Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let's help out a reader

I received a lovely email from a reader named Diane. She belongs to a group that makes a lot of items for neonatal units and the medical professionals insist that only acrylic fingering weight yarn be used for the premie babies. The workhorse yarn that her group has relied on for a long time has been reformulated and now is knitting at a heavier gauge. She wrote to the company to ask about the change, and was told that the original formulation was too thin (!) and has been bulked up.  Which is kind of silly, since that means that it won't knit at the original gauge....So now she is trying to find an affordable, readily available substitute.

However, I am going to appeal to you, my wonderful readers for suggestions.  We need suggestions for fingering-weight NONWOOL yarn, preferably all-acrylic content. I'm thinking soft and machine-washable for hospital nurseries.  It would be swell if you could leave some ideas for Diane in the comments. The first thing I thought of was Berroco Comfort Baby, which is fingering weight and an acrylic/nylon blend.  (Link here.)

Thanks!

17 comments:

Carol said...

Berroco Comfort Sock looks like a similar fingering weight blend in less pastel-y colors.

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered a yarn from the UK - Sirdar Snuggly DK. I make more than 100 hats per year for newborns and this is the best non wool I've used. it is a little pricey. I also use Caron Simply Soft - the nurses seem to like it.

hope this helps.

Helen

Bonnie said...

That's tricky! I wonder why they don't want superwash wool. A Ravelry search for fingering weight, acrylic, and number of fiber types as 1 gives 229 matches. The top ones are Bernat Baby Solid, Bernat Baby Soft, and Caron Cuddlesoft.

Carol said...

I think the Bernat was the reformulated one that no longer works. I forgot about Sirdar -- they used to make a fingering weight called "4-ply" and there is a Cascade version called Cherub 4-ply that might also work.

Pretty Knitty said...

Was it Bernat socks that was reformulated? I have used it in the past, and there are solids and multis and they are all acrylic...here's a link: http://shop.bernat.com/default.aspx?PageID=58&ProductID=130&RootCatCode=01000

Evelyn said...

Sorry to hear that their beloved "go to" yarn is no longer viable. I've used Sidar's Snuggly baby yarns which is a blend of nylon and acrylic. It's incredibly soft, quick to knit, and machine washable. It comes in 2-ply all the way to chunky.

electrictree said...

I think Sirdar Snuggly Four Ply is a good one. It's really soft, has lots of nice colours. It's 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic so I don't know if that fits in with the requirements...

Carol said...

Also a vote for Plymouth Dream Baby which comes in 4-ply and DK weights.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks this is Diane. First thank you so very much for being willing to help.

If I may clarify here though. The original super fine fingering wt. by Bernat, was used for baby slippers sized from 10 ounce (grieving set)and micro preemies up to even 1 year old. This original fingering for the little ones is use on #2 needles! It is use doubled because of the way the pattern is finished off and it makes a VERY warm soft pliable slipper (with ties) that actually stays on and extremely easy to do and teach! the original had 3 plys and each ply is about as thick as cheap thin kite string! Yet the acrylic so very soft. When they add nylon to the acrylic the bulk is increased! Umm let me try it this way, for a micro preemie slipper, #2 needles, double stands, (need 2 balls) cast 25, k1 p1 10 rows. This is the heel. With the NEW super fine fingering using this same pattern, the 'heel' was the size the length of a 6-9 pound baby not for a 12-32 ounce baby!!! As to the hats, I use Bernat Softee with #3 needles cast on 77 under Baby but it comes out to 5-7 pounds. Preemie hat Bernat softee #3 needles cast on 49. I go smaller to for micro.

But for ALL sets, up to age 12 months, I absolutely need true super fine fingering and no wool. Even it if washes great, I am allergic to wool and as a nurse midwife and former neonatal nurse, wool is a not go. Do NOT like the other patterns that require every row different at some stage. We have searched, tirals and are just frustrated. I have had to stop selling my sets at the local store and they are getting request daily for my baby slippers! Oh and I also use the fingering to knit gloves from a 1941 pattern with size 0 needle using the original super fine before all the companies bulked it up with nylon. :(

Sincere thanks and will keep watching! I LOVE this site!!! Diane

Carol said...

