Monday, October 25, 2010

Yarn Choices for Gifts

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I, like so many other knitters and crocheters, am faced with a dilemma. What yarn is best to use for creating gifts for non-knitters?

The criteria seems simple enough.

1. First and foremost, it must be machine washable. Unless I know the recipient well enough to know they don't mind extra laundry chores, like hand washing, I always use machine washable fibers.

2. Let's be also has to be economical. Especially at this time of year, there's always a strain on the budget. I think that's true for most of us.

3. It has to be gorgeous, soft, and just plain yummy. We aim to impress, right? Gorgeous is subjective, but while trying to be economical, I also don't want my item to fall flat. I want my recipient to feel pampered. Or at the very least, not turned off to the idea of hand knit gifts.

So what yarns do you use for knitting gifts? Acrylics? Cottons? Superwash wool? Blends?

What are some specific yarns you like?

I'll get the ball rolling with one I've recently found: Patons Lace. (Ravelry link here) It's 80% acrylic, 10% wool, and 10% mohair. It's really more of a fingering weight with a mohair halo, so a little goes a long way. It comes in a few really nice colorways. I'm using "sachet." And it looks much richer than it is. At $6 or less for 398 yards, it's easily affordable. The high acrylic content also makes it easy to care for. Perfect for the top secret gift I can't share quite yet. ;)

So what do you like to use? Do you have the same criteria in your gift yarns?


LeeAnn Schaefer said...

For Christmas gifts I've been doing basic acrylic yarn from JoAnn's, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby. Michaels has a line called Loops & Threads that has a skein that just goes on and on and on. (I made a hat, arm warmers and coffee cup cozy with one skein of their Impeccable yarn!) I've also been using spa which is mainly acrylic but has some bamboo in it as well.

There is also a fantastic machine washable wool/acrylic yarn Wool-Ease from Lion Brand.

Though...I would prefer to always use beautiful yarn from a LYS but I just don't have the funds for it. =[ Most of my gift recipients (All but one in reality) would just love to throw hand knits in the washing machine so even if I could afford it, I think I would still stick with the cheap acrylic yarn.

(Oh, and they are all worsted weight!)

Melissa D said...

I've begun to use Caron Simply Soft for warm, simple socks or scarves or doll clothes, etc. It is fairly soft, has a bit of a sheen to it, and it completely washable. As LeeAnn noted above, buget is a concern and most of the people I knit for at the holidays wouldn't know the difference between a soft acrylic and a fantastic merino wool or something as awesome from the LYS. I also like Lion Brand Homespun for scarves as it washes very well, works up quickly, and has a wide range of colors.