Knitting ABCs: A is for Acrylic

I have been working on a project tutorial for you all, but it is taking me a while.  It has allowed me to do a bit of thinking however, and the current tutorial in the works inspired the Knitting ABCs.  Today.....

is for Acrylic

Acrylic yarn is a synthetic yarn made from a polymer of about 1900 monometer units. At least 85% of that polymer must be acrylonitnile monometer in the US to be called acrylic.  The yarn is made by dissolving the polymer, then extruding through a spinnerette, which spins what it extrudes.

Although acrylic yarn often resembles wool, it doesn’t need to be taken care of as carefully as wool.  Acrylic yarn is machine washable, and dryable on cool settings, and unlike wool, moths hate acrylic.  It is also much lighter weight than that other favorite machine washable, cotton.   It also tends to be inexpensive compared to natural fibers and other synthetics, and is safe for people with wool allergies.

Acrylic is very susceptible to heat however.  Steam blocking acrylic will “kill” it, getting rid of all of its bounce back.  That is not really a problem though, because acrylic doesn’t really block anyway.  It can also irritate sensitive skin, or in the case of really cheap, plastically acrylic, all skin.  Additionally, it is not as warm as wool or absorbent as cotton.

Lion Brand Jiffy Yarn 100% Acrylic

What would I make with acrylic?  Something I have to wash, a lot, and needs to be lighter, and cheap.  What do I make with acrylic?  Almost nothing.  Just about the only things I knit in acrylic are gifts that I would rather knit in wool, but I know the recipient would machine wash.

Do you have a suggestion for the Knitting ABCs?  Let me know by leaving me a comment.