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 Red Heart
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abt1950
Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2007 :  11:08:42 AM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a love/hate relationship with Red Heart. My grandmother used it and I learned to knit on it, so there's an element of nostalgia. As a college student, my Red Heart scarf saw me through Chicago winters.

Red Heart may not be the most pleasant yarn to knit with, but it softens with use. It's cheap, durable, and comes in nice colors. It's not my first choice (I'm a yarn snob when knitting for someone who will appreciate it), but it has its uses. It can show off the skill of the knitter just as well as any alpaca, merino, or cahsmere yarn.

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
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mrssuem
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
457 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2007 :  3:03:10 PM  Show Profile Send mrssuem a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Black Red Heart yarn has to be the most horrible yarn I have every had to work with. Even just using it in small amounts for knitting in boots on santa or a belt has me annoyed. I can use Red Heart for other things and it holds up o.k. and knits up o.k. Have found that it really likes to split a lot though.
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CathyAnn
Warming Up

USA
96 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2007 :  4:36:38 PM  Show Profile  Send CathyAnn a Yahoo! Message Send CathyAnn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Guess I should count my blessings that I have always preferred to spend a little more on the yarn, and I don't usually by "economy" yarns like Red Heart. My thinking is that my free time is very valuable, and I don't want to take all the time it takes to make something and have it be made out of cheap yarn. I suppose it's more expensive in the long run, but so far I haven't been disappointed (well, maybe once--wrong yarn choice for the project).

CathyAnn

TRAIN - ENDURE - ACHIEVE - MATTER
http://www.active.com/donate/tntnoh/CathyAnn2008
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NatRed2
Warming Up

98 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2007 :  6:52:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit NatRed2's Homepage Send NatRed2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LOL... I shouldn't chuckle so loud, but I can sympathize. I do use Red Heart, and complain while I do it. It ticks me off royally when it gets tangled but if I catch it soon enough I can undo the mess without cutting. I always call those Monday and Friday skeins.
Regardless of what the say, Red Heart yarn does pill... I have proof on my sofa! But I do like to use it for afghans and hats. I never dry, that is my learned the hard way secret. I wash in cold, and hang my afghans on a line. I find most department store yarn pills and splits.

Jeanne

Nat Red Knits
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likestoknittoo
Warming Up

86 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2007 :  9:14:17 PM  Show Profile Send likestoknittoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I learned to crochet many years ago, I made a couple of afghans out of Red Heart Yarn holding two strands of yarn together and used a size N and P crochet hook. One was a puffed shell design and is still my favorite. The afghans have come through the years just great and I wash them in cold water in the machine and then dry them in the dryer until dry (makes cleaning them very easy). With this said, I tried knitting with this yarn and just hated it. The yarn was hard to work with and made my hands hurt. I think the yarn is fine for crocheting afghans or making clothes hanger covers with it, but for knitting, no thank you.
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candym
Chatty Knitter

343 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2007 :  06:50:52 AM  Show Profile Send candym a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is what I have noticed: the red heart yarn makes my hands feel like sandpaper. What is up with that?

candace
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Greyling
Gabber Extraordinaire

579 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2007 :  02:54:45 AM  Show Profile Send Greyling a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use Red Heart for my cat rugs and for rug donations to the animal shelters. It does get softer, and is easy to throw in the wash machine.

As for tangles, when initially pulling from the center, I think you have to read their label. The labels show you how to start the skein.

There is usually one end of the skein that has the outside yarn tucked inside. You remove the outside yarn, and then you pull from the other side.

Some of the labels have arrows that show you to first remove the outside strand, and then pull from the other side.

I know from experience, that if I do not follow their little arrows, then I get a tangle.

And I think this applies to all other yarn skeins as well. Pull the outside yarn from one end of the skein, and then start your knitting from the other side.

(I hope this is clear, maybe someone else knows what I'm saying and can re-explain)

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abt1950
Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2007 :  09:49:13 AM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greyling--very clear and very useful. Thanks.

