…not all 100% cotton yarn is the same.
Natural Animal fibers, also known as protein fibers, can vary drastically depending on the type of animal, and the specific breed of the animal who grew them, much like how our hair can vary from person to person. There are things that all natural animal […]
I love, love, love Yarn Bee Sugarwheel Cotton yarn!! I love the colorways, the color changes, and the texture of this yarn. I have so many good things to say about this yarn, it’s difficult to find much I dislike about it. The names they have for the colors are all baking related. I enjoy baking, so I that was really cute and fun.
- 100% Cotton
- Weight – 4/worsted
- Recommended Needles – 4mm
- Recommended Hook – 4.5mm
- Weighs in at 5oz
- Yardage – 335 yards
This yarn has the silky, soft and smooth texture very similar I Love This Cotton. I have previously reviewed Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton, and you can find that review here. The two yarns are very similar, They are both soft and silky in texture, softer than you would expect a cotton yarn to be, and very durable.
There are two major differences between the two. The first obviously being the colors, Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton comes in solid color, variegated colors, and stripes. However, Yarn Bee’s Sugarwheel colors create more a color blocking or really fat striped colorways. I think they are beautiful, and I hope my pictures are doing the colors justice.
I don’t know if you have had this problem with cotton yarns, but when I use thicker, stiffer cotton yarns, such as Peaches N’ Creme, I will end up with an indent into my finger and a little bit of rug burn between my fingers. Especially when I was using tight stitches to creating an amigurumi (stuffed/plush toys). This yarn doesn’t have those effects on my hands.
The Troubles I Have Found
The biggest trouble I have had with this yarn, is the splitting. Oh, the splitting it. I tested this yarn out on a beautiful crochet finger towel pattern, that will be released by Wonderland in Knots later this month, and the splitting of this yarn was a little frustrating. Not to the point of wanting to change my choice of yarn, but enough of a problem that it was affecting the rhythm of my work. Now, I was using a smaller hook than suggested and I think contributed to the majority of the splitting problems.
The only other problem I have come across is that as usual with Yarn Bee and Hobby Lobby yarns, you can only purchase them in stores and online at HobbyLobby.com. This may not be a problem for everyone, but I know it causes issues for some.
Yarn Bee’s Sugarwheel Cotton and Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton are my two favorite cotton yarns. They have everything I want in a cotton yarn soft, durable, lightweight and just heavenly in my hands. Here is a link to my review of Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton, and for those of you who would like to know more about natural yarns and specifically cotton yarns I’ve added those as well.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on Yarn Bee’s Sugarwheel Cotton, please drop them below. For those you that would like to share your beautiful projects with me, please check my Instagram and Facebook pages or add them below, I would love to see them.
The scientific word for natural plant fibers is Cellulose. Cotton, hemp, bamboo, and other natural plant fibers are created from the cellulose that naturally occurs in yarn. Most natural plant fiber yarns are created from either the seed pod hairs (cotton) or the stems of […]
Acrylic yarn; we’ve all used it, some of us love it, and some of us hate it. It’s cheap, easy to find, easy to care for, and probably one of the most purchased types of yarn on the market.
In this post, I’m going to delve into acrylic yarn. It’s history, the differences between synthetic and natural fibers, the pros and cons and a few of my favorites. There are so many different acrylic yarns available, and there is just no possibility I could list all my favorites.
A Little History
There are roughly four types of synthetic fibers; nylon, acrylic, polyester, and spandex. They are called synthetic fibers because they are the result of chemical synthesis. technically speaking synthetic fibers are any fibers with a chemical base of 85-90% vinyl-cyanide or acrylonitrile. The remaining 10-15% is where the different textures and characteristics are created, and justifies all the different brands of yarn.
the first synthetic fibers were successfully created in 1935, by members of a Dupont research team. However, acrylic fibers didn’t reach commercial production until 1950 and were the product of the wartime development of synthetic rubbers. By 1962, there were already over 30 different brands of acrylic yarn.
Modacrylic fibers are nearly identical to acrylic fibers, the difference is in the chemical composition. Modacrylics contain 35-85% of acrylonitrile, compared to acrylics 85-90%.
Synthetic vs Natural Fibers
The major differences between the two different fibers is in the surface texture. Synthetic fibers have a uniformly smooth suface, similar to a rod a glass. Natural fibers on the other hand, with the exception of silk, has scales along its surface.
