Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yarn Happy...

Yarn Happy...

Oh my... I love a new pile of yarn...
It just brightens my day and makes me want to create...
more granny goodness...

Yarn Happy...

On the subject...
Do you call yarn, yarn...

I have always called it wool...
up until I started to blog and realised that there is a bit of confusion when you just say wool...
maybe it is something that has been just a family thing
or maybe an Australian thing...I don't know...

Whether acrylic, wool, alpaca, bamboo or soy blend...it was all wool to me...

Yarn Happy...

Random thought...

If acrylic was called something else
would it get such a bad rap?

I use a lot of acrylic because it can "hold" a design better...
Don't get me wrong....I love wool...
But some patterns do call for a firmer approach...

The lovely Granny Chevrons Blankets are made using acrylic
and look amazing...
But the minute you say they are acrylic it seems to devalue them...

If they were made from wool...
it would send the price through the roof...
Mainly due to the fact that it takes 3 balls of wool to match the same quantity of acrylic...
That and the price per ball of wool begin dearer 
puts the cost on some "Granny Goodness" 
unrealistic...

What are your thoughts...

Do you prefer to buy something made from a natural product?

Have you not purchased something in wool because the price is to high
even thou you can see that it costs that much to buy the materials and then make the item?

Is wool readily available and inexpensive where you live
or is another yarn like cotton in abundant supply?

Do you like the fact that acrylic is easy care...and you buy on the "wow" factor?

Much to ponder...
Till next post...and random thoughts...
Stay safe...

48 comments:

Hen said...

I like wool, I think it's lovely to wear and it feels nice in your hands to work with. Cotton can be more tricky if it splits but yes, I like to use natural fibres. I really don't like acrylic, I'm afraid, it feels terrible. I know wool is expensive but I think if you're putting all the effort into making something, I'd rather pay the extra for wool/cotton/merino or the like. I never buy acrylic yarn and only occasionally make an exception to buy something made from it if it's vintage.

Emalee said...

I love using acrylic, I only use wool for things like slouchy beanies and it 'hangs' - in other words it doesn't hold stiffness like acrylic. I even use acrylic for scarves and mittens. But that's my preference. I say wool as well - I think it's an Aussie thing, but since you-tubing, blogging and ravelry patterns I've been calling it yarn, and then my friends poke fun at me for talking like an American. LOL

Hazel said...

Up till recently I always used the term wool for everything like yourself. I use yarn now as there can be a confusion with what is wool and what is not. So I use yarn loosely. I am not an acrylic snob. I love acrylic. It is cheap and cheerful, easy to wash and does the job. I am using some super posh stuff as well though - cashmerino, silk. Oooooohhh it is lovely - no doubt. But the cost is astronomical so it will be a one off. I like a mixture. x

moleymakes said...

I am by no means a yarn snob. I do prefer working with wool and other natural fibres, but at the same time I do have to look at costs when making things. If I'm making something small like a scarf or a shawl then I will stump up for something extra nice.

For a larger garment then I tend to go for an acrylic with wool. The garment works out cheaper to make and you get the best of both worlds in terms of easy wash and some warmth.

For crochet blankets, amigurummi and anything to accessorize the home then you can't beat acrylic. I do feel that acrylic does have its uses and there are some acrylics out there that are super soft. Then again, there are still some acrylics that set my teeth on edge, squeak, squeak ;)

Happy in red said...

I do love wool, but then I only like to use it for things I wear. For bigger projects I also like to use acrylic as it's easy to use. I am also a big fan of cotton for small stuff like flowers and butterflies or bags. And on the matter of bags... the one you are holding... OMG, that's just too cute.
Esther.

Jodie said...

I refer to it all as 'wool', maybe it is an aussie thing. don't know, but I know what you mean.

Jane said...

Have always considered yarn to be either and english or an american expression, here in ireland a yarn is a tall tale, as in telling yarns, acrylic,mohair, cotton, its all called wool here, love your blog, I learned to crochet from my friends granny who supplemented her income by holding crochet classes, I loved the bowls she croched , beautiful white lace with swan heads , divine, your blog is so beautiful, happy crocheting

MeMe Rose said...

