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addicted2yarn
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
376 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  1:56:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit addicted2yarn's Homepage Send addicted2yarn a Private Message
I was curious what everyone's opinion is on the novelty yarn "craze". When I first started knittting about three years ago I was totally obsessed with the fluffy eyelash yarns. I made scarves and sweaters that were trimmed with novelty yarns. After awhile though I got better at my knitting skills and got tired with the novelty yarns - I wanted to move on to "real" yarn that was more versatile. Anyway, everytime I visit my LYS it seems that there are still tons of new novelty yarns on the shelves. I think that these yarns are great at getting new knitters into the craft (it is simple to make a scarf out of them and your mistakes are not noticible - they are great beginner projects) but really, is the novelty yarn craze ever going to end? Just curious what all of you out there think....

-Ellen

klfrazier
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  2:09:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit klfrazier's Homepage Send klfrazier a Private Message
This is a great question! I think that novelty yarns are probably here to stay, and that's not a bad thing. While I normally like to use just a nice, high-quality natural fiber yarn, I do think that novelty yarns are fun for something different once in a while. They are fun for accessories or to trim items. They also can produce a lot of bang for the buck.

Ultimately, I think one of the best things about novelty yarns is that they tend to draw people into yarn stores. They are very attractive, and I know that many people want to start knitting so that they can work with them. Many of those people go on to become excellent knitters who like to work with all sorts of fibers. And so those novelty yarns do help to perpetuate our hobby/craft/art.

I don't think that novelty yarns will ever take the place of old-fashioned yarns, but I'm glad they are out there!

Kristin

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of troy
Permanent Resident

USA
2474 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  2:21:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit of troy's Homepage Send of troy a Private Message
i like the novelty yarns, -- the ones i have used, (fun fur(lion brand), chacha (Paton), Boa, (Bernat), Eros, Flutter (a softer eyelash that fun fur)--but i move from project to project.. i have made caplet in glitterspun, sweaters in cotton, socks in wool, and scarves in homespun...and novelty yarns!

i have trimmed socks with chacha, caplets and hats with fun fur.

i like variety, (and color!) and interesting patterns, and stitches, and cables, and....

right now, i am alternately working on a cape (bulky yarn, size 10 needles (6.5MM)stocking knit and cables, and bookmarks,lace, in ther round, size 1 needles!

there have been discussions of favorite needles (rounds, DP's, straights, wood, bamboo, metal, --i like all, except plastic-- and i don't hate plastic.

novelty yarns, and novelty techniques, (fair isle braiding, swiss darning/duplicate stitch, beading/sequins) all have there place. sometimes they get over done...

Vogue has a dress trimmed with large (nickel sized) sequins in the Vogue Vintage knitting.. i am not sure that i like it.. i know i hated (in the '60's) and i still hate, the then popular hats with oversized sequins (sequins the size of nickels!)--

but, i did like in the 60's, nice little pill box hats, made of rows of reverses stocking knit in brown angora, alternately with row brown finger/lt sports weight st.st in wool-- Knit across (i.e, one selvage edge was the brim, the other was gathered to make the crown) and shaped into a pill box with buckram to look (and it really did!) like a hat made from 'mink tails'--angora is a novelty yarn, its just way more expensive than boa! (and many are alergic to it)

i think 'novelty' yarns change with time, but i think knitter have been using novel things to knit with since forever!

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mbmoody
Gabber Extraordinaire

583 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  2:39:14 PM  Show Profile Send mbmoody a Private Message
I have mixed feelings about novelty yarns. They can be useful, fun, highly decorative. And there is a vagueness about the definition of a novelty yarn. I like Wool in the Woods' scarf kits, which are two variegated yarns of different fiber types, usually one is mohair, wound together into a ball to be knit together. Are they novelty yarns?

I have become annoyed lately with the stock at my LYS. I used to be fiercely loyal to the shop, but lately there's less and less I want to buy. I've been knitting for three years, and my interests are starting to move to more advanced, and traditional knitting. I don't expect a small shop to stock 5-ply gansey wool. I don't expect them to stock a large supply of 2-ply jumper weight yarn for Fair Isle knitting. I do expect that if they're carrying Jamieson yarns they will carry more than half a dozen colors in the dk and Soft Shetland. Instead, the shop has been taken over by novelty yarns and yarns for felting. The shop is geared towards beginners, and beginners want to felt things and make easy scarves.

I think the tide of novelty yarns will recede when the knitting craze fades, and it has to be near a peak. I don't want novelty yarns to disappear; I just don't want to see them crowd out yarns for projects that depend on the knitting rather than the yarn for their impact.
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klfrazier
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  2:50:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit klfrazier's Homepage Send klfrazier a Private Message
I don't think angora is a novelty yarn - it's just an alternative fiber like cotton, mohair or alpaca. (Correct me ladies if I'm wrong!) My understanding of novelty yarns is that they are yarns produced with either radically different fibers or non-traditional textures. In the two LYS's that I frequent, the angora is kept with the traditional yarns.

