Little Golden Notebook

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14/30 Worst Fiber or Yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why?

Aside from Lion Brand Homespun, which is the worst and which I already complained about on Day 7, I’m going to call out two sock yarns: Knit Picks Risata (discontinued) and SWTC TOFUtsies.

Socks I #nofilter #handknit #instagram
Risata Socks view 1

Risata sat in my stash for a few years before I used it to make toe up cabled socks that I improvised. It’s an elastic sock yarn, which makes tensioning it a little tricky. It’s also splitty, meaning the plies in the strand of yarn separate easily, and, as it turns out, it makes my legs itchy when I wear these socks. I would make these socks again with another yarn and a few changes and am glad (sorrynotsorry!) this yarn is discontinued.

Socks II #nofilter #handknit #instagram
Risata Socks view 2

SWTC TOFUtsies was my very first sock  yarn purchase. I wanted something interesting to make a baby blanket for my nephew, the first on my husband’s side of the family. I was attracted by the machine washability and the fiber content of TOFUtsies: 50% superwash wool, 25% soy silk, 22.5% cotton, 2.5% chitin, made from shrimp and crab shells – how cool is that?!? I got 3 (4?) skeins of 3 colors thinking I’d make a baby blanket using the yarn doubled and use the leftovers for socks. Here is my first attempt, which just didn’t look attractive to me:

So Called Blanket Progress Close
My So-called Baby Blanket, based on My So Called Scarf by Allison Isaacs

I decided that knitting the yarn double wasn’t going to work well, especially with the Tickle Toes colorway (the bright rainbow one) – it just looked fugly. So, I came up with this: a double knit baby blanket using size 2 (2.75mm) circulars to knit both sides simultaneously in the round. Aside from this quickly becoming tedious, I discovered that the yarn is super splitty and not all that easy to work with. Do you sense a theme in what I dislike in yarns? Yes, if it’s splitty, I don’t like it. I’ll work with it, but it will make me periodically angry (weird to be angry at a yarn, but there it is).

It took me 3 months to finish the project but I did it! Seven years later, my nephew still snuggles with the blanket every night, so it was worth all the aggravation in the end.

TOFUtsies Baby Blanket progress picture



8 responses to “14/30 Worst Fiber or Yarn”

  1. Believe it or not, I’m in love with your first attempt at the baby blanket 🙂 I love the colors! The second blanket is really cool too. Sometimes I think kids are the best to knit / crochet for because they love the heck out of their blankets and toys. I made a blanket for one of my nephews when he was born (he’s 8 now) and he still uses his blankie.

    1. Thank you for the compliment on the first baby blanket, Paula! Kids are the best to knit for; if they like something, they really really like it and use it for years. Knit-worthy grownups are sometimes like that too. 🙂

  2. PaperPuff Avatar

    Frustrating I guess, to make something as super as those socks and then find them itchy! They look good, but no consolation if you can’t actually wear them. Why don’t manufacturers think of this? Lovely to have made such a cherished object for your nephew though.

    1. I still wear the socks a few times a year, usually layered with another thin sock so they’re not so itchy; lemonade out of lemons. 😉

      1. PaperPuff Avatar

        Never let the yarn defeat you!

  3. Worst. Yarn. Ever. Created: Fun fur. Or its variations with things hanging off that prevent smooth knitting. When I first started and had no idea about anything, I bought some of this stuff. My daughter was with me and was drawn to it. Seriously ugly when it knits up, you can’t see your stitches, yuck, yuck, yuck. I didn’t know any better, but I learned in about 2 rows! lol

    1. I steered clear of fun fur, partly because I fell into the trap that is chenille yarn (not a fan) and partly because my knitting friends warned me away from it. But I do remember the furry tube scarves that were all the rage!

  4. […] your stash? Post pictures! Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for? Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why? Day 15: What was your least […]

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