Forbidden Love

I know it’s not the sort of thing we talk about in polite society, but I’ve fallen in love with an acrylic yarn—a cheap acrylic yarn ($3.99 for a 218-yard skein). Soft Delight Extremes by Yarn Bee, which is the house brand for Hobby Lobby. I picked it up when I was in the midwest last summer visiting my sister. It looked like any number of other yarns on the skein: kind of hairy, but definitely not an eyelash, some color variegation, but nothing that cried out “I will be your new obsession! You will succumb to my powers and become helpless like a child!” Still, the price was right, so I bought a skein.

This winter, when I was experimenting with tam patterns, I pulled it out, figuring it might make a rawther interesting tam. The tam itself came out rawther more interesting than I’d planned. I was following a pattern, which I rarely do (see my previous entry), but I failed to notice that at one point the decreases increased from every other row to every row. As a result of my lapse, I wound up with a hat that began something like a tam, but then collapsed a bit in the middle, and finally rose up to an odd little point. Sort of like the fancier kind of mathematical bracket { or an onion dome. I convinced myself the hat had “flair” and left it as it was, naming it “Czarina”—though it did not have enough flair for me to knit another like it.

But my point here is the yarn, not the hat suitable for smuggling large gourds and other oddly-shaped vegetables. I immediately phoned my (non-knitting) sister and begged her to get me another six skeins, which she did. (I have THE BEST sister in the world. Don’t even try telling me that many other sisters are just as wonderful. I will not believe you.)

Soft Delights yarn
The yarn was gorgeous: gorgeous to touch, gorgeous to look at. It’s actually two separate strands twisted together. The main one is a fuzzy, acrylic-as-mohair ranging from a sweet, sweet cream to an almost-black brown and back again, with longer sojourns at the darker end of the run. The second strand is thin and shiny, with very fine threads coming off it every quarter inch or so, and this is variegated in a spring green to pink to bright red-violet range. When it knits up, it’s positively Noro-esque—if it’s not blasphemy to say that about a $3.99 acrylic.

So Wednesday, when I was crabby as all get-out because I’d been knitting the same darn hat (subject of a future posting) repeatedly for the better part of two weeks, I dramatically swore off kniiting, at least briefly. “I can’t knit another stitch,” I told Melissa. “That hat has frozen my brain to the point that I’m incapable of thinking an original thought. I’ll just have to stop for twenty-four hours to clear my mind, then start a completely new project.”

That resolution, of course, lasted long enough for me to walk upstairs and see the winter issue of Interweave Knits on the bedroom floor. I’d been lusting after the Wine and Roses mitts since I’d seen them worked up in a lovely rose (what else) shade on All Tangled Up. I looked at the pattern and lusted some more, but knew I wasn’t ready to take on something quite that fiddley given my tenuous state.

So then I asked myself a what-if question. What if I knit up some simpler wrist warmers using some of that nice yarn from my sister?

I knit a quick swatch to figure out what my gauge was, measured my forearm and hand and cast on. The crabbiness fled, contentment set in. I was knitting. I was knitting something that was not a hat. In three hours I had wrist warmer #1. The next evening I knit wrist warmer #2. Joy! Right now I’m only taking them off to eat and bathe.

Basic wrist warmers and a cup of tea
See what I mean about Noro-esque? (And the identical color variation on each one—complete luck.)

If you like them, you’re welcome to knit your own pair:

Yarn: Yarn Bee Soft Delights Extreme or ~175 yards of any heavy worsted-weight yarn that gets ~4.5 stitches to the inch.
Needles: U.S. #8 double points.
[Note that I originally omitted two lines of the pattern. They have been added here in bold.]

Cast on 45 stitches, distributing them evenly among three double-points. Place a marker and close the circle.

Work 4 rounds of k2, p1 rib.
Knit 6 rounds.
(K1, K2tog, K12) 3 times. (=42 stitches)
Knit 6 rounds.

(K1, k2tog, k11) 3 times. (=39 stitches)
Knit 6 rounds.
(K1, k2tog, k10) 3 times. (=36 stitches)
Knit 12 rounds.
(K1, k2tog, k9) 3 times. (= 33 stitches)
Knit 15 rounds.
K 1, bind off 4, k28.
K1, cast on 4, k28.
Knit 8 rounds.
Work 4 rounds k2, p1 rib.
Cast off and weave in ends.

38 Replies to “Forbidden Love”

  1. Nice blog, you’ve got a great start here. I don’t know that I’ll be running out to buy any acrylic furry yarn, but you certainly made the most with what you had… and the colors matched as well?! Welcome to the blog-o-sphere.

  2. Love the yarn! Thanks for the pattern. Made one up for granddaughter who is free spirit and she wants more: some longer to “scrunch down”, more fitted at wrist (she’s a skinny/minny), etc, etc. Thanks again!

