I’ve been trying to think of a fun title for yarn-related posts. “Yarn Appreciation Post” came from @bunnycartoon on Twitter, and I liked it because of the acronym: YAP. YAP, yapping about yarn. YAP Time it is!
So, I’ve been working on some new secret Yummy You! collab projects, and I’m always really picky about my colors and their exact shades and saturations. This is going to sound lame, but I am very aware of the … connotation of color … what feelings a certain shade evokes and what I think it SAYS to me.
I wanted to share some of my thoughts on yarn color with you, even though it will be kinda messed up because (a) it can be hard to shoot/edit the colors exactly the way I see them, and (b) all our monitors will interpret them differently, stupid monitors! But at least you can get a taste for what goes on in my head and also check out some of the brands I use most. Links to where you can purchase yarn are at the bottom of the whole post.
Please remember, this is NOT comprehensive. I also use other colors/brands, but these are what I grabbed first from my stash. I also try to stick with using yarns that are fairly inexpensive and accessible to all of us (I can’t have the materials cost alone of a scarf be $50+), and I personally prefer acrylics because (a) a good acrylic is soft, and I am very sensitive to animal fibers being itchy, even some merinos, (b) many plant fibers don’t have the right feel for my projects, like cotton often feeling stiff, or bamboo often feeling too floppy. I also like a huge color range in a worsted weight on the heavy side, so you can see how I can get really picky about things! Okay, on with the color!
A good pink is sometimes hard to find. F’reals. I like my pinks saturated and true. I don’t like when pinks have too much gray in them, or if they appear bleached out and funky. I need pink with verve! Remember Lion Brand Homespun in Cotton Candy! YUM! Too bad it’s gone forever. BOO!
From left to right: 1. Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted in Baby Pink 2. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Pink 3. Red Heart Super Saver in Perfect Pink 4. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Baby in Pink Poodle.
#1 is a pretty good go-to. I like the pinky shade, it’s a good weight for me (worsted, on the heavy side), and it’s not too spendy. It has a slight sheen, and I’m not personally a huge fan of sheen, but it’s more subtle than, say, Red Heart Soft. The color makes up for any of my sheen issues. The color screams STRAWBERRY FROSTING. #2 sort of has that washed out, grayish tone I referred to. I am a huge fan of Vanna’s Choice, but they need to step up the saturation on the pinks. I feel the same about #4. It’s almost there, as a more dark-medium pink, but it just has a hint of that gray undertone that sometimes puts me off. A close color that I prefer over it is Cascade 220 in Cotton Candy (not pictured, doh! they would probably look the same on camera, tho). #3 I really love, color-wise, as a perfectly saturated medium-pink. It is definitely a bit bulkier than the others, and it produces a stiffer fabric the way I crochet, and it has that slight Red Heart scratchiness that we all wish didn’t exist, but the color is really delicious, and I use this yarn a lot on non-wearable items like cozies or even hair pieces. Just nothing close-to-the-skin.
Come to think of it, a good orange is also hard to find sometimes when it comes to the big box stores. I can see how orange may be a less popular color with regard to sweaters and wearables, but I need a good pop of orange for my food-related work!
From left to right: 1. Sugar n Cream in Hot Orange 2. Knit Picks Brava worsted in Orange 3. Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin 4. Plymouth Encore Worsted in 1383 Bright Orange.
I have #1 because it’s easily accessible, but it’s REALLY bright, like unnaturally bright, which is not really evident in my photo. I also have the thing where I don’t love working in most cottons, at least the ones I’ve tried so far. #3 is also easily accessible, and I do love the color which has a lot of yellow undertone in it, but I would only use it for accents on wearable items, as it is a bit scratchy. I found #4 next, at my LYS. It’s slightly darker than the other two, and also a lighter weight (though still worsted). Being really sensitive to wool, I can still feel its 25% wool content on my neck, but I think it’s totally fine for hands and head. I recently acquired #2. It’s a shade lighter than #3 and not as neon as #1. It’s almost TOO mellow for me, but the Brava worsted is really soft and just about the right weight for me (it’s almost like Vanna’s Choice but a smidge lighter). I recently ordered a Vanna’s Choice orange that I’m interested see in person! There are some newer shades over there I didn’t know about, mainly the “Radiant” line, Radiant Orange, Radiant Yellow, Radiant Lime.
There is a real dearth of bright, cheery, warm yellows at the big box stores. My local LYS Imagiknit has also expressed that I am like the only person who walks in there and wants to buy 6 skeins of bright yellow Plymouth Encore worsted. What else are we supposed to use for crocheted egg yolks!? JEEZ!
From left to right: 1. Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted in Lemon 2. Knit Picks Brava Worsted in Canary 3. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Baby in Duckie.
