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 Best Yarn for baby blankets

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Ditzy Girl Posted - 01/19/2012 : 5:25:45 PM
What are some of your fave yarns for baby blankets?

Zola, Seattle, Wash.

20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
luvcelticknits Posted - 01/03/2013 : 8:02:10 PM
For baby blankets I like Lion Brand Pound of Love or Babysoft.
luvcelticknits Posted - 01/03/2013 : 7:59:10 PM
For baby blankets or afghans, I like to use Lion Brand Pound of Love.
rejoyce Posted - 01/03/2013 : 7:55:14 PM
I love Encore. It washes up so nicely and is very soft.
scowan4738 Posted - 01/03/2013 : 1:40:50 PM
I make a number of baby afghans for charity every year and since I do not like to weave in ends tend to use Lion Brand Pound of Love or Caron One Pound.
beesnez Posted - 01/03/2013 : 09:23:11 AM
My favorite afghan yarns are Vanna's Choice, which I used for an afghan for my 14-year-old grandson for Christmas, and Plymouth Encore, which I am using for the Great American Aran Afghan at the moment. In my opinion, afghan yarn has to be sturdy and machine washable.
harperbardknits Posted - 01/03/2013 : 08:43:56 AM
while not for babies specifically - i love, love LOVE knitting blankets in varieties of NORO...the colors are, well: Noro :> i have also used baby alpaca with some Noro as accent and that was especially cozy. at a time of particular enthusiasm for a coming babe i knit up the blanket - again in colorful Noro - Kochoran I believe, then applied a sewn on fleece backing...yummmy indeed!

happy stitching all!


Babsy Posted - 01/03/2013 : 08:36:25 AM
There are some lovely, soft natural yarns out now that are wonderful for baby items. Sometimes they are labelled specifically for baby wear, but at other times they are for general use, but come in great colors that are popular for little ones. Superwash wools are also very nice and come in wonderful colors with a great deal of pattern support. I really dislike acrylic yarns so I tend not to use them for anything, but I would never use them for a baby. If the parents wouldn't use something made of natural fibre, I'd go buy a toy! Even when I knit for myself, I try to avoid acrylic, though in small doses in a very few yarns such as Encore, I might bend. Sometimes you have to get beyond the craft store yarns to find other options and if you shop carefully, you can often get very good prices.
grammy1124 Posted - 01/03/2013 : 06:11:27 AM
When I became a grandmother, my daughter asked me to only use soft yarn for baby blankets. I primarily used Caron Simply Soft, which is beautiful and stains come out easily (using Shout Gel Stain Remover). Although it can be machine washed and dried, I recommend machine washing on gentle and then air drying, which doesn't take long at all. The integrity of the crocheted or knitted fabric will be retained better if it is not machine dried.

I have given considerable consideration to the issue of fire when deciding on what yarn to use. It is pretty much impossible to prevent something from burning without a flame retardent added to the fabric. The main thing to consider and to advise new parents is they should never, ever, put a blanket on a baby in bed. My daughter was vigilant about this as it is a common cause for infant deaths in cribs. She only used the blankets as swaddling when taking the baby outside to the car, or while in the stroller -- or to put on the floor for them to play on.

With that in mind, I felt fine about using acrylic yarn for baby afghans. I do not use anything with wool as it is way too scratchy, and a waste of time to use if the piece is ultimately never going to be used because it is itchy.

I do not use regular Red Heart yarns for baby blankets (too scratchy even though it is synthetic), although I have used their designated soft yarns. One thing I've noticed is even though yarn may seem soft in the skein, once it is crocheted or knitted up, it actually may not be soft at all.

Perhaps it is time for yarn manufacturers to consider producing a yarn line of baby yarn that has been treated with flame retardant.
soapgirl Posted - 01/03/2013 : 06:03:20 AM
My favorite baby blanket material has been cotton. I have knit quite a few and use a cotton thick and thin from Webs. But my most favorite and the most popular are the ones I weave using cotton chenille.Some of my recipients are still carrying them around or tucked under their pillows today. They become their "woobies". My daughters have requested them for years (to give to their friends as they had babies) and now my granddaughters are ordering them for their friends' babies (sigh, I think my age is showing)
These cotton blankets just keep getting softer the more you use them. My youngest grandaughter was so addicted to hers that my daughter requested a "back-up" in case of emergencies. I love making them and have a gallery of baby photos with the newborns wrapped in their "wooby-to-be" blankies. So cotton is my vote for babies

she who dies with the largest stash wins!
stherio Posted - 01/03/2013 : 05:17:54 AM
I'm glad I read this one this week! I've always used Caron, but never thought about some of the topics here. I'm going to have to rethink this, especially for blankets made for the car seat.........thanks as usual all!

