Yarn Quality Comparison – Decadent to Discountcomments (2) April 5th, 2008
When I first learned how to knit twenty years ago my instructor, Sandy Kroder, always advised her students to buy the very best yarn they could afford. With the amount of time and effort invested in a project, you want to be very happy, not only working with the yarn as it slides through your fingers but with the finished piece. Over the years, I ignored her advice periodically because of budgetary constraints and I was always haunted by her words, faced with a yarn I hated to knit with and ultimately, a finished piece I wasn’t exactly proud of.
Take the time to investigate the range of yarns that are available in the marketplace and you will find that for certain projects decadent yarns are imperative. For others, a nice discount yarn will be a good choice. Let’s look at some of the irreplaceable decadent yarns and some of the nice discount yarns readily available.
If money were no object, we would whip out our Platinum card and fill up a bag of the best stuff. But if you are a mere mortal, drool and dream or wait until it goes on sale! I live in a town of 14,000 and we have 3 wonderful yarn shops within a 10 mile radius and probably another 15 within a 3 hour drive time. Now that’s a lot of temptation. Those of you who live in larger metropolitan areas have even more places where you can view these top-of-the-line yarns.
Ooh là là, this French luxury yarn institution produces some of the most decadent yarns in the world, and is the ultimate in high fashion and high quality. Angora and silk fibers are the backbone of their line, along with their awesome cashmere at $32 for 100 yards.
Noro is renowned for their rich and varied natural fibers, individually dyed to impart lush color saturation. One of this Japanese company’s most coveted yarns has been Kochoran, a wool, angora and silk blend. You can have this little Monet painting of a yarn for only $20 for 176 yards.
If it’s good enough for Kaffe Fassett it’s good enough for me! The Rowan brand is synonymous with premium yarn. From the best cottons to the cloud-like Kid Silk, Rowan yarns will never disappoint. The latest Rowan magazine (number 42) features an heirloom scarf which is knit from the cloud-like Kid Silk haze (70% superkid mohair/20% silk). At $13 per 227 yards of DK yarn, this large scarf could set you back over $250.
Some of us live in areas that are devoid of a specialty yarn store, others have a very limited budget and a number of us don’t want to break the bank for a donation project, a child’s daily wear garment or a third cousin twice removed. Because of this, we are faced with the discount store or a big box craft outlet. At first glance the selection may seem a little dismal. Take a closer look and you will be surprised.
Lion Wool: The best value for your felting projects. A good range of basic color ways are available including some variegated treatments. At around $6.00 for 143 yards you can afford to experiment with your felting techniques without worrying about breaking the bank.
Lion Cashmere Blend: If you have champagne taste on a beer budget, this may be the yarn for you. The 13% cashmere is apparent within the 72% merino wool/15% nylon blend and at seven bucks for 84 yards it is more affordable than the real deal.
Classic Merino Wool: Available in a wide range of colors, this is a good basic yarn which will stand up on its own, stranded with another yarn or felted. Two hundred twenty-three yards for a five spot is a good value in my book! Grandmother loved the shawl I whipped up for Christmas in her favorite bubblegum pink with a ruffled edge!
SWS Yarn: I call this one Lamb and Beans because it is 70% wool/30% soybean. No kidding, this is a wonderful silky combination in a pretty range of interesting variegated and solid colors. It felts up very well and I’m told that it makes a cozy-soft sock that washes well. $7.00 for 110 yards.
Be happy and knit with what makes you feel good. If it’s Lion or Noro, Patons or Rowan take pleasure in every stitch and make something beautiful.
Knit well and often,