There is a big gap in my photo, which is the aforementioned Plymouth Encore Worsted in 1382 Bright Yellow. This was really my go-to for the longest time, because it is a really nice golden, yolky yellow, that’s kind of like a mix of #2 and #3. I am all out of it right now and waiting for an order to come in, so that’s why it’s missing! I just bought #1 and really like it. It’s a smidge on the neon side as far as colors for food, but it’s super happy and saturated with color, without a hint of tan or peach or anything. #2 is also a lovely yellow, but it does have some reddish undertones in it that can sometimes put me off for certain projects, but I still use it and like it a lot. #3 is the only one on the list that you can get at big box stores, but it is definitely not as bright as the other two and nearly falls in the pastel category. It’ll do in a pinch, though.
I love green yarn! And there usually are pretty decent greens available everywhere. I tend to stick with yellow-toned, crisp, saturated, vegetable greens, natch!
From left to right: 1. Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted in Neon Green 2. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Fern 3. Cascade 220 in 7814 Chartreuse 4. Malabrigo worsted in Sapphire Green
I just got #1 and it’s just SUPER BRIGHT and makes me happy, although I haven’t used it for anything yet, as it is a truly screaming bright green. Missing in the photo is Deborah Norville in Kiwi, which is a delightful, yellow-based green that I am currently very into. I use #2 a lot, but it is not as fully saturated with color as I would prefer in a perfect world. Its great advantage is that I can get it at a big box store, and it still looks nice. #3 I like to use a lot when I need a lighter weight for accents, like lettuce ruffles on a cheeseburger mitt. The color is beautiful and rich and veggietastic, but since it’s 100% wool, I would not use it for a whole scarf myself. #4 is the king. If you have not touched Malabrigo wool, you are missing out big time. IT IS SO SOFT. WOOL. SO SOFT. It is spendy, though, so I try not to use it all the time, but it’s really one of my all-time favorite yarns and colors.
From left to right: 1. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Baby in Mint 2. Plymouth Encore Worsted in 1201 Pale Green 3. Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in 1942 Mint, Red Heart Classic in Mist Green
#1 is an absolute go-to for me. The color is lovely, the weight is perfect, and I can get it at a big box store. I could call it a day with that one. I recently discovered and purchased $4. It’s very saturated and has bluer tones than #1. It’s a truly delicious color, kind of like the mint Jelly Belly. Although it’s marked at the same weight as Red Heart Super Saver, it seems thinner to me, so combining it with other Super Saver projects might be weird. I’ll report more on that later! #2 is very pretty and soft, and while researching info on it, I ran into 0473 Aquarius which I need to order and check out immediately!!! Again, Encore worsted is lovely and has lots of colors, but sometimes it is on the light side, and sometimes slightly itchy side for me for close-to-the-skin projects, or rather, close-to-the-neck. #3 has frankly just been kinda sitting around on my shelves, unused. But it’s so pretty! It’s very close in shade to #2, just a bit more yellow and kind of like the baby sister to #1. Cascade 220 superwash is merino wool and therefore actually soft, as opposed to its regular Cascade 220, which I mentioned before was a bit too woolly for me. The thing with the Superwash is that this one is sport weight, and that’s not a weight I use a lot in my work. Oh! This just in! I opened up a box of yarn, and Deborah Norville Everday Soft Worsted in Glass is a gorgeous mint, almost exactly the same shade as #4 (bluer mint) and super soft. Great find!
My favorite blues are what I refer to as the candy blues, medium tones with a lot of cyan. I am really not a fan of powder blue or navy blue in my work. Sometimes the navy sneaks in, for like, a blueberry pie tissue box cozy, but I usually stick with the candy blues.
From left to right: 1. Red Heart Super Saver in Aruba Sea 2. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Baby in Aqua 3. Red Heart Soft in Turquoise, Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted in Azure
Even with the scratchy issues I have with #1, I love the color and use it a lot in non-wearable items. It’s light and has a lot of green in the blue which I find zingy and sweet. #2 is a definite go-to for me. It is closer to baby blue than #1, but still has enough aqua in it to be delicious. #3 is a great blue, definitely darker and brighter than the previous two. The sheen on Red Heart Soft is not always my favorite, but that’s just a really personal thing. #4 is really close to #3 in color, perhaps sliiiiiighlyt more green/yellow/warm, but pretty much spot on, with the only real difference being that it’s slightly less shiny than #3, and also a bit thicker in weight. I just picked it up recently and really like it.
Okay, that was probably really boring for all the non-yarn people, but I sure had fun! I’ll try to incorporate more yarny adventures here in the future.
If you are an indie yarn brand and would like to sponsor a spotlight/review on my blog, just send me an email! twinkie at twinkiechan dot com!
Cascade 220 at Jimmy Beans Wool, PurlSoho, lots of places onlines
Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted Also at JoAnn Fabrics online.
Knit Picks Brava Worsted
Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice I also by this at Michaels and Beverly’s.
Malabrigo worsted at Jimmy Beans Wool, Eat Sleep Knit
Plymouth Encore Worsted at Jimmy Beans Wool I also buy this from my LYS, Imagiknit
Red Heart Super Saver , Red Heart Soft Also available at JoAnn, Michaels, Beverly’s, my Walgreens, lots of places!
Sugar n Cream store locator, also available at Michaels, JoAnn, Beverly’s, etc.