knitting with suede yarn

jennJanuary 10, 2008

I promised my mom I'd make her a scarf (I plan to make her more than one). I bought some Homespun and found it way too frustrating for my beginner's skills, so I returned it last night to Michael's in exchange for a yarn easier for me to work with. (That said.... Homespun is very popular, looks good, feels good, but I've read/heard that it is difficult for newbies. So, maybe someday, but not for me now...)

Anyway my mom gave me her color preferences and wants something soft and not scratchy on her neck. That leaves out wool and even wool blends. So, I bought 2 skeins Patons Simply Soft 'Shadows' (100% acrylic), and 2 skeins of Lion Suede (color 'Mocha').

Now I'm having second thoughts about the suede. It's very soft to the touch.... but, a suede scarf for my 77-year-old mother? She is stylish, and can be daring with new things..... but a suede scarf? I do think a lace pattern would be nice

And what about the durability?

Has anyone here knitted with suede -- in particular new knitters -- and lived to tell about it? Is it easy to work with? Anything I need to know or avoid?

Are there other yarns you'd recommend for softness (on a sensitive neck -- we can't stand scratchy things against the neck) that I can get elsewhere, such as As a beginner I'm just getting acquainted with the different types and textures of yarns and I have a lot yet to learn.



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I haven't knitted with the suede yet but I have crocheted with it. It is easy to use. You might try some of the baby yarns as well for softness. I haven't knitted in 18 years and I'm using Lion Brand Chenille thick & chunky-on big needles it has been easy to use and is very soft and warm.
Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 11:00PM
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You might try a microfiber mix yarn. LionBrand makes one that should work for a scarf.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 9:51AM
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Lionbrand Microspun is very nice- acrylic, soft, and gorgeous colors. However, for a scarf I would knit with it doubled. I made my granddaughter a sweater with it and used it doubled on 6's.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:27PM
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I love Caron's Simply Soft yarn. It's a thin worsted yarn that comes in several colors. My favorite color is Off White, which is the palest of yellows. It is acrylic. I have made many scarves and baby items with this yarn. I have bought it at WalMart and Michael's. I usually wash the item before I give it away and use fabric softener in the rinse water. Machine wash and dry. It is almost liquid after washing it, falls beautifully.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:30PM
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I have made a scarf for just about everyone I know, using Plymouth Yarn Company's Sinsation. It's 80% Rayon, 20% wool. The yarn is made in Italy. The gauge is 3 stitches = 1 inch using US 10.5 needles. There are 38 yards to a 50 gram ball. I have always paid $14.00 to $14.50 per ball, and I use 5 balls per scarf. I've seen the yarn much cheaper on eBay, but I've always bought it in a local yarn shop because I need instant gratification - LOL!

You'll see patterns showing scarves made from this that all have fringe, but no one for whom I've made a scarf has wanted fringe. And, I use size 11 needles.

Cast on 20 stitches. Knit all rows (this is also called garter stitch). Cast off. Weave in all ends.

This yarn is so incredibly soft and easy to work with. I LOVE knitting scarves with this. While you're knitting, the yarn is "big and fluffy." Once you're done, you can either leave it like that, or you can felt it. Put it in a top-loading washing machine (you need the agitation from a top loader with the center agitator thingy) and add a little detergent. Throw in a couple of pairs of jeans. Wash in hot water, rinse in warm water. You can run it through more than one cycle. Then, put it into the dryer (again with the jeans) and dry it on the regular (hot air)cycle. When it's dry it will be like chenille. They are so incredibly soft and feel so good against your skin.

The colors that the yarn comes in are really nice, too; and a year or so ago they added some tone-on-tone colors. I guess you'd call them self-striping, but it doesn't make big, pronounced stripes.

These are just about the easiest scarves you can make - it's all knitting... no purling, no "knit 2 together" stitches, no slipped stitches, etc., just knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit...

I made four of these for Christmas gifts just this past Christmas, and all four were for relatives who had asked me to make one for them. And I've got a list of more folks who want them...

Here is a link that might be useful: Plymouth Yarn Company - Italian Collection

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 3:38AM
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Thank you for the additional suggestions.

The thought of machine washing a scarf scares me, I imagine it shredding to pieces in the machine or get snagged and ruined. Is there a certain way to do it, on a gentle cycle, in a mesh bag, on cool, with gentle detergent? Or, just toss it in with t-shirts, close my eyes and hope for the best?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 11:29PM
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I began a scarf with the suede yarn -- UGH! It does not slide well on bamboo needles. If I need to buy metal needles just to knit one scarf with suede yarn, or microfiber yarn, or the like, then maybe I should stick with more traditional yarns. It was just something fun I picked up to give it a try.

So now I'm starting over with the Caron's Simply Soft 'Shadows' (Mardi Grey) which is very nice, soft, and very pretty.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 12:02PM
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Oh, there's nothing to be afraid about when it comes to washing the Sinsation scarf!! Yes, you can put it inside a mesh bag if it makes you feel more at ease, but I've never done that, and I've made a ton of these scarves.

No, you don't want to wash it on a gentle cycle, or with cool water. You want HOT water and a lot of agitation -- that's what shrinks the yarn to make it tight. It's so soft to begin with, and still so soft when it's done. You'll be totally amazed.

Here's a photo from the Plymouth Yarn Company's web site that shows a Sinsation hat and scarf that have not been felted. I'd also post a photo of one that I've made (and felted), but my close-up photos don't come out too well. If I can get a decent one I'll post it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 9:21PM
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Lindsay, at about $14 a skein, and using 5 skeins for one scarf, your scarves are costing $70 plus tax each. They surely ought to be very lovely to touch for $70 each. I give away almost everything I make, and so go for more economical yarn. When DD lived up north, I probably made her 20-30 scarves. Now she lives in the warm south. Glad I did not spend $70 for the yarn for each one as I am guessing she will never use them again, except for winter travel.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 10:32PM
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Although I'm not a math wizard, I am, and have been, well aware of the fact that there's $70 worth of yarn in these scarves. And, yes, they are incredibly wonderful to touch and to feel against your skin.

The folks to whom I've given these scarves are relatives and dear friends, for whom I don't mind spending $70. There are several folks to whom I've given more than one of these scarves, in different colors.

And, for what it's worth, since I started making these scarves, I've found out that the two yarn shops where I buy the yarn are charging more than Plymouth Yarn Company's suggested retail price. It would be nice if there were more Plymouth sellers in my area...

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 4:19AM
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