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Design Week, day 3: yarn selection

Knit and Crochet week marches on! I’m absolutely delighted that so many people are dedicating this week to coming up with a design of their own, and the posts so far have been fabulous!

Day 3’s topic is choosing a yarn!

Yarn Colors

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m designing a Playpus stuffed animal. And as I mentioned previously, even though platypuses (is that the plural?) are brown with a black beak in real life… I’m just drawn to a brown platypus with a tan beak. So that’s how it’s going to be.

Factors in Choosing a Yarn

Because my stuffed animal will be the sample for a FreshStitches pattern, I need to take a few factors into consideration:

  • Is the yarn widely available? I have customers from all over, so I try to pick a yarn that is accessible.
  • Will the yarn still be on the market next season? I don’t want to release a pattern that recommends a color that has been discontinued!
  • Is the yarn easily substitutable? Even though I recommend a particular yarn/colorway, my customers come from all over the world, and it’s impossible for me to pick a yarn that everyone has access to. So, I try to select types of yarn that are generally available and easy to substitute. So… you won’t see me using any lime-green glitter eyelash yarn!
  • For my stuffed animals, I prefer to use a worsted weight yarn made of natural fibers. I know it’s an unusual choice… many folks like to crochet amigurumi with acrylic yarn. But, I love the feel of natural fibers and they hold up very well over time.

    Yarn Selection

    So, with all of those factors in mind, I’ve picked Ella Rae Classic, a 100% wool worsted weight yarn. It’s a plied yarn in a common weight that can easily be substituted with another brand or even a wool/acrylic blend for those who are interested in a machine washable yarn.

    I’ve picked a dark brown (color 40) and a tan (color 22). The only drawback to the dark brown is that the black animal eyes may not stand out very much against the dark brown… forcing me to use crocheted white ‘buggy eyes’ and a black animal eye as the pupil.

    Hmm… decisions. I do like buggy eyes. Maybe, if I have extra time, I’ll do another sample in a medium brown, which allows the black eyes to stand out. People like seeing lots of samples, don’t they?

    Your turn!

    Can’t wait to hear all about your yarn-choosing process. Add a link to your Design Week post in the comments section, below!

23 Responses to “Design Week, day 3: yarn selection”

  1. I like the yarns you’ve chosen. I am interested in seeing what you do about the eyes. I find eyes the most stressful part of making critters, so I can’t offer any suggestions :).

    Here’s my Day 3 link: http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2012/03/14/knit-crochet-design-week-day-3-take-measurements/

  2. Great yarn selection. I really like Ella Rae though I am guilty of making toys in acrylic since my kids like to play rough. So I usually save the good stuff for me. LOL!

    Here’s my post on yarn selection:
    http://quaternity-knits.blogspot.com/2012/03/design-week-day-three-yarn-and-swatches.html

  3. Renee says:

    Good decision on the lighter coloured beak! Here are my yarn selections: http://ohdeerlette.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/design-week-day-3-yarn.html

  4. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about you and watching your designing business, is people really DO like lots of samples. Lots and lots of samples. I guess because there are a fair amount of people that can’t visualize how something would look another way.

  5. […] are some interesting thoughts Stacey mentioned this morning on her post: Because my stuffed animal will be the sample for a FreshStitches pattern, I need to take a few […]

  6. Mary G says:

    http://www.marygildersleeve.com/2012/03/design-week-day-3-yarn-choices/

    How fun this is! Thanks for keeping me on track with this … I’m in the midst of other design work but it’s nice to have an excuse to chip away at another design, bit by bit.

  7. I just posted about my yarn selection- http://www.duofiberworks.com/journal/2012/3/14/design-week-day-3-yarn.html

    I like your yarn selection and look forward to seeing what you do for the eyes.

  8. Amy says:

    I like those colors. I think the lighter colored beak will really pop. http://belovedtempest.blogspot.com/2012/03/design-week-day-3-yarn-troubles.html

  9. Fiona the Flamingo is done in 100% acrylic just because the color choices turned out that way but she’s has 3 different yarns in her body, 5 if you include her eyes. http://tbcritters.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/design-week-day-3-yarn/

  10. got my post up!

    http://meredithannetaylor.blogspot.com/2012/03/knit-crochet-design-week-yarn-selection.html

    i can’t wait to see your platypus, he’s going to be so cute. i’m interested to see how your bill and flippers turn out. your details are always so right on!

  11. Kim says:

    I’m really glad I signed up for this. I’m getting this done pretty fast, for me ;o)
    http://fiberjunky.blogspot.com/2012/03/design-week-day-3.html

  12. Genevieve says:

    I have a wall’o yarn.. and from there what I pick will dictate what I make.. go figure!

  13. Ellen says:

    Throwing my design post into the ring! I just did one big one instead of breaking things up.

    http://apileofsheep.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/knit-and-crochet-design-week/

  14. Brea J. says:

    Here is my post for today! http://theamigurumigirl.blogspot.com/2012/03/knit-and-crochet-design-week-day-three.html

    I can’t wait to see the platypus either! It’s so fun looking at everyone’s posts, I wonder how all of our projects will turn out?!

  15. Katriina says:

    I was almost too busy today but finally I was able to update my blog with the Designer Week post! Here’s the last one: http://www.toinenkerros.fi/index.php/en/blog/122-knit-and-crochet-design-week-day-3

    I’m really glad to see so many active designers! :)

  16. Luna says:

    I so agree with natural fibers for cuddly toys, they just feel so much nicer!
    https://ahimsacreation.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/wip-wed-and-yarn/

  17. […] what the founder of Design Week, Stacey Trock has been up to on Day 3 by reading her blog post: here. Many of the other participants have added links to their blogs there too, so you can see all of […]

  18. Victoria says:

    A bit late with mine today! :) But since I chose my yarn yesterday and got started on my first few rows, I took a quick look at buttons today.
    http://vickyc.me/crochet/design-week-day-3-getting-started

    Stacey, I love the colours that you’ve chosen. Platypuses have very small eyes (i think!), so you might just be able to get away with using the safety eyes for this little guy :) But the buggy eyes that you do give so much character.. You’re right. It is a tough decision!

  19. Beth says:

    I’m enjoying all the different aspects that go into everyone’s decision making process–so much more to consider than I realized! Here’s what I picked: http://wunderaround.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/knit-and-crochet-design-week-day-3-yarn/