^ my collection of Red Heart Super Saver yarn (RH SS)
Yarn website: http://www.redheart.com/
One could make amigurumi with yarn scraps – small parts, creatures and many colours can clean up your yarn stash. However, for people like me who mostly make amigurumi, we need to create a stash with lots of colour. Also, a great price helps your wallet when you need to get many colours.
In regards to amigurumi making, here’s a list of pros and cons I’ve come up with:
+ cheap and cheaper in large balls
+ many colours to choose from
+ this yarn is everywhere and easy to find
+ stiff and holds its shape when crocheted tight
+ very durable and washable
+ a thicker worsted weight thus can use a larger hook for amigurumi
+ no dye lot
This yarn is cheap! In my city (of pricey Vancouver Canada), it’s around $2.47-$3.99 a ball. When I was in the USA, it was around $2 a ball. You can find it at Walmart, Zellers and craft store bargain bins!
It’s a big f-ing ball of yarn (300+ meters) and you can save money by buying the even bigger supersized f-ing ball of yarn if you need to make that many amigurumi octopi. With that price, it opens up the door to buying a couple balls of different colours for your amigurumi projects.
RH SS is made of acrylic. To some crocheter/knitters, is an evil devil-spawn material. However with acrylic, the price is great, you can wash it without the shape being compromised and it is durable to be attacked by children.
In the above photo is my newest Jellyfish amigurumi project using RH SS yarn. I do crochet a little tight, but I’m using a 4.25mm hook instead of the usual 3.5mm with most patterns or yarns. A 4mm works too for even tighter stitches. The crocheted form is stiff, and you can see the shaping without stuffing. With that said, I find pattern construction easier with this yarn as often with a more softer, floppy form after stuffing you get an entirely different shape. Unlike some yarns out there (cough, Vana’s Choice, cough) the yarn firmly holds and fills up the stitch, rather than be skinny at the stitches and inconsistent.
– RH SS isn’t soft and feels crappy
– RH SS isn’t shiny
– Because of it being not the usual worsted size, does not work well with small amigurumi projects
– Many of the colours are dark or not saturated enough
There are soft acrylic yarns out there – marketed for babies or not, they have a nice feel to snuggle against or run through your fingers while crocheting. Though, most of the soft yarns I’ve come across are not stiff and shape holding. If you are used to using a nice soft acrylic or wool, this stuff feels like sandpaper. If this is the case for you, lotion your hands while crocheting. If you want an amigurumi project that you can cuddle up with you may want to go with a softer yarn.
Similar to what I was just discussing, soft yarns are also more likely to be shiny. RH SS is dull with no hint of gloss. This could be a pro as well – depending what your project is.
My biggest complaint about Red Heart Super Saver is also something I mentioned as a benefit to this yarn – it’s thickness. Ideally, your amigurumi project with this yarn should be in the 3.5 to 4″ minimum in its main body size. It could be a little in personal taste, but small projects look kinda terrible-big stitchy look to them, thus losing some ‘cute’ appeal by the tiny eyes disappearing to large stitches. You can reduce the hook size to like a 3mm but will struggle with crocheting, and the yarn will still stay dense. Also, if you want a small project, better to switch to a fingering/sport yarn than a dense, bigger gauge worsted.
To touch on colour – Red Heart has many lines of colour and if you got a good selection somewhere, you can find what you want. But I find they lack they kick in your face vibrant saturated colours. They have a few that look great (Cherry Red being nice and zappy on the eyes) but still could be even better looking with more colour put in.
If you are new to making amigurumi, Red Heart Super Saver is a great yarn to start with. You can get away with a little larger of a hook, easing into very tight crochet stitching and good for medium-large amigurumi projects. The yarn is a good price and durable.