How To Soften Acrylic Yarn

Since I’m mostly a Charity Crafter and acrylic is preferred, I talk a lot about washing before donating to soften the inexpensive acrylics. Basically, I just treat it like laundry but I get questions all the time about the specifics of my method. So here’s a video to address those questions!

5 thoughts on “How To Soften Acrylic Yarn

  1. Hi Margaret,
    I just watched your 10/23 video. I’m sorry to post here but I don’t do Google+; hopefully you’ll see this.

    I started watching your videos mainly because I got interested in those circular knitting machines, and am now playing with one of the new Singer ones because of your review, so Thank You for that. But about your striped baby hat with the jag – I think you said you were using Magic Loop? That can be tricky when you’re switching sides (it is for me), and I think your tension on the working yarn was just too loose there – not a surprise because you were doing purls, which require some different hand movements (regardless of whether you’re knitting continental or English), and especially considering that once you got to the stockinette part everything was fine. I think if you just try pulling the working yarn a bit tighter on the purls in the future you won’t have any more trouble with that (more on that in the next paragraph). And considering you’re a new needle knitter (yes?), you’re doing great; even that jag doesn’t look bad.

    I agree with you about the 9″ circulars; I can’t use them, they’re just too short. I do like double points, I think even more than Magic Loop, but maybe it’s because I have more experience with them. Anyway – I don’t know if you’ve tried double points but I thought I would pass along something I remember from one of the Elizabeth Zimmermann’s books. The way to eliminate jags when switching needles is to just pull on the working yarn before you make the first stitch on the new needle; that tightens it up. I’ve tried doing that with Magic Loop but it’s harder because the stitches are on the cable rather than the needle and it’s easy to pull them *too* tight; you just have to be more careful. But it’s do-able.

    I hope that helps. Thank you for making these videos, especially the circular knitting machine ones; they’ve been really helpful. I still have a few things to figure out with the Singer, but hopefully I’ll get them before the Innovations I just ordered from eBay arrives. 🙂

    • Thanks for the reply, Meg! (Good news… Google+ and YouTube are now separate entities. As long as you have a Google/YouTube account you can reply on the videos.) So glad you found the Addi videos helpful and did you see the link in the New Singer video description box where Erin (Gimmeyarn418) affixed that Singer to the table and it took the #4 worsted like a pro?!? She used Command adhesive so she wouldn’t hurt her table and it worked like a charm!

      Yes… I understand that “pulling snuggly” tip and did you see how well I did on the two?! It was just that ONE HAT that I was having trouble with! Strange… very strange. I can do DPNs pretty well (which is what I’ve been using for hat decreases this past year) but just find them irritating. I can do the 9″ circulars the best but I’d rather not depend on those because I would need to invest in more sizes. For me, the beauty of Magic Loop is I won’t need any other supplies! I have all I need!

      I guess it’s just like anything… practice, practice, practice. Thankfully, I’m hard-headed enough to stick with it! Ha! Thanks for the advice.

  2. Margaret: I just discovered your blog and videos and really enjoy them. I made a few of the chunky hats and the people at work ordered some on the spot. To soften the yarn I use steam. I block my acrylic yarn scarves with it and tried it on the hats. It worked great. I still wash them and use fabric softener, but the steam really makes a difference.

    • Thanks, Lindaann! That’s something new for us to try. Do you have a steamer or are you just holding your iron over it?

      • I started using my iron when I made scarves, but it is really tiring when you are making them 20 at a time and trying to hold the iron up over the yarn without touching it. I finally got a clothes steamer with a plastic head and it was life changing! Definitely worth buying if you are doing a lot of work with it.

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