soft yarn for knit and crochet Softest Yarn Ranking – Ultimate Acrylic Yarn Comparison

Softest Yarn Ranking – Ultimate Acrylic Yarn Comparison

Today we finally get to the fun part of the Ultimate Acrylic Yarn Comparison! I’ve spent the last 10 weeks posting about each yarn that is in the comparison, providing first impressions on workability, softness, etc. But now comes the time to compare all of the yarns head to head and determine the softest yarn.

This has been such a long journey. I have been making videos along the way, mostly for my own use to be sure I remember all of my thoughts. But I always knew that sharing them might be the most beneficial. Today’s post will share videos and some summary for all of these yarns at three different points: Yarn Softness in Skein, Softness in Swatch and Softness after Washing.

Evaluating the Softest Yarn in the Skein

Feel free to just watch the embedded video below to see the order in which I ranked these yarns. When feeling the yarn in the skein, I rubbed it against my wrist and neck to check for any signs of irritation. I was very enamored with yarns like Schachenmayr Soft & Easy and King Cole Cherished DK!

As I said in the video, Cascade Yarns North Shore confused me and I could not figure out where to place it. The ranking list below excludes this yarn for that reason. To summarize the in skein ranking, in order of least soft to softest yarn:

How Swatching Transforms the Softest Yarn

Spoiler alert: yarns feel different in the skein than they do when they are knit into a swatch! I chose to do this ranking based on the softness of the yarn when knit, since knitting has a less defined texture than crochet. It also allows you to see other attributes like drape. Note: my ranking count in the video is off for a bit around #’s 9-11. Apparently I can’t count.

To summarize the ranking, in order of least soft to softest yarn:

The Interesting Effects of Washing

In the previous videos, you’ll notice that I wanted to see how a yarns texture changed when washed. I wanted to know if Cascade North Shore felt less like cotton and if Knit Pick’s Brava lost it’s prickle. And would Loops & Threads Impeccable become less stiff? This video will help answer all of these questions!

To summarize the post-washing ranking, I am listing them below in order of least soft to softest yarn. I have excluded Bernat Softee Chunky from the list below, as washing made it more difficult to accurately place a chunky yarn along side it’s finger counterparts.

Eye-Opening Takeaways from Ranking Yarn

After evaluating the softness of a yarn at three distinct points, I definitely have some takeaways.

First off, it is very easy to be fooled by the softness of a yarn in the skein. I would never have guessed that my original favorites Schachenmayr Soft & Easy and King Cole Cherished DK would fall in the rankings!

Second, the gauge at which you knit or crochet can have a big impact on softness. The larger your stitches are the less it will glide against your skin. Thus, I finally decided to exclude Bernat Softee Chunky from the ranking.

Third, don’t underestimate the power of washing, for it is no miracle worker. Although washing changed Cascade Yarns North Shore for the better, it wasn’t able to work wonders with Loops & Threads Impeccable.

Finally, yarn softness is multidimensional and subjective! I really got a kick out of doing the final two rankings (post swatching & post washing) with my husband. Although we were able to agree on every ranking after much deliberation, our evaluation criteria was different! I was very in tune the fiber itself (obviously, since I knit), but he was more influenced by the overall feel of the fabric (where gauge becomes more of a factor).

It’s amazing how much difference there can be in the texture of acrylic yarns. Even among yarns that are similarly plied!


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