I spent about an hour standing in the craft store Saturday staring at a wall of yarn in the coolest muted tones and edgy colors ... a palette I would have murdered for (with my bare hands) years ago. Seriously. I'm especially impressed with the acrylic selection. Vanna's Choice, Cotton Ease (which also has great labels), and Red Heart Soft are all being made in totally amazing colors.
Back in the 90s when I was crocheting ALL THE TIME, there wasn't a lot to choose from if you were making $10 an hour in San Francisco and wanted muted, edgy colors. OK, there was *nothing* to choose from. I used Red Heart Super Saver to make tons of blankets and hats because that's all I could afford. Most were studies in eye-popping brightness.
There was one granny square blanket in particular that I made in variegated rainbow, bright purple, yellow, green, etc., that would make your eyes bleed. I thought I was going to have to keep that one for myself, but one of my friends surprised me by asking for it when it was finished.
I did manage to make a tasteful blanket out of Red Heart for my little sister's wedding present. I'm working on getting pictures of it to show you. It's a king-sized blanket in black granny squares with pastel flower centers. I worked on it for months, and I really loved how it turned out. I don't have a picture because I made it before the days of digital cameras ... oh, how did we ever manage then?
Eventually I started buying super soft TLC (which isn't so soft anymore ... apparently they changed manufacturers) and Caron's Simply Soft, but they were more expensive, so I could only afford to make throw blankets for people.
I even splurged on some Lion Brand Microspun for hats and scarves for Andrew and I when we first met. The Microspun was worth every penny. It's super soft and still hasn't pilled years later. But, again, they make it in eye-popping bright colors.
I've always been pretty tight with my cash, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of habit. I remember when Lion Brand came out with Homespun. I seriously loved that yarn. I couldn't afford it, but I would visit it at the store and pet the skeins. I never did buy any, but I did send away for the color cards.
I also got the Red Heart color cards, as you see above. I was holding out hope that they had cool colors that just weren't in the store. No such luck.
It wasn't until I started making handbags in cotton that I worked with yarn that wasn't acrylic. You know what's funny? I never worked with anything but worsted weight yarn until recently, too. I kinda felt like the thinner yarn was a scam to sell you less yarn for more money.
I've been learning a lot lately. :) There's a bunch of great info about yarn weights and hook sizes at Yarn Standards
. I also just discovered Yarndex
where you can search for yarn by weight, fiber, etc. On a recent craft shopping trip, I bought a skein of yarn (or crochet cotton) in every size they had, just so I'd have reference material at home.
I couldn't find any Super Fine #1 yarn at the craft store, but I picked up 5 skeins of this Light #3 yarn, Paton's Brilliant in Mocha, thinking I'd make the Five O'Clock Tank from Crochet Me with it. I did a gauge swatch and I was so excited to find out it will work for the Icelandic Turtleneck! Yay!
Unfortunately, they only had 5 skeins in this color (at half price!!) and I'll need about double that for the turtleneck. I will probably end up just ordering a new lot from somewhere and taking back 4 of the skeins. It's so amazingly cool! I know it's super Disco, but I still love it.
The picture doesn't really capture it's yumminess. The brown is pretty dark (not so red) and the glitter thread glints in copper, which you can kinda see in the blurry skeins behind the pile.
Before I discovered the Brilliant, I did some investigating and discovered Maizy
yarn (corn and nylon). I think it looks super nice. Yarnmarket.com has a great close up of the color sea grey
which shows that the yarn has tiny twisted colors in it. I especially like the colors Kelp Grey, Sky Blue, or Bittersweet. Have any of you touched this yarn? I'm totally curious.