Having a Ball

As I continue to get the business end of Lil’ Luvvies off the ground, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of new patterns, but what I’ve really been having fun with is playing with different types of yarn.

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Of course there are so many pretty colors to play with. I’ve been playing with making my unicorn pattern in some different variations of color…I’m even thinking of doing her in an ombre yarn to have that beautiful color change throughout. Just the thought of the different possibilities makes me giddy – and makes my already hyper active ADD even more so.

But, it hasn’t been just colors I have been playing with…it’s yarn manufacture, thickness, material, texture. My daughter is on the autism spectrum and has sensory issues. When she was little, she refused to crawl because she didn’t like the feel of the carpet beneath her hands and knees. As I walk through Joann’s and Michael’s, I have a feeling some of those texture issues come from me. There are several yarns I will not work with because the texture is too rough. But, I have been trying to branch out from the standard worsted weight brands that I started out with. Some of my experiment yarns are listed below.

As a disclaimer, some of these do contain affiliate links. If you click on the link, you will have the option to buy the yarn from that particular vendor. There is no additional cost or obligation to you, but I do receive a small commission from the site. However, that does not impact my evaluation of the products – and I only recommend items that I have used and enjoy personally.

FEELS LIKE BUTTA

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Lion Brand has some of my favorite yarns – their pound of love yarn is my go to every day brand – right along with the Caron One Pound. I had been reading that Lion Brand was coming out with a new yarn that had a soft texture to it, but I hadn’t been able to find it in my local craft stores. Finally, I decided to break one of my rules and buy it online before trying it at the store first.

When I first got the Feels Like Butta yarn, I didn’t know what to think. It is a different texture. I wasn’t sure I would like how it worked up for my Luvvies. However, the early results have been positive and this does make for some super cuddly amigurumi. It is a thinner weight yarn, so there has been a learning curve as I adapt my techniques. If I’ve making a comfy Luvvie – that has a blanket component – I’m still deciding if I want to use this yarn, soft as it is, and a smaller hook. If I want to use two strands worked together to give it more bulk, but that adds to my cost and I don’t want to pass that along to the customer. The other option would be to make the blankie portion in a light worsted weight yarn, and the amigurumi in the Butta. Still things to play with, but I am so happy with the early results.

The only negative is it comes in a limited amount of colors – it hits most of the primary colors, but for the expanded palate of purples and skin tones, there aren’t options available at this point. Hopefully, this will be a successful brand for the company and they will provide more colors (hint, hint).

CARON SIMPLY SOFT

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Far and away this has been my favorite find so far. The texture is smooth without being slippy. It works up well. It is a medium strand thickness so I’ve had success using larger and smaller hooks with it. I like that the ply is sturdy, my hook doesn’t pierce the strands easily, and I have a more professional finish to my projects.

Using the Simply Soft gives a huggable, yet not overly plushy feel to the Luvvies. I also love the huge array of colors that this comes in, which allows me to really expand my creativity and play with mix-and-match colors. My mother always joked that I liked to color with a box of 64 crayons, and playing with yarn is no different.

VANNA’S CHOICE

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I grew up watching Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune with my grandmother and always admired the beautiful gowns that Vanna White wore during the show. It strikes me as ironic that all these years later, I am watching Wheel of Fortune with my daughter and am crafting Luvvies using Vanna’s Choice yarn.

This yarn is slightly thicker than the Feels Like Butta and Simply Soft, and it gives the Luvvies a more plushy feel. This feels like a very luxurious yarn to work with and makes sturdy, huggable friends. Some of the downsides, it can be on the pricier side – especially for larger Luvvies (although Craftsy and Lion Brand direct often run sales); however, I do like the fact that this yarn is affiliated with St. Jude’s Hospital, so it’s kind of a wash in terms of price. The other downside is because it is a slightly bulkier yarn, it is better suited for the larger hook sizes – I find myself using this for the blankie portions of the comfy Luvvies to give the blanket more weight and texture, but using the Butta or Simply Soft for the character itself.

SPRIGHTLY

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Sprightly is one of Craftsy’s exclusive brands of yarn. Much like the Vanna’s Choice it is a slightly bulkier weight yarn that is better suited for larger hook sizes and either larger Luvvies, or for the blankie portions of the comfy Luvvies. I have been really happy with this brand; however, because it doesn’t lend itself as well for the smaller projects, I haven’t had a chance to use it for much more than the blankies. I have several skeins begging for my attention and I am looking forward to playing with them more. What I do like about Sprightly is there is a large assortment of colors to play with – and we already have established I am a sucker for color.

BERNAT SATIN

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The Bernat Satin and the Caron Simply Soft are very similar. I find myself leaning toward the Simply Soft only because there are so many different shades – Simply Soft has brights, Tweeds, ombre, etc. – the Satin has several shades, but is a more limited palate. The Satin also is (only slightly) thicker than the Simply Soft. However, the yarn has the same beautiful easy pull and clean finish to it. I do find that I like the “Camel” color of the Satin for Caucasian flesh tones, it seems to be the closest to a peach-y hue as I have been able to find without looking pink.

PLAY WITH ALL THE YARNS

I still have several skeins that I haven’t even really played with yet. I have some samples of Lion Brand’s Touch of Alpaca, some Paintbox DK, Craftsy’s Cloudborn, and a few others to try. There just are so many possibilities – it can be a little overwhelming, but such a fun discovery.

One of the things I have been experimenting with recently is mixing fibers in my Luvvies. One part might have the Feels Like Butta, another the Satin, and the finishing touches may be in the Simply Soft.

Having so many fun options really helps each Luvvie to have their own flair and personality. As I find different color and fiber combinations to play with, I look so forward to sharing with you. There are some really cool things coming to the store in the near future and I can’t wait to share them with you; I hope you love them as much as I do.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

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