Hi, I'm from the UK and up until I started blogging I called all yarn "wool". I learnt to crochet last November and I have only used acrylic so far. I like the colour choices and the Stylecraft brand I use is soft and very reasonable to buy. Having made a couple of blankets so far, I am very happy with acrylic. I would like to make a scarf for myself and would consider a natural fibre for something like that.

Victoria said...

I used to call all yarn 'wool, and I always refer to the yarn shop as the 'wool shop'. There's no point making things out of pure wool in my house as we have clothes moths and they LOVE wool!

Your flower hexagons are beautiful.

andrea creates said...

here in the states, it's all yarn,then you specify what it's made from...wool,acrylic etc.
i love to use wool myself but i also use acrylics-and cotton.just depends on what i'm making. all types are readily available here tho' acrylic is far less expensive than natural fibers usually.

liz said...

Hi Michelle,
I used to call all 'yarn' wool too until I realised the difference! I'm afraid I don't like acrylic at all, it's too squeaky and I do tend to go for the natural blends.

About your socks, I came across the book in my local bookstore, by chance. They are made of linen yarn. I don't know if this will help!

Love the flower. Liz xxx

Debi Y. said...

I call it yarn - and I always use acrylic unless I crochet a dishcloth - I use cotton for those.

There are lots of different brands of acrylic yarn and the quality of each is different - you try them and then decide which is your favorite. Mine is Red Heart Super Saver. The color range is excellent. Some don't like it because a few colors can be rough, but I've found that a quick run through the dryer with a damp towel will solve that problem. Comes out soft as butter. :)

blueberries in the fields said...

i am a wool lover. i love touching the fiber, knitting mittens by the dozen. knitting with wool is pure joy. I never realy liked acrylic up until i learned to crochet. i made some fabulous granny stripes blankets and they feel so soft and cuddly. ^_^ i would use acrylic for easy care projects, but i prefer wool for wearables. by the way, your blog is absolutely lovely.

Valéria said...

olá!!!
Aqui no Brasil usamos muito acrílico e não temos problemas com isso,temos uma infinita variedade de fios!!!
Já trabalhei com alguns fios naturais e mesmo assim prefiro o acrílico,minhas clientes não se importam se as peças que eu faço é de acrílico.

Aisyah Helga said...

I call yarn, yarn. Acrylic yarns are readily available here so that's what I use. They're colorful, easy to care for and cheap. I do use wool and cotton yarns sometimes but only for small projects as they're way too expensive here!

shend said...

I realized when starting to read crochet blogs like yours and Crochet with Raymond that "wool" was used for all yarn--didn't confuse me. I rather like the term better then "yarn". I can go along with the picture easily and with no problem understanding different cultural styles. I think Americans love to learn, especially about people in other countries and their ways of expressing themselves. I say stick to YOUR ways and don't conform. Yeah, be yourself. If I ever start to blog I am going to call it "wool".

Sandy said...

Here is The States it's yarn with wool being a fiber type of yarn like cotton or acrylic. It was confusing for me when I started blogging and thought everyone was using wool all the time for their yarn projects until I finally realized some countries call yarn "wool". LOL!

I've never crocheted with wool...so far just acrylic and cotton. There are lovely yarns out there that just cost more money than I want to spend...at least for now as a beginner crocheter. I've found some acrylics that are so soft and make lovely throws.

I just wish it was easier to get the colors that I want. I don't live by the Hobby Lobbys and the Michaels nearby doesn't always have the selection I am interested in. I'm thinking of crocheting a Christmas throw next in shades of red, green and white. Happy Crocheting!

Susan Being Snippy said...

