Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baby's Bib ~ A Vintage Reproduction From 1885 ~ Part II

I have to warn you right off the bat that this post may turn into a commercial yarn rant. I'm feeling frustrated in my work right now. One of my goals in rewriting these vintage patterns is to use readily available yarn. Not everyone has a nice yarn shop in their town or can afford to buy handspun. Most people do however have a Michaels or Joann's so that is where I'm going to source yarn for my projects.

I guess I'm becoming a yarn snob, because the choices, for the most part, are so unappealing. For this baby's bib I want to use a nice feeling yarn and one that is easy to machine wash and dry. I'm not a big fan of acrylic, so I guess I'm eliminating the vast majority of yarn with that one bias. I decided to go with Nature's Choice Organic Cotton by Lion Brand. I liked that it was 100% cotton and who doesn't prefer organic, but after making up my pattern with this yarn, I'm disappointed.

First of all, they're calling this a medium yarn, and I would put this more in a bulky category. Maybe I don't know what constitutes bulky in this novel world, but come on. This is thick stuff. I think what frustrated me is that it's kind of stiff and it had a negative effect on my shaping. I also think it lacks the delicacy that I need. I want to use yarn that is greater than lace weight, because I think people are more comfortable with heavier yarns, but I went too far with the organic cotton. I guess that's why I'm unhappy. I chose badly.

So maybe you can help me. I haven't spent much time with commercial yarn over the last few years. What is your favorite baby yarn? Do you care if it's acrylic or not? I've just been to Michaels so far, but our Joann's has a greater selection. I think this project would look best with a sport weight or lighter yarn. Bernat Baby? Suggestions?


Becky said...

I like the cotton/acrylic combo for babies. I think it would be especially excellent for a bib.

mel said...

i see this is pretty old. i was just cruising thru baby related things on ravelry and ended up here. i wondered what ppl did recommend to you.

when i read Becky's comment the first thing i thought of was Cotton-ease. although it's classified as an aran, i don't think it works up any bigger than red heart, or caron simply soft/eco, etc. i remember it being a yarn i was really pleased to work with (before i became a yarn snob). the bib patterns i was working at the time advised wool or acrylic for use with milk/liquids for the way they manage moisture, and cotton for those eating solid foods for machine washability and sturdiness.

in big box/craft stores acrylic is just easy to come by and can be kinda hard to avoid. i often will choose the type of fiber recommended in a pattern, especially if a rationale for the selection is given so i understand what consideration (drape, sturdiness, some other special property) was involved or what might make it more suitable than something i might have chosen.

my recollection is that cottontots (all cotton) works up kinda buiky and i think i found it a bit splitty. i don't care for baby yarn colors, so i don't like to choose from those labeled baby anyway. i especially appreciate that acrylic keeps it's color indefinitely, tho. recently i chose bernat softee baby for sundresses and bloomers. it's a very soft yarn, but i am a bit concerned that softness always comes at the price of durability.

i'm sure you resolved this a long time ago; i read that you planned to recommend a lion brand cotton. i applaud your efforts to find something that is easily accessible. many others indicate pretty exotic and pricey fiber choices in their patterns and that makes choosing a challenge.

i'm glad you've shown pictures of the bib as it would fit and how it ties. that does make it easier to understand.

years ago i had a hard time finding a good closure method for the bibs i was making for a friend. she expressly preferred velcro - yeah right.. i'm going to put velcro on a handknit anything! LOL. ties were absolutely forbidden. the solution i liked best (as did she) was to knit the top of the bib like a ribbed sweater collar. but the dad and others helping with the babies found those hard to deal with bc they were kinda wishy-washy about pulling it straight on. the mom could do it just fine tho ;)