The scales on natural fibers contribute to it’s natural ability to breathe and absorb several times it weight in moisture while remaining warm and dry to the wearer.
Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are only able to retain about 2% of its weight in moisture and does not breathe well. This can lead to garments feeling clammy and uncomfortable when worn in hot or humid climates, especially items that need to hold up to a lot of moisture, like socks.
Without the scales on the natural fibers to hold the fibers together under friction causes two major problems. The first problem with all that friction is that it can work longer fibers to the outside of the fabric, creating deeply anchored pills that cannot be removed without damaging the fabric of the item. Problem number two, all the friction leads to static electricity, and static electricity pulls microscopic particles of dust and dirt deep into the fabric causing more frequent washing.
Another difference between acrylic yarns and more traditional yarns is that yarn created from synthetic fibers is not spun together like traditional yarn, it is twisted together like thread.
I am of the opinion that there are more positive aspects to acrylic yarn than negative. So long as you are using in the right projects for the right purpose, it can be a really great choice.
Acrylic yarn is not only cheap to produce it can also be one of the cheapest types of yarn to purchase as well. This leads to most people to assume that it won’t be soft and it’ll feel scratchy and itchy, now this true of some yarn but for the most part if you find a scratchy acrylic yarn it is most likely due to the sizing like you would find in most store bought clothing.
Sizing is added to yarn and other fabrics to help it retain its shape and help it stay clean until purchasing. Just like with clothing, you can normally wash it out. Some people prefer to wash their yarn before starting a project, and others like myself will be the item after finishing the project.
Acrylic is a long wearing or long lasting fiber. It has several qualities that lend to it’s long lasting nature:
- colorfast – not prone to running colors
- greater durability than pure wool
- abrasion resistant
- the longer fibers give the fabric greater strength and durability
- easy to wash and quick drying
- invulnerable to moths and mildew
Best Uses and Warnings:
The best projects for acrylic yarn are garments that are going to need a lot of durability, hold up to frequent washing, but won’t need to absorb moisture.
I think it works wonderfully for cold climate clothing and warmth items like sweaters, hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, blankets, and baby items. It also works well for amigurumi projects because of the durability and being colorfast.
I would be careful using acrylic for items that will need to block. Blocking acrylic can be a little tricky, and is something I am still working mastering. Acrylic needs to be blocked with heat, and once blocked it is permanent. this is because acrylic reacts differently to heat than natural fibers.
- Cellulose fibers – burn
- Protien fibers – extinguish
- Synthetic fibers – Melt and the melting of synthetic fibers can cause chemical burns and toxic fumes. So be careful.
Overall I think that Acrylic yarn is a wonderful fiber, so long as you keep in mind it’s strengths and weakness when picking appropriate projects. It cheap, easy to find and has so many strengths. Plus the variety can be stellar!
I would love to answer any questions that may still have, and hear about some favorite acrylic projects and yarns. If there are any you are hoping I will review, please drop me a line and let me know!
**This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. ** Fall is coming, and I am so excited! It’s my favorite season, I love the food, colors, sweaters, boots, cold weather, and fires. I love […]
**This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. ** Oh, the Lion Brand Mandala color combinations!!! I adore the color combination lion brand put together for this line of yarn. They are gorgeous, inspiring, […]
**This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. **
Caron Simply Soft was my first yarn purchase, and I think it is where a lot of other U.S. based yarn crafters have started their yarn crafting journeys. I know a lot of people that started with Red Heart Super Saver, as well. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that both are made in the U.S., which makes them more readily available to us.
Caron Simply Soft, was my first purchase because of its softness. I wanted to make a baby blanket and Red Heart Super Saver was simply too scratchy. This long with availability, and versatility are the main reason why most U.S. based yarn crafters start with Caron Simply Soft.
Caron Simply Soft, is a worsted weight or 4 weight and comes in 43 different solid colors, 8 ombre colors, 3 heather colors, 8 stripe colors, 7 bright colors, 3 tweed colors, and 10 paint or variegated colors. That’s a LOT of colors, the color combos are almost endless.
