In Praise of Cheap Yarn


I’m a yarn snob.  I admit it.  I will gladly pay more for natural fibers.  I love wool, angora, alpaca, mohair, and cashmere.  LOVE them and they way they feel in my hand as they slide from needle to needle.

My snobbery comes mostly from a time factor.  If I’m going to invest in the time to make a sweater, for example, I don’t want scratchy yarn or yarn that will pill (even though I know natural fibers will pill too).

My sister sent me a pin of a chunky knit afghan with a simple note: “Wouldn’t this be cool.”  My sister hardly ever asks me to make her anything, partly because she’s not 100% on board with the “Maker Movement” and partially because she’s a confessed material girl coming out of a childhood in the 70’s where hand-made meant homey, or worse, homely.  Thus, she doesn’t really make anything except really good food.

So, I took the hint and offered to make her the afghan, knowing that it was essentially merino wood roving that the picture showed.  I was kind of excited to try it, but then she burst my bubble.  No natural fibers – nothing she’d have to take to drycleaners.  What!!!

She has dogs – dogs she regards as her children, one of whom is as elderly as they come.  This afghan needed to be thrown into the washer machine when needed.


On a lark I bought some chunky Hometown USA yarn from Wal-mart because I wanted to see how it would knit up and how it would wash.  The test fabric washed well and was silk-like to knit.  And, ta-da! It happened.  I love this yarn for afghans!  Love. Love. Love.

She chose beige because she’s more tuned into browns and natural colors than I am, but my gauge was really off and I frogged the beige project because it was enormous.  When I showed her the proto-type of beige, she had decided in the meantime that she wanted a pop of color, and thus Hawaiian Pink was chosen (which was way more fun to knit than boring beige!).

Anyhoo, I ended up knitting the beige again with better gauge and kept it for myself – somewhat grudgingly since I’m not really a beige person, but you know what?  I love it in my bedroom, which is a work in progress, by the way (I just contacted an artisan about making a barn wood headboard).


And it’s crazy cozy!  For naps or for cold night when I want an extra layer.  LOVE.  I’ll say it again, LOVE this yarn!

Here’s the pattern that I made up but is probably on Ravelry for free.

Size 17 circulars – 32 inches

Cast on 88.

Knit 5 rows.

**Knit the first four stiches, * purl 8, knit 8 (repeat from *), until 4 stitches are left. Knit.

Continue in the pattern for 12 rows.

Knit the first 4 stitches, *knit 8, purl 8 (repeat from *), knit the last four stitches.

Continue in the pattern for 12 rows and then repeat from **.

Make the afghan as long as you want it.  After the last sequence of 12 rows, knit 5 rows and bind off loosely.

I ‘m not sure how many skeins this took, but I’d venture about 10-12, which at $2.69 makes for a fairly inexpensive afghan!



About lionsdaughter

I like to make things, lots of things, but not all things. I love to sew, knit, embroider, take pictures, scrapbook, dye fibers, work clay in the summer, garden. I want to try weaving, spinning, and stain glass work. I have no interest in auto body, upholstery, or tanning (either working animal skin or purposefully darkening my own).
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