Sunday, September 23, 2007
Anyway, this post is about some of the yarns I like to use and why. Certainly not an exhaustive list, just my favourite yarns, or ones that I think make great toys.
The yarn I use most often is 100% wool, either Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool, or Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. Both are inexpensive, soft, and come in a variety of colours. Both Wally's body and sweater are made from this type of yarn. I noticed that Knitpicks recently added some tweed yarns, and I wish my stash was small enough to let me buy some :)
Another yarn I like is Elann's Peruvian Quechua. It is alpaca and tencel, so it's a little fuzzier than wool, and the tencel gives it a nice shine. The texture of the knitted fabric is very nice too, quite different from wool, but hard to describe. I used it for the sweater for this toy. I wish it came in more colours suitable for toys.
I have also tried cotton yarn, like this one. The knitted fabric is again very different from wool, with very clear stitch-definition. But this brand of cotton is not very soft or cuddly, although I know some kinds of cotton are. It is also less stretchy, which might be a good thing for toys. You could stuff them much firmer without the stuffing showing through the fabric.
The last kind of yarn I really like using is Red Heart Symphony. While this is 100% acrylic, and the kind of yarn you're likely to find in discount stores and bargain bins, it makes the best little lambs ever. It's super soft and fuzzy, and I love the colour-variation in the yarn. Plus you get excellent milage - I made 6 toys from one ball of the Earth Brown colour-way.
Finally, to get around to to yarn shown in the photo above (Red Heart Buttercup). This is 100% polyester, and while it is unbelievably soft and fluffy, it kills my hands to knit with it. I made 4 other toys while procrastinating about knitting this kitty. It is also impossible to see your stitches - I even have trouble telling the knit from the purl side. But it does make excellent baby toys, and I love the confetti look of the coloured yarns. If I use this yarn in future, I think I may need to modify the pattern so I can use larger needles without getting a huge, fat toy.
If you have any thoughts on the yarns I've listed, or would like to tell me about any you love knitting with, please leave me a comment. I hope all this information has been useful to you!