I have been wondering about this same subject myself! I do call it yarn, all of it, and wool in all its variations is very expensive on the West Coast of Canada. One of the things I am discovering is that it all depends upon the processing. There are still some wools that are unwearable because of the "itch" factor and those who are allergic to it, like my hubby, so synthetic yarns are the ONLY way to go for things for him or near him. If I find wool at the thrift stores, I will buy it and make things to go in my etsy shop. I do prefer some of the new acrylics tho, they are very soft and smooth and the threads are very consistent, no thick or thin spots. Acrylic stays bright alot longer, i think. I think I prefer acrylic. Cotton, I use very rarely, so don't have an opinion on it... Oh yeah, wool, attracts those little moths that can be a nuisance if they find the WOOL drawer..

Kara said...

I'm Canadian, and I say wool for everything. I rarely use true wool because it makes my hands itch, and it's so expensive, when you can find it. I use almost 100% acrylic. I find it has better colours, and just looks nicer!

Check out my blog:

http://ayearofchange2011.blogspot.com

Cortney said...

Another comment from the states, I too call it all yarn but specify what type. I use everything but tend to stick to acrylics, I am a bit of a snob about what brands I'll use though. Certain brands of acrylic are so soft you'd never know and some I would force on an enemy lol. I use cotton quite a bit but don't use 100% wool often. I do like a good blend though, usually cheaper and still feels and looks good.

gemmipop said...

I always said wool, but now I say yarn. It is important for me to make the differentiation because of having my stall where customers need to know what things are made of. But it's always "the wool shop"!
As far as acrylic goes, I love it! Fantastic colours and readily available! I just like to make things, and if I bought only expensive yarn then I couldn't make as much! Although it is lovely to get some nice cotton... Love the hexagons by the way!

Itchin' Stitchin' said...

I've always called it yarn but I live in the states.
Wool to me sounds itchy but I wouldn't change the way anyone else talks from another country. I often wish for a cool English accent or a southern United States Twang.
I'm a new crocheter so I have not bought the good stuff yet. I look more for colors and the feel of the yarn. Price is a big factor too .. is it bad to say I don't really look to see what kind cotton, acrylic, or wool that I am using.

Penelope said...

I was brought up in South Africa and I have always said wool until I started blogging and calling it yarn too. I tend to use both words, the word yarn seems to have a sort of crafty sophistication about it. I hae had some ladies in my LYS look funnily a me when I said wool! I like Stylecraft acrylic here in the UK but do spend a lot of money on natural wool too. I used t be a "yarn snob" ad wouldn't be seen dead buying acrylic but my purse soon told me that being a snob was just not cool :0) I do however hate squeeky acrylic yarn... makes me shiver!
Loving your african bouquet xox

Pammy Sue said...

Yarn is "yarn" around these parts, Texas, USA. I mostly hear people from other countries -- mostly EU folks -- call it wool. Wool is available here but not as abundantly or cheaply as acrylic. I like acrylic because there are so many more choices of color and it's easy machine wash and dry if you want. There is a lot of cotton around here, but I don't like to crochet with most cotton unless it's softer baby cotton yarn. It doesn't slide and flow off the hooks like acrylic. It kind of gives me that squeeky sound that makes me shiver.

Wendy said...

I have always called yarn "wool" and most people I know still would. Until I picked up knitting again, I didn't even know that "wool" was made from different things.

I work in the plastics industry. In my industry acrylic is the bad boy of plastics, the classiest, most expensive, nicest looking material. I think that puts a different spin on it for me, I have no problem using it. it's cheaper and has more colours

Catherine said...

I always said wool but since I have been blogging the word "yarn" is occasionally used! For me, being Irish, a good yarn applies more to my talking skills than wool! Cx

Maria said...

I always used the term wool until I started blogging. Mind you, by preference I only use wool. Anything with acrylic (and mohair)feels a little harsh to me when I work with it. But wool or cotton are so soft for me (except Noro). I buy through Bendigo Woollen Mills and the costs work out nearly the same as good acrylic, and I get to buy Australian, not an overseas mix

liss said...