  3. (looking around surreptitiously, whispering confidentially) I love acrylic, too. Cheap, easily obtainable from Freecycle or Sally’s Army, hypoallergenic, colorful, often in no dye lots, grandmothers all across the USA give it away. But I’ve said too much … the woolice are at the door! 🙂

  4. Believe it or not, I have a bunch of this yarn. I bought it when it went on sale for 99cents one week. Yes, 99cents! I couldn’t believe it, as if $3.99 wasn’t cheap enough. And SO soft! Right now I’m in the process of working up a basic knit scarf with the exact same color you used. It looks cool because of the colors lining up the way they do. I have an extra skein, I’m gonna have to try your wrist warmers for the upcoming winter. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. I found a similar pattern late last year & people can’t get enough of them. They do work up fast & I have made them from an very soft acrylic on a bigger dpn with wonderful results. Kepp going !

  6. I have a question about this patter: After knitting 6 rounds it says: (K1 k2tog, k11)3 times = 39 stitches. wouldn’t this be only 3 stitches reduced so the would be 42 stitches so should I do another round and reduce 3 stitches again so that I have 39 stitches? Or am I reading the pattern wrong? thanks.

  7. I just learned to knit and made these wonderful wrist warmers for my first project. I love them! I checked out a lot of patterns and liked yours the very best. And it was a great first project – fast and pretty easy. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!!


  8. thanks so much for the tip about soft delights-i love this yarn so much-as soon as i got it i started knitting your wrist warmer pattern (i had to reduce to 39st cast on)so far so good – love your blog – makes me smile a lot.thanks for the free patterns & great pictures – i luv all things soft and fuzzy & that includes good acrylic shirley

  9. hi i just wanted to let you know that i finished the soft delight ex wristwarmers and i love them. i loved the way they felt and the color play i decided i had to have a beret – i wanted a big beret with a lot of body so i used sdex with a ball of light grey lion jiffy. i used cathy carrons- cal pattern out of the book hip knit hats. wow wow the fuzzy soft color of the sdex against the light grey the most beautiful hat i have ever made. i made it a little bit bigger to fit my big head but it is beautiful – thanks so much for the inspiration and the tip about sdex – if i can figure out how to put a picture on the net and send it i will thanks again i really enjoy your blog shirley

  10. my dear! I am working on these gloves (beginner project), and I just joined ravelry and I’m trying to add the pattern to my WIP list. It says I have to say who the designer is!

    Find me on Ravelry (Madfoot) and make yourself known!

  11. Hi! I had a question but also saw the question from Gretchen and was wondering about that, too.
    My question why it’s necessary to K 1, bind off 4, k28.
    K1, cast on 4, k28.
    Knit 8 rounds.
    And by ‘cast on’ do you mean increase? If I skip this step what will happen? Thanks!!! Can’t wait to start these…

  12. Hi! I just knitted these (in the same wool, I loved it sooo much it is sooo soft) for a Christmas gift and sort of wanted to keep them for myself 🙂 The pattern was easy to follow and the result was as expected. I have made a note for myself however that the band is a little bit large and did not hug my forearm even with a shirt underneath, when I made a second pair for myself (with a fisherman`s wool leftover and a basic cable pattern), I started with 36 stitches and do not decrease. I`ll post a picture when I get around to finish the second one 🙂


  14. I would do a Ravelry search. That will let you look for a specific type of pattern written in kids’ sizes.

  15. Hmmm. So theoretically, if a yarn I used got twice the stitches to the inch as wanted, I could just double the numbers on this pattern and it would still measure the same, correct?

  16. I have a question about this pattern. Does it work up well in a medium-weight worsted yarn that is not fuzzy? I have a lot of Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice, for example, and would love to work up this pattern, but need to know if it would turn out right with a medium-weight worsted. I hope someone can answer my question. Thanks so much, and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!!

  17. I think a medium weight worsted would be fine, just be sure you’re getting a gauge that will make the number of stitches big enough to fit your lower arm.

  18. It may sound funny or inept, but I am new to knitting
    and I am confused about the ” distribution evenly among three double-points”. Could you explain that process for me please. I love this yarn and appreciate the pattern so much. Can’t wait to hear from you.

  19. I am pretty new to knitting, and this may seem like a silly question…but if I was just to follow your pattern exactly, there WILL be a thumb hole? I’m just not seeing how it will be, but then knitting patterns tend to seem like a foreign language to me anyway! Lots of your commenters say that it’s an easy pattern, so I want to give it a go…

    Thanks for you help!

  20. Yes, there will be. There’s a point in the pattern where you bind off a few titches in one row and cast on a few new ones in the next row. That makes the thumb hole.

  21. Since I wouldn’t buy *anything* from Hobby Lobby, I’m also wondering if this will work in another yarn.

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