sockjoan Posted - 12/26/2012 : 4:20:42 PM
I nearly always use 100% superwash Merino for baby-blankets, though I have also used cotton. I will only use natural fibres (though I admit to using blends in socks). Young parents don't want to hand-wash, so superwash is a good option. I've used handspun (not superwash!) for things for special babies whose mothers I can trust to treat them with respect!
As for blends and fire-resistance, I can only relate my experience using a wool-blend sock as a pot-holder on a camping trip. That was the end of that sock (not hand-knitted, I'm pleased to say) - it melted due to the synthetic component.
cehamer Posted - 12/23/2012 : 11:34:16 AM
Originally posted by ikkivan

.... I'd be interested in knowing WHAT ratio of wool to synthetic would be necessary for the wool to extinguish a flame before it melts the synthetic portion....

When I was looking at reupholstering some furnature, I checked into the flammability issue on the web. The best source I found was this white paper from the National Institute of Standards:

On page 29, there is a discussion of best fabrics for avoiding cigarette ignition (falling asleep on the couch while smoking). But I think smoldering ignition is pretty unlikely in a house without smokers, so I looked for ignition due to exposure due to open flame.

At the bottom of page 29 and continuing onto page 30 is a discussion of resistance to ignition from open flame based on fiber content. The authors conclude that "at least 40 to 60 wool or cellulosic fiber (viscose) may be necessary" for minimal flame resistance in furnature coverings.

Table 21, "Upholstered Furnature Components in approximate order of decending ignition resistance," shows wool at the top of both categories.

Based on this, I've decided to only use protein and cellulosic fibers in household decor, bed clothes, and night clothes. Which is just as well, since I share EZ's distaste for knitting with any fiber that would produce noxious fumes when incinerated, or isn't biodegradable.

Natural plant fibers are much less ignition resistant as surface coverings, but still are good for batting. Which would be important to crafters if we're making pillows, stuffies or quilts. For tiny babies, I think I might err on the the side of dermatology and so choose untreated organic cotton for clothes, anyway.

I'm making my first BSJ for a friend's grandbaby in superwash merino from Millamia. The swatch came out of the dryer squishy and cuddly, looking great. It would be too expensive for a blanket, not to mention it's sport weight. I was considering one of EZ's buntings in Cascade 128 Superwash.

Knit on,
Caitlin : )

PS. For anyone looking to the upholstery issue, don't let anyone sell you FR treated wool fabric from England for $200/yd. You can get untreated wool fabric from the Pendleton Woolen Mills in Oregon starting at $50/yd.
cehamer Posted - 12/23/2012 : 10:44:45 AM
Originally posted by ikkivan

P.S. I have made baby blankets from blends that were 75% synthetic and 25% wool, but decided that the wool content probably wasn't enough to make the blanket safe. I'd be interested in knowing WHAT ratio of wool to synthetic would be necessary for the wool to extinguish a flame before it melts the synthetic portion. The addition of some nylon or acrylic often does help bring down the price of the yarn.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)

ricoknits Posted - 12/21/2012 : 05:51:32 AM
I know it is pricey but I love Debbie Bliss cashmerino for baby blankets. I made a blanket for a coworker from it and it came out beautiful and washes well. You can find it on sale. I used the chunky weight which knits up fast.
Daylily Posted - 12/20/2012 : 5:36:28 PM
I just recently finished a baby blanket using Caron One Pound colors in Scarlet Red, Royal Blue , White and Black. it is acrylic because of it being washable and dryable for a daughter-in-law's friend who had a baby girl earlier in this month. New York Giants colors were the requested colors, not my choice.