Interesting topic, I'm an Aussie who says wool for everything wool/yarn related:)Something I've observed and found interesting is how mostly it seems that American knitters tend not to say 'knitted' just 'knit' - for past tense.-Not a criticism just something I've noticed and wondered about... the English language is a many and varied thing, it's these little differences that make sharing online more interesting I think. Wonder if we'll all change our ways or keep our quirks in the long term?

Kristen said...

Interesting question! If I'm going to wear it, it has to be wool, and I don't compromise on that for anything. If it's a granny goodness blanket or cushion cover or potholder, I buy purely for weight and color.

tintocktap said...

I completely agree with your acrylic/wool thing! Sometimes I think it's just snobbery! And I also wonder about those people who always crochet with expensive wooly yarn. Anyway, I have too big a stash of random balls of acrylic to ignore it.

Suze said...

I have begun to differentiate but this Aussie girl belongs to the wool club too.

I have made things in acrylic. I found out the hard way that my son can destroy a pullover or anything acrylic in less than a day. those items were made with the best of intentions. It was false economy. It was a sad thing as acrylic almost makes my teeth hurt. I truly dislike the feel of most of them.

I guess I have become a wool snob. I try to use natural fibres only. It is frighteningly expensive so I shop hard and often find reasonable buys. I recently gave a mum to be a colourful blanket and decided to calculate the cost. That is now my little secret.

Yarn, needles and a cup of coffee... said...

Hi! I know what you mean by acrylic somehow devalueing the item. It would be lovely to just use natural fibres but I definitely can't afford that. I only use pure wool for smaller, one skein projects. Acrylic is not just cheaper but much easier to care for too, no need for handwashing for example.
P.S. I love your african flower hexagons!

MARİFETANE said...

Güzel bir hafta sonu diliyorum arkadaşıma sevgiler..

"Never Knew" said...

I think it's an Australian thing, Michelle: I always called all yarn "wool" until I got addicted to crochet. Then I discovered that most "wool" was not, in fact, wool, but other fibres. I rarely use 100% wool because it is just too warm for us up here in North Queensland. I use acrylic a lot. I wish 100% cotton in 8ply or 10ply was easier to find up here.

janjan said...

It could be a pommy thing to say 'Wool', which encompasses all yarn no matter wether its the 'real' thing or synthetic.
I always used to say I was going to the wool shop, never the yarn shop.
Now I always say Yarn, we have such choice now - bamboo, soy, cotton, sari silk and common or garden wools.
Some acrylics are hard and feel course to the touch, other el cheapo ones work up really soft and drape well. Big W's Soft 8 ply is a favourite of mine, its reasonably priced though limited in colours.
Big W also does a good range of Seans Sheep wool, I went mad and bought up heaps when it was just under $2 a ball, and theres another thing - I have always said ball even though they are quite obviously not balls. I found gorgeous soft yarn at the reject shop the other day, its worked up really nice so I went anbd bought more in a pink colour and it definately did not work up as nice as the lavender colour.
Now, I vowed after making at least 3 grannys a year I would not make another, but I saw those african flowers and I have to go out and buy more yarn, probably acrylic, and I will probably have to call in at the cake shop as well.
Jan

charami said...

In Dutch all yarn is called "wol", which would translate to wool ;). We don't have a word that means "yarn", except perhapes "garen", but that is more used for embroidery floss...
So yeah, all yarn is wool to me ;). Except cotton, that's "katoen".
/ end the language lesson ;)

I mostly use acrylics, because they are widely available around here in a range of colours for a very cheap price. I find wool often too expensive...

rhonda jean said...

I don't like the feel of acrylic and it doesn't hold the heat in. When I need something yo be warm and cosy, I use pure wool, if I need wonderful colours I go for cotton.

J A C Q U E L I N E said...

I like to use acrylic when I am trying a pattern for the first time. That way if I hate it or I decide that to make it ever again. I did not waste expensive yarn. When I make for babies I try to use natural fibers. I hope that one day I have sales through the roof and can afford to make all my products with "luxury" yarns.

