, will last forever and look good the entire time. Acrylic pills after just a few wearings. I'm not a knitter, but that's one reason I don't buy synthetic clothing.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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