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
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GaiaDea
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
516 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2007 :  2:17:41 PM  Show Profile Send GaiaDea a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes Grayling, that's a good explanation! The pull skeins that come in the long "log" shapes are usually ended by the manufacturer by taking the outside or finishing end of the yarn, slipping it under the first loop of the inside or beginning end, and pulling both ends to the inside of the skein....presumably to keep it from unwinding during shipping and shelving. So to free the inside end, you must first pull out the outside end and then pull out the inside end from the opposite side of the skein the outside end was on. On occasion the machines that do the winding and finishing don't get the very first loop of the beginning end though, so a tangly wad can happen in the middle where you can't see it. In that case the only two solutions I know of are: you can pull the wad from the center and persuade it to cooperate, or you can use the outside end.

As far as Red Heart yarn goes....I used a great deal of the worsted weight of that and many others from general discount stores over the years. I thought ALL yarns were plastic-y and slightly rough, static-y and totally non-breathable and non-absorbent---until I used good wool yarn for the very first time. No store locally carries ANY wool yarns at all, so my choices were limited to Red Heart and Caron and Lion, all in acrylic. I was also afraid of wool because I had always been allergic to wool, or so I thought. In learning to spin, I found it is the sizing and dye treatments used for commercial weaving that I am allergic to and not the wool (most folks allergic to wool clothing have the same sensitivity). So I bought some Mountain Colors 4/8's and I try really hard now to avoid using most acrylic yarns ever at all, LOL.

GaiaDea
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2007 :  10:04:01 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Boy,howdy, have computer problems for a couple of weeks and y'all have the best discussions without me.

I sold about 1,000 lbs. of Red Heart a month for 17 years and never had anything from them pill. On the other hand, Lion and Caron both pill like buggers. On the third hand, Red Heart now produces other acrylics than wintuk [tm] now and those "soft" yarns do pill.

Sooooo, it's tough to make an absolute pronouncement about pilling yarn. I know that Red Heart still has the most aggressive quality control program in the industry. Wayyy tougher than any of the others and they are still the only yarn company in the world that makes their own acrylic yarn from spinning to finishing. Lion, Caron and that other one I can't remember are all done up at SpinRite in Canada for finishing. I'm not sure where they are all spun.
If a Red Heart product pilled immediately they would absolutely want the customer to return it to them. And they take that kind of thing seriously. They would investigate the production lots and find out why that fiber failed. So even if someone doesn't want to reknit in RedHeart, then consider that they would take it as a favor to be shown a failed product.

Unless they've gotten a divorce, Coats & Clark (Red Heart) is also part of Patons. It trades internationally as Coats-Patons and Patons yarns for the US market are also produced at Albany. Moda Dea is theirs as well, but most of those are novelty yarns made in Turkey but put upp in Georgia.
Any good acrylic (in particular, red heart) really needs to go through a dryer to behave itself. It's an engineered fiber that is moisture activated, heat set. In other words, when it gets hot (in a dryer) after it's been wet (in a washer) it will snap back and rebulk itself like new.

Dazzle type yarns tend to pill like buggers because they have particularly hairy fibers mixed in to give the yarn it's sparkle. Plain, smooth surface yarns pill less or not at all.

Acrylics have their place, just like polar fleece and sweat pants - no matter what Tim Gunn and Michael Kors have to say.

Llinn
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judye
New Pal

USA
37 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2007 :  10:39:22 AM  Show Profile Send judye a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Llinn, how did you make out selling the Red Heart yarn? Where do you start this sort of thing? By the way, I have found that most yarns can get tangled in the middle. It is most annoying. Patience is required, but not so easy to come by.

judyeisner@yahoo.com



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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2007 :  9:35:54 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
South jersey is it's own little world. We're not like any other part of the country. Now I sold all mill ends at substantially less than normal retail, so I marketed to people who are cheap.
I did great so long as I just had to make grocery and luxury money. When Ma went nuts and sold my house out from under me and got me a $2000 per month mortgage I had to quit selling yarn and go get a real job. Yarn stores won't support anyone at a living wage.

Llinn
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pyewackett
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2007 :  11:05:05 PM  Show Profile Send pyewackett a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Llinn, I never realized we lived so close to each other! I'm just north of Trenton, in Lawrenceville. What LYS do you have down your way?