So you are looking for acrylic but not nylon? Hmmm.....

Carol said...

Paton's Beehive Baby?
Bravo Baby by Schachnmayr?

Have you checked out Ebay and places like Smiley's to see if they have any of the old version on discount?

Anonymous said...

Hey! Diane here! I just found this! It has the right gauge and needles. PLEASE IF ANYONE HAS USED THIS COULD YOU LET ME KNOW? I posted earlier on what the original Bernat super fine fingering used to be and it was the 7-8 sts, 0-3 needles. This is size 1-3. Since I use double strands for the slippers it must be truly super fine...Thank you so much in advance!


Comfy Fingering Content: 75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic
Weight: Fingering Weight
Knitting Gauge: 7 - 8 sts = 1 on #1-3 needles (2.25mm - 3.25mm)
Crochet Gauge: 21 – 32 sc = 4'' on B - E hooks (2.25mm-3.5mm)
Amount: 218 yards/50 gram ball
Care: Machine Washable/Tumble Dry Low

Knit with fine, lightweight cotton all year. With a large selection of colors, this yarn is a perfect cotton option for colorwork knitting. Why limit yourself to single color knitting just because the temperature warms up? The blend of Pima cotton and acrylic fibers in Comfy make it easy to knit heavily textured stitches, like cables. Use Comfy for babies, warm weather, or your favorite sweater that you know you will throw in the washing machine again and again.

Anonymous said...

I found 7 of the pink and 6 of the original Bernat (checked the bar code) on Ebay but double the price! Smiley's did not have it.

I looked at Paton Beehive fingering at Joann's but they changed to and added nylon to bulk it up to same as Bernat sock yarn! :(

Do you folks wonder if any at these companies even knit or crochet?? Yarn weights used to be so standard years ago. Then you get NEW & IMPROVED, but on so many things, LEAVE alone! NO improvement needed! Well, will get what I can I guess. Will wait and see what is said about Comfy Fingering Yarn if anyone has felt it used it. Must go, leave early to get my pain pump filled. Gentle hugs and again so grateful to all! Diane

Anonymous said...

Update from Diane...I have emailed the seller on Ebay and explained. Being on disability is hard. Hope she will work with me. :)

Carol said...

I bet that the thicker nylon fiber is cheaper than finer acrylic....hence the shift to use it.

I would think that anything with "microfiber" in the description would be better and finer....

Also, did you see the comments on Ravelry? http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/knit-picks-comfy-fingering-weight/comments

Anonymous said...

Wendy Peter Pan 4 ply- fingering - Approx. 206m (225 yds) per ball. knits to 26 sts and 36 rows on 2.5-3mm (US 2-4) knitting needle.

It is the most amazingly soft baby yarn - very close to the Bernat. Your do have to look for it, but snatch up whatever you find.
Kimmen

Anonymous said...

Diane here, thank you all again! I contacted the seller on Ebay who had 13 skeins of original Bernat fingering and she was gracious to give me a discount. Free shipping. She said she may get some blue in. Said SO many are desperate and looking for any original fingering since all non wool has been bulked up. What a shame!! Carol, I think you are on to something about the cost of nylon being cheaper so thus the addition of it. But how many of us would have been willing to pay even a $1 more a skein? Now we scrounge and pay darn near double the price. Anyway it was a wonderful lead! I also found some original red heart fingering and the bid is low at .99 for 6 skeins. It was my frist time on ebay.

I went to the link for the Peter Pan 2 ply but cost is high.

Oh shoot! Feel silly! Going to try the new Bernat fingering on size 0 needles! Should have thought of this before! Sigh!! Oh and from all of us at Heart to Heart Stitches THANK YOU sincerely! God bless! (I will let you know how the 0 needle works on the new Bernat fingering). :)