After months of seeing signs at our local Michael's store boasting about the remodeled yarn section that was coming soon, I have to admit I was disappointed with the end result. It turned out to consist of the rearranging of the current yarn selection and the introduction of Michael's personal brand, Loops & Threads. I'm not crazy about Michael's creating their own brand of wool. I long ago gave up hope of seeing anything in a big box craft store that wasn't made with at least some portion of acrylic and manufactured by one of the major yarn companies (Bernat, Lion Brand, Patons, etc.), but I worry that the amount of shelf space dedicated to these companies may start to shrink as Michael's jumps into the game of selling their own product.
Keeping an open mind, I figured I'd give the new Loops & Threads a try. Selling in 3.5 oz. skeins for just over $3, it's certainly not a bad deal. I was drawn to this colour, which is Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted Weight yarn in Luxury Ombre. It's bin is always nearly empty so I'm guessing it's also the favourite of many other local crafters.
The verdict? I like it, but conditionally. It's a great wool for amigurumi, easy to work with and doesn't split or fray. It's ideal for someone who is just learning how to knit or crochet or for kids who are learning to craft and would become easily frustrated by a yarn that catches or breaks. I've also made a market bag with it, which I'll show in another post. It was a good choice for that project too, not too stretchy, but easy to work with.
The downside, it's not that soft. Imagine all the colours of Vanna's Choice with the texture of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton. While I'd be perfectly content to use Loops & Threads for an amigurumi, market bag or dish cloth, I don't want to use it to make anything that's going to be touching my skin, like an afghan or clothing. Yet a quick look at the free patterns available for Impeccable on Michael's website, shows that they feel this yarn is perfectly suitable for those kinds of projects. Loops & Threads also has a sport weight baby line that they've named Snuggly Wuggly. I'd hope that it would be softer, but overall I wasn't that impressed with the colours. They looked like duller versions of many of the shades already available from other companies.
Which I guess leads to the main problem I'm having with Loops & Threads, it's just so unnecessary. With colours and a texture that's already available from other companies, why bother? I've made afghans with Vanna's Choice before and considering it's a softer yarn, I'm going to opt for it when it's time to make another afghan rather than picking up the marginally less expensive similar colour in Loops & Threads.
Anyone else care to weigh in? Have you tried Loops & Threads? Are you feeling a bit anxious about Michael's producing it's own line of products? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
(My model is the elephant pattern available in Tammie Snow's Tiny Yarn Animals.)