I'm partial, I know. I first started spinning because of angora rabbits, and spent years showing them on the national circuit. Did you know that angora wool (and it is wool, not hair) is 7 times warmer than sheep?

Kristin

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Pinky Yarn
Permanent Resident

USA
1045 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  2:54:35 PM  Show Profile Send Pinky Yarn a Private Message
Good topic, I haven't actually used furry eye-lash yarns myself, i think im gunna pick up some fun fur for my presentation for school (we could do it on anything we wanted and knew a lot about, so i chose fiber, hehe) i may make my haf sister in law a scarf oout of it, or trimmed with it, you get the idea. i do think they're cool, but used in moderation... MY sorts LYS, i say sorta cuz its not really all that close, had some novelty yarns, actually a lot more then i looked at, those kinds with the little "flag" thingys on them, they didnt really have much in the way of just "plain wool" for felting, or not that i saw, i was a little over whelmed, lol.

-God bless, take care, and dont eat soap!
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hobbitknitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  3:42:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit hobbitknitter's Homepage Send hobbitknitter a Private Message
I don't think angora is a novelty yarn- I consider it luxury with style. LOL! Just my insignificant opinion, of course.
I like *some* novelty yarns. I like the flag ones to add with a felting project. I'm not a begining knitter but I love felting, it is so fun!
I don't really like the furry ones. Except for hobbit feet hair, of course! LOL. My dog is scared of my Fun Fur, I don't know why....it's awfully funny, though!
I like Choo-Choo and like yarns- the ribbonny kind. I think they are really neat- especially for skinny scarves!
But on the whole, I don't buy much novelty- for one thing, most of it that I like is exspensive, and doesn't go very far, another- well, all things in moderation!



Sarah

S. Eliz.
Keep on knitting on!
See my gallery: www.pagebypage.com/board/index.php(In photo gallery pages, under S for Sarah Elizabeth)
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myshelle10
Permanent Resident

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  5:08:16 PM  Show Profile Send myshelle10 a Private Message
Rather off topic, but S.Eliz-- that "moderation" smiley you have there is just hilarious... I need one of *those* all around my house to remind me. I tend to get into something and just go full-on into it!

myshelle

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addicted2yarn
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
376 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  5:14:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit addicted2yarn's Homepage Send addicted2yarn a Private Message
Kristin, Wow you actually harvested and spun your own angora? I think it is so cool that you could knit and wear a sweater that came from a furry friend that you actually know. Out of curiosity, how many rabbits did you have? How much wool does a rabbit produce in a year? My (much-younger) cousin has several angoras for pets - they are such beautiful colors...

-Ellen
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hobbitknitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  5:26:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit hobbitknitter's Homepage Send hobbitknitter a Private Message
quote:

Rather off topic, but S.Eliz-- that "moderation" smiley you have there is just hilarious... I need one of *those* all around my house to remind me. I tend to get into something and just go full-on into it!

myshelle



hehehe, I love it, too- just been waiting for the best moment to debut it on the forums!
LOL
Sarah

S. Eliz.
Keep on knitting on!
See my gallery: www.pagebypage.com/board/index.php(In photo gallery pages, under S for Sarah Elizabeth)
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knitnerd
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
423 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  5:45:38 PM  Show Profile Send knitnerd a Private Message
I think the growth of novelty yarns is due to advances in technology. We have new fibers and new machines to spin them and dye them. We also have more access to products from around the world. I think the novelty yarn explosion has just started.

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diana.enky
Permanent Resident

Australia
1092 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  6:37:58 PM  Show Profile Send diana.enky a Private Message
quote:
Ultimately, I think one of the best things about novelty yarns is that they tend to draw people into yarn stores. They are very attractive, and I know that many people want to start knitting so that they can work with them. Many of those people go on to become excellent knitters who like to work with all sorts of fibers. And so those novelty yarns do help to perpetuate our hobby/craft/art.


Hey Kristin, I couldn't have said it better myself. I've been knitting for 31 years but hadn't picked up needles for 10 years when a couple of years ago my best friend who was learning to knit showed me a scarf kit containing a 'new' eyelash yarn called Patons Feathers here in Aus. My jaw dropped - "they make yarn like that now ?" I asked her. I had grown up with your standard ply in pure wool or acrylic. Well I burned rubber getting to the LYS and of course it was all sold out in the nice colours. The point is that these new novelty yarns got me back into knitting and that has to be a good thing as I am sure I am not the only one. And as you all know .... once you are hooked again, well....

So I think they are terrific and are here to stay. Whilst I would normally go for more 'traditional' knitting styles lately I have used eyelash yarn to make scarves, on trims for kids jackets and hats and my latest project is a chunky poloneck knit using one strand of eyelash yarn and one strand of Katia Himalaya that gives a very luxurious look to the garment.

