Yarn Snob Meets Debbie Stoller

Quick- finish this phrase without thinking:  I say Red Heart, you say ______.  You said Super Saver, didn’t you?!  I know you did because that’s what Red Heart means to almost everyone.  It always has to me, anyway.

I feel I must warn you that what I am about to say may offend some people, and please understand that this is not my intention.  Before reading on, one must understand that I am a self proclaimed Yarn Snob.  Notice the capital letters; this is on purpose.  When I found out that we would be carrying Red Heart I could feel my nose begin to wrinkle and my lip involuntarily curled.  I may have shuddered, but I’m not sure.  This reaction comes from the immediate Red Heart – Super Saver connection.  I am not a fan of Super Saver.  There, I said it.  I don’t like the feel or the look.  I cannot imagine wearing it next to the skin or wrapping up in an afghan made from it.   I realize that it certainly serves a purpose and fills a need, but as I said, I am a Yarn Snob.  I thought that I would never, ever like a Red Heart yarn.  Ever.

And then we got our first shipment of Red Heart product.  Included in that shipment (in addition to the Super Saver) was Full O’ Sheep, Alpaca Love, and Bamboo Ewe, all from Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller. (Also included was Mystic,  an Alpaca/Acrylic blend that is just lovely to the touch.  I’ve not knitted with it yet so today I am going to focus on the Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller).  I have to admit that my interest was piqued.

I immediately liked the Full O’ Sheep, a single ply 100% wool with a bit of a lofty feel to it.  The colors are rich and bright, and have a slight sheen that you don’t usually see with wool.  The Alpaca Love is  a wool/alpaca blend that is also nice but not quite as soft to the touch.  I like to felt, so I was curious as to how these would do, and I have finally put them to the test, by knitting a large swatch out of each.

Full O' Sheep/Alpaca Love

I used a size US9 needle, could have stood a 10 I think.  I must say I enjoyed knitting with both of these yarns.  The Full O’ Sheep (darker pink) is a bit splitty (for me, anyway) but I liked it none the less.  It’s like a younger cousin of Mauch Chunky from Kraemer Yarns, as it has the same loosely spun feel.  I was very happy with the swatch, even being knit loosely; I could easily see myself knitting a garment out of this.  The Alpaca love was a bit easier for me to knit with and I was happy with the way it turned out as well.  This morning I threw them in the washer with some old t-shirts and a pair of sneakers to see how they would felt. I have a front loader, so it usually takes me some time to get the results I like.

After felting one round

I expected the Full O’ Sheep to felt pretty quickly, and it did felt down more than the Alpaca Love (which very definitely needed another go  round). However, I didn’t have adequate time, as I needed to get to the shop so I will throw them in again this evening.  I don’t think the Full O’ Sheep will take much longer.  The pic posted is after felting for one cycle.  I will post another after I give it another go.

Long story (very long story) short- I have to re-think my stance on Red Heart.  Just because a yarn says Red Heart on the label does not mean that picky knitters/crocheters need avoid it.  I plan on knitting something out of the Mystic because it really does feel wonderful.  I will also try the Bamboo Ewe; I am interested to see how it holds up, etc.

Pass the crow, please.

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