Pearly Queen said...

I think it's a 'Horses for Courses' thing. There are some yarns (I used to call everything 'wool' too, once upon a time) that are just better for some things. For example, fine cotton for doilies - can't see those in acrylic! Also cotton gives better definition for crochet, I think, but it does tend to be expensive - I gather there was a poor cotton harvest a year or two ago. At least you don't get a poor acrylic harvest.
Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Acrylic, I think, is a generic name defined by Wikipedia as...
Chemical compounds that contain the acryl group derived from acrylic acid
...and there are other names for the same stuff - such as polyester, which we don't seem to mind as much!

Have a look here

Miss Prudence said...

I agree with you Michelle, acrylic for things like cushions, granny rugs - are often better in acrylic for liek you said holding shape - also wearing better, not going shaggy or getting that felted effect from friction of use...I also don't mind crepe for a some projects it holds shape wonderfully and wears amazingly well.

Carole said...

I've made some lovely items with acrylic - the colours are lovely and as they are for my children I know they will stand up to the washing they need. I've also used cotton for bags as it's less stretchy and holds the shape better and again you can get some really strong vivd colours in cotton.

I do like natural fibres but tend to stick to them for things that are worn rather than for the home.

I don't think I could limit myself to only using natural fibres for my projects - too expensive for one and harder to look after too.

Stylecraft Special DK is the best acrylic I've used so far, simply lovely to work with :)

I'm loving your african flowers too!

Floortje said...

I almost always use 100% cotton, the one with the glossy finish. It's not because of the warm climate I live in, it's the brightness of the colours, the fact that is does not become fluffy.... I tried acrylic recently and I honestly do not want to 'look down' on it, but it just doesn't work like cotton does... It's becoming very hard to get my favourite cotton yarn over here though.
I love the bright colours you used for your african flowers! But I have to control myself....working on too many different projects at the moment! X from Spain, Floortje

xx home bird xx said...

I've always called it wool, whether it's cotton, wool or acrylic. Trying to call it yarn in blogland but I always feel a bit silly saying it. Those (african?) flower squares are GORGE. Very pretty.
Nicki xx

Becks said...

I always used to say wool, or the wool shop, as did virtually everyone I know in real life (in the UK) but since blogging I have reminded myself to say yarn unless specifying the actual fibre ie bamboo, acrylic, wool, etc. To me yarn sounds like it is referring to the cheaper fiblres lol. Personally I prefer to use wool, merino, occasinally bamboo but for blankets or bags I'm happy to use a high mix or full acrylic yarn for bags, throws etc.

Leah said...

I absolutely love your blog! Like you I call all yarn wool so perhaps it's a southern hemisphere thing? And I agree with you about acrylic. There is definitely a place for it, and cost wise it's brilliant. I recently made some gorgeous woollen cushion covers and they pilled almost immediately which broke my heart. Now that wouldn't have happened with good old acrylic. Really love your sock too. Hope to see the other one soon! Have a fab week.

Kylie said...

In New Zealand I've always called it wool as well, and have only recently started referring to it all as "yarn".

I prefer wool, but the price of it means I'm using more and more acrylic. I'm not fond of the feel of it though, I really do prefer pure wool.

Sara said...

I do call yarn yarn... I'm using acrylic for may granny square blanket and will probably continue to use in on all my future blankets. I've found one that is quite soft and with little people in the house I want them to be washing machine friendly. Cotton seems to be my other favorite fiber. Seems to work well on bags and other small projects. There is no local yarn shop in my town so I usually shop at big box stores and really don't like the wool found there. These will be perfect for your class and the color scrumptious!

Chloe said...

I have always said wool, however since starting a blog and YouTube I have started saying yarn, and also explaining to my mum what 'plarn' is, plastic wool just doesn't make sense... but as I am British, I just sound really stupid saying yarn, because it naturally comes out as yaaan. I don't like saying it, but I need to. I also never say skein, because I don't know how to. It is a ball whether ball shaped or not.