Daylily, another one tomorrow
sba13221 Posted - 12/20/2012 : 4:32:27 PM
I have learned to love cotton. When I moved to the south, wool was really hard to knit because it was just too darn hot. So for my last blanket (a gift for a granddaughter who lives in Los Angeles), I used Takhi Cotton Classics. It was a mitered square blanket a la Mason Dixon knitting. It's gorgeous and huge. It's now the bedspread on her toddler bed. I'm using leftovers from that (because I had every color) for the current blanket I'm making for my third granddaughter (due next month). Even though it's cotton, it's very heavy and warm. When my other daughter was pregnant, I knit a lot of things. She asked me what each one was made of and basically tossed out the acrylic one, and the wool ones. I was insulted but c'est la vie. These new moms are quite specific and although Cotton Classics is not an organic yarn, this daughter loves what I made for her daughter. I hope she likes the next one. It sure is fun to knit!
ItzMe Posted - 12/20/2012 : 11:47:14 AM
I find it very interesting to read over the responses in this thread. I haven't made a baby blanket in many years and when I did I used acrylic - simply because that was the only thing available. Having had a few knit gifts ruined by careless washing, I would base my choice on the (laundry) preferences of the recipient. Some moms will not use anything wool because they only want the softest and easiest care things for their baby... Others want the child to have only natural fibers. We all know that babies make a LOT of laundry! :-)

When it comes to children's sleepwear, the issue, as i understand it is to avoid FLAMES and flash ignition. That is why all children's sleepwear that is sold here must be flame retardant either naturally a property of the fiber, or chemically treated.

Here is what I know about the various fibers.
Wool will usually extinguish a flame.
Cotton is EXTREMELY dangerous. I once had a terry cloth bathrobe, and was trying to boil water on a gas stove. I reached across the stove and my bathrobe instantly burst into flame! It was not in direct contact with the fire, mind you. My cousin set fire to cotton balls with just the spark from a lighter - no open flame! If you look at children's sleepwear, it is difficult to find (or used to be - I haven't bought any in a long time) cotton. This is because the chemical treatment washes or wears off, especially if not washed properly.
Linen is naturally flame retardant which is why in days of hearth cooking women's aprons were made of linen.
Synthetics do not sustain a flame.

I had to take my mom for hyperbaric oxygen treatment and she was ONLY allowed to wear cotton, for the simple reason the cotton was the only fiber that wouldn't conduct electricity and spark!

It took me some time to get used to the shocking experience with wool, LOL, and synthetics are pretty much the same issue.
sbr Posted - 12/20/2012 : 09:24:38 AM
My daughter is allergic to wool (and we both dislike acrylic), so I only used cotton when knitting for my grandson 8 years ago. But even though it looks lovely, it's not soft and cuddly, so I was thrilled to find a silky feeling mostly bamboo yarn when my granddaughter was born. I have made several baby blankets using Bernat Bamboo Natural Blends (86% bamboo viscose, 12% acrylic, 2% poly). When I first started, they had two pink shades (Rosehip [my absolute favorite, a deep pink] and Lotus [an innocuous light pink]) that contrasted nicely, and which I used in large, open work diagonal stripes (knit from corner) for a lovely, lacy blanket that my daughter and granddaughter just love, as it is not only lovely, but soft, soft, SOFT. And though the label says to dry flat, her blanket has been regularly machine washed and dried for nearly 4 years with no problems.

It's definitely the softness that makes this yarn my favorite, as the color selection is pretty sad, especially since the Rosehip seems to be no longer available (except as one of the shades in a variegated pattern). Nonetheless, I have made several blankets for both boys and girls, one all cream when gender was unknown, or using either a blue variegated or pink variegated with alternating bands of cream.
Stasher Posted - 12/20/2012 : 08:44:00 AM
Cotton-wool blends are my favorites for small afghans. I haven't tried the 50/50 blends, but I have used the 80% cotton/20% wool blends: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece or Cascade Sierra. The wool gives the cotton a wonderful feel, and it's still machine washable and dryable (sp?) even though the label says to dry flat. I've also used 100% mercerized cotton like Tahki Cotton Classic--smaller gauge, but I love the drape. I've done a log cabin blanket out of yarn similar to Cotton Classic. It was lovely.
purlewe Posted - 12/20/2012 : 08:43:47 AM
I tend to wool or cotton for babies. I once had a new mother to be insist on my knitting a baby gown in 100% acrylic and I was so astonished. I offered linen and cotton as choices, but she insisted on acyrilic. That is where my tennis elbow started. :D So now, as the knitter making the object, I insist on cotton if not wool.

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy

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