This blog post is going to focus on one of those types of snobs: the yarn snob and in particular, the acrylic yarn snob .
Acrylic yarn. Oh how we love to crap on it. Whether it's the poorer quality of the yarn, the squeakiness on the needles, the roughness on our fingers, there is always a reason to hate on it. When I was first starting out, I couldn't wait to move onto the real yarn because 1) I read that they were better and 2) there was a slight distaste towards acrylic yarn users.
There are parts of the knitting community that still use acrylic yarn for one reason or another and I've noticed a slight elitism among some of us yarn-snobs (I am one too as I do love me some merino wool and silk blends). Why would knitters want to continue using such unpleasant yarn when there is real yarn on the market?
1. It's More Affordable
Let's not kid ourselves, some yarn brands are expensive. While they are high quality yarns, some knitters can't afford dishing out $200 or more for a sweater (might as well buy the darn thing from the store) or even $20+ for a single skein. When I was first starting out, I didn't have the money to buy all the top-tier brands. While I can afford to buy the nicer yarns now, some people may still not want to pay top buck for yarns when acrylic suits their wallets just fine.
2. It's Low Maintenance
I don't wear my knits that often because I'm terrified of getting them dirty or damaged. Acrylic yarn manages to by-pass this problem by virtue of its nature - you can throw it in the wash with no fear! It doesn't felt, it's easy to clean and the colors don't bleed.
Acrylic is also resistant to moths, chemicals and deterioration from sunlight exposure. It's a yarn that is built to last (making it a good choice for babies)! I'm constantly checking in on my yarns and knitwear to look for any signs of early wear and tear.
3. It's Hypoallergenic
Sometimes the reason for using acrylic is for health reasons! And while there are some animal based yarns that are also hypoallergenic, some knitters could just also be allergic to animal fibers in general. If your skin doesn't like one type of yarn, the perfect fiber is out there, waiting for you to discover it.
4. It's Accessible
You can find acrylic yarns easily in any general craft stores, and craft stores in turn are easy to find and easy to get to. The large brands like "Lion Brand" carry every weight and color of yarn possible. It's easy to find a color you like in the weight you need. There are even some brands that specialize in making soft acrylic yarns! There are plenty of options on the market for knitters who wants to use acrylic yarns.
5. Who Cares?
While introducing knitters to different types of yarn (as well as teaching them the process of how they are made) is important and helpful - as it gives them the knowledge to make an educated and informed decision - what the knitter ultimately chooses to work with is a personal choice.
While I choose to knit with animal-fibers, it is because I can afford paying for the higher quality, I don't have any allergies to wool and I have the time to take care of my knits when they need to be washed. Some people don't have that luxury but that shouldn't prevent them from enjoying a craft that brings so much joy to people. And honestly, knitters don't need to justify their reasons for using acrylic yarns. What's the most important is that they are knitting.
We should be less worried about what they work with and instead be focused on converting non-knitters to the craft! Stop the "frowning" as Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee says, and start encouraging!
Agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! If you know a yarn snob in your life, send this article their way or rish Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee fill their mailbox with the worst of the worst.