One drawback of Caron Simply Soft is that the different types of color skeins come in different sizes. Let’s explore this, the solid color skeins are 6oz/170g and 315yd/288m; the ombre color skeins are 4oz/114g and 208yd/190.2m; the heather color skeins are 5oz/141.7g and 250yd/228m; the stripe skeins are 5oz/141g and 235yd/215m; the bright color skeins are 6oz/170g and 315yd/288m; the tweed skeins are 5oz/141g and 250yd/228m; and the paint or variegated skeins are 5oz/141g and 235yd/215m. Overall this drawback isn’t too big of deal, it’s just something you need to keep in mind when mixing the different color options.
All of them are 100% acrylic, except for the tweed. The tweed colors are 97% acrylic and 3% viscose, which is rayon fiber. The washing instructions are the same for the different color options, machine wash cold, dry flat, do not iron, do not dry clean, and do not bleach. I have machine washed and machine dried all of these colors options, except for the tweed, and have only experienced one downside to machine drying. Machine drying your projects created with Caron Simply Soft will cause them to pill a lot more.
I have used this yarn to create a very wide variety of projects, but some my favorite uses for this yarn are winter skirts, sweaters, lacey summer tops, boot cuffs, and amigurumis. Now, I know some of you are thinking that amigurumis, or stuffed toys, should only be made in cotton, but I disagree. My stuffed toys created out of Caron have held just fine and some cotton yarns I find stiff and difficult to work into nice tight stitches.
The clothing garment I have made have come out beautiful, nearly every time, and the colors last. Many of the wearable items I have made have been for my children, and trust me they can use and abuse clothes with the best of them, and to my delight a lot of these items have survived multiple kids, and still look great to hand down to future generations. Making family heirlooms is one of the things I treasure most about yarn crafting.
I have found place where Caron Simply Soft is not my recommendation. One of those types projects would be anything that needs to hold up to heat, hard wear, or water such as pot holders, trivets, bowl/mug cozy, washcloths and scrubbies; basically not a good idea for the kitchen or bathroom.
If your are thinking about using this for a garment there are some types of garments where this may not be a good idea. For instance, one of the popular cardigan styles features an open drapey front. This is probably not the not yarn for this type of garment. This is because with all the weight and hang of the sweater can cause the front, or where ever there is heavy draping, to stretch more and more as you are wearing it or it is hanging, than you are most likely hoping to achieve.
How Soft is it?
Caron Simply Soft is a very soft and silky yarn, and it creates a very soft, silky looking item. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of stretch in it, but if its wet or a heavy item it can stretch a lot more than expected. When you wash your items, or block them, be careful not to stretch them too much while wet, because if it has been stretched while wet and dried that way there is no hope of it returning to it previous shape, from my experience.
This yarn is also one the thinner side of worsted weighted, it is not a thick and fluffy yarn. This is what makes it perfect for those lacy summer tops, or light cardigans to wear with dresses. Hobby Lobby’s soft Secret is very close comparison to Caron Simply Soft, with only a few differences. They are both super soft and silky in texture, but Caron Simply soft usually has more issues with splitting and with yarn defects.
Oh the splitting….
Splitting has to been one of the most frustrating yarn issues out there, normally caused by the yarn not being spun tight enough. For Caron Sipmly Soft users, the biggest complaint is the splitting. This is a bigger problem from me when crochet, and not as much of a problem when knitting. When crocheting with this yarn, I find that changing the way you yarn over or under can change how the frequency of splitting problems.
The splitting problem doesn’t just cause issues when working stitches, it can also affect the overall look of the finished project. It is really easy to snag just a single strand of yarn in stitch in a completed project and cause that stitch to permanently look weird. Once the strand has been pulled way from the rest it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to make that strand go back and the stitch look right.
Caron Simply Soft is also of the easiest brands to get your hands one, especially in the U.S., and it is widely available online through several retailers, Joann’s, Micheals, yarnspirations.com, Annie’s, Amazon, Herrschners, and Walmart, just to name a few.
I’ve now pointed out a few of the down sides to using Caron Simply Soft, good and bad uses, and some of it’s major selling points. I really hope I have been able to answer all your CaronSimply Soft questions, and that you’ll give it a try. It really is a great yarn.
I would love see your Caron Simply Soft creations, read your comments and answer any questions I may have missed.
**This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. ** Hi everyone! So, for my very first yarn review, Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek low-pill yarn was chosen. This yarn has very quickly become my […]