- pye
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MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2007 :  11:38:42 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use red heart super saver strictly for peole I dont like and would rather not knit for! Like my SILs kid... I will use the other Red Heart brands, like Heathers isn't too bad, and any of the red heart baby is pretty nice and soft and fluffy. The only reason I would choose red heart SS for myself is if there was a particular color I HAD to have! I used it last year to crochet daughter a hooded cardigan and she insists it makes her neck itch, and it actually turns red! I didn't think acrylic would be itchy. So a year of slow and steady work down the drain on that one, good thing the yarn was cheap!
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2007 :  4:39:12 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ooops, hadn't looked at this site for a while. Pye, we have Woolbearers over in Mt. Holly. They do a spin-in the first Sunday of every month which Anne and I go to occasionally. Other than that I'm not real sure, I still have so many thousands of pounds of yarn, I only ever buy novelty for scarves and some colors in acrylics I don't have or can't dig out easily.


mindy, have you washed the hoodie? Red heart does have a finishing "bath" after it is dyed and before it is bulked. It washes away in the first trip through the washer and dryer and the yarn softens considerably. If the kidlet really is showing a reaction to the yarn, you might consider that she may be sensitive to acrylics. I know people who are allergic to petroleum based synthetics and cannot wear anytning except natural fibers.

Llinn
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moose
Warming Up

85 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2007 :  11:21:28 PM  Show Profile Send moose a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I learned how to knit, Red Heart was wool in 4 oz or 2 oz skeins. Quilt batting was cotton. Both yarn and batting switched to synthetics, but the batting company now offers cotton batting again. Would Red Heart ever return to wool? Moose
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NCmusiclady
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
541 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2007 :  10:43:04 AM  Show Profile Send NCmusiclady a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had Red Heart - and other brands KNOTTED on me - like they took two ends and tied them in a KNOT! It's more than irritating, to say the least!

I've also had tangles from the center pull skeins and now I only use the yarn from the outside - put it in a ziplock bag and go for it.

Just because the THEORY says one thing - doesn't always mean that's the REALITY. Really.
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2007 :  9:08:26 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Probably not under the Red Heart label, Moose, but Patons is part of Red Heart so Patons wool is their wool.

NCmusic, lots of brands have knots. And it sure does tick people off. Red Heart has about the fewest - someone who shall remain nameless except that their name has something to do with big cats had an official policy that allowed up to 3 (THREE!!!!) knots per skein.

Red Heart used to allow none--I bought a lot of yarn in partial skeins because of that, but they have switched to a one knot policy.

What you won't find in RedHeart and what burns me sometimes worse than anything is knots where they have added new plys. Red Heart twists them into the yarn and you'll never notice, but I've found more than one place where they've tied on a new single in Cashmerino. For some reason those little knots annoy me worse than a big one.

Llinn
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crsknit
New Pal

USA
37 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2007 :  06:43:27 AM  Show Profile Send crsknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I really got into knitting about 20 years ago, I lived in Huntsville, AL and there were no yarn shops. The only yarn available was the Wal-Mart, K-Mart, variety. In fact, no one carried cotton yarn and I had never seen it or knitted with it until I moved to Mableton, GA 13 years ago and met a knitter who made dishcloths and she got her cotton at Michaels.

I made lots and lots of baby afghans and throws for gifts from Red Heart. I was always told how much they were used and washed and were still in service years later and looking good. A friends "baby" was still using her blanket for naps 3 1/2 years later. I now tend to use TLC Essentials or Caron Simply Soft for these items because of the softer feel. However, these yarns just do not hold up as well as the Red Heart. I have two afghans in my home right now that were made from TLC and they have not stayed looking as good as the ones I have made from Red Heart.

I am thinking of going back to Red Heart. It is readily available in more places and has a greater color selection than some of the "soft" products.



Finishing is better than starting. Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2007 :  5:00:17 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Write to Red Heart or call their customer service line for color availability. I haven't bothered for a while myself, but I can tell you that in the 80s and 90s Red Heart made 117 colors in Wintuk, and WalMart sold 19. Tough to get a lot of their colors except direct.

Llinn
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