Diana
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2003 :  9:14:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
I knit a scarf over the summer with a novelty yarn called MicroChic. It's a beautiful ice blue and I thought the scarf looked great when it was done. I took it out to wear yesterday since it was cold out and I don't think it looks so great after all. I suppose I really prefer classic yarns in wool or cotton and let the stitchwork create the beauty instead of garter stitch with the yarn creating the interest. Whatever.......

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myshelle10
Permanent Resident

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  02:25:50 AM  Show Profile Send myshelle10 a Private Message
I think like everything else in knitting-- needles, techniques, manners of holding yarn-- everyone has their own preferences.

Sometimes I like the classic stuff-- sometimes I like to play w/ the novelties... it just depends :) I think the idea of it drawing in people w/ different interests is important.

myshelle

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Boogie
Permanent Resident

USA
3073 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  04:30:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
I avoided the stuff just because it is the craze. then I thought how cute would that be in a sweater for a kid - but I also like the vest done on knitty. So now I'm designing a kids sweater with it and I actually find that I really like working with eyelash yarn. I haven't gotten into some of the more wild novelty yarns yet - baby steps.....

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FROGDANDY410
Chatty Knitter

United Kingdom
178 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  07:06:22 AM  Show Profile Send FROGDANDY410 a Private Message
i'm afraid i'm really boring and i like the more traditionnal novelty yarns (if that makes any sense...maybe it doesn't) . i like boucle type yarns or some of the furry woolly ones. last year i made a scarf with a lana grossa bobbled wool called pom-pom...it's got little balls of wool in tonal colours at regular intervals. this year i've ordered 2 balls of Gedifra Blue Carioca to make the collar and cuffs of a plain chunky sweater...but that's as far as i go... the eyelash threads sort of scare me, they look all shiny and slippery...i think their uses are quite limited too. maybe it's just that i am not very adventurous.

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thevalkyry
Sustaining Member

USA
736 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  08:10:43 AM  Show Profile Send thevalkyry a Private Message
I havent done a lot with novelty yarns myself, but they are fun!! They did a felted bag class at my LYS and everyone was sporting these great felted bags trimmed out with fur - it almost inspired me to felt!!

I thing they are a plus. They give more 'traditional' knitters the chance to dabble and explore with texture and appearance and add some fun and glitz to their projects. And as some people have pointed out - they make a a great 'hook' for our craft :)

Food, Gas, Rent.. and Yarn
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  09:48:57 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
On the subject of Angora Yarns, they are nothing new. When my sister married and moved out of the house I cleaned her room and found over 50 angora sweaters which I packed up and sent to her. if it is a fad it has certainly lasted a long time, her children are in their thirties now.

fran

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Pinky Yarn
Permanent Resident

USA
1045 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  10:03:46 AM  Show Profile Send Pinky Yarn a Private Message
my mommy likes them too! lol, she wants a black and white scarf out of fun fur, she doesnt know she already has two scarves, but thats ok, lol, i figure she'll at least wear one once, lol. Thats the good thing about moms, lol, i have this drawing, im not even sure what its supposed to be, and she still has it, lol.

but anyway, back to the topic, i didnt know that bernet, i dont think thats right...well, some other middle range yarn co. carries eyelash yarn, it was at hobby lobby, they've increased there uh, yarn supply, and needle, i was impressed, they had clover bamboo, mostly sold out, lol, another aisle (sp) of yarn, and they had 16 in. circulars!!! i was like, ok, finally they got smart, and they have more colors of other yarns. ill be going back sometime soon.

-God bless, take care, and dont eat soap!
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nmarshall
Warming Up

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  11:24:02 AM  Show Profile Send nmarshall a Private Message
Novelty yarn reels in my sixteen year old like my son reels in a flounder. She doesn't have a chance! She loves the yarn - soooooo soft and fluffy. She's not as impressed by the results (but who can't use another sleep tank or two) - since the cute little thing hanging off the needles looks a tad frumpy on the bod. The yarn tends to add an extra 3" - 4" in diameter to the wearer so even small people look hefty in sweaters made of novelty fuzzy eyelashy yarn. Other than trim - which is not my style - and scarves - which are everywhere and so are likely to be a passing thing - there's not much application for novelty, but I'll still add more of those amazing balls of shimmer and fluff to my stash. I guess I'm hooked too.

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Knit2Relax
Gabber Extraordinaire

433 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2003 :  11:27:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit Knit2Relax's Homepage Send Knit2Relax a Private Message
Love novelty yarns! They can make a project "fun!" I just finished a navy poncho and trimmed the bottom in multi-color Fun Fur. Right now, I'm knitting a pretty black wrap and the edges are trimmed in black Fun Fur. I use all different kinds of novelty yarns and I think they just help us add our own character to our projects!

Teresa
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