Tips For Working With Faux Fur Yarn
I know you’ve had the experience. You’re walking through the LYS (or even your local Wal-Mart) feeling all the wonderful yarn. You come across a skein of soft squooshiness that you must buy – even though you don’t have a project in mind. This is exactly what can (and has) happened with Lion Brand Go For Faux fur yarn. It is so soft and pleasing to my fingers, that I have to squeeze a ball every time I pass it.
That said, when I got it home I became terrified. I’ve worked with “difficult” yarns before, so I know how maddening they can be. I’ve thrown a skein (or two) away in frustration. So, as I was working on my Go For Faux Pom Poms, I learned a few things I thought I would share with you.
1. Keep It Simple
For my beginning project, I tried to crochet a simple ball using single crochet stitches (SC). And if you are good at stitching “by feel” then this method may work for you. I struggled. Sure, I could find the holes in the stitches by feeling. But because I was stitching with such a large hook, I could never be 100% sure that I was where I needed to be. I even used stitch markers (loops of yarn) on EVERY STITCH and still got lost and lost count. And since I tend towards perfectionism this bugged me.
One fix I found was using Lion Brand Go For Faux Thick and Quick. It is such a bulky yarn that stitches are *much* easier to feel.
2. It’s VERY Forgiving
Noting what I said above, even if you mess up, chances are you won’t notice. The fur covers a whole host of missed or doubled stitches.
3. Use a Row Counter
Stitches tend to disappear, but so do your rows. Do yourself a favor and use a row counter if you need accurate rows. For projects with lots of rows, you’ll want to add stitch markers to the ends at intervals. This is to save you if you need to recount from row one. Use an interval that makes sense for your project. If you don’t have a ton of stitch markers, use loops of waste yarn. You can cut it off later.
4. Swatch, Swatch, Swatch
This is less about gauge and more about texture. Different stitches will change the surface texture of your finished product, so stitch up a smallish square. Take a photo and pull it out and try another stitch. Yes, the part you work with will get a little “roughed up” but not enough to be a problem. And, at least in my experience, frogging is super easy and happens without knotting.
5. Go For Faux and Go For Faux Thick & Quick are Interchangeable!
I know, this surprised me too. When Hubs asked me to make him a muff for his hands, he wanted it in the “Husky” colorway. Husky was only available in the Thick & Quick variety locally. So, I did what any crafter would do, I bought it and adapted my pattern. But as I worked with it, the end came unwrapped, and I realized that a skein of Thick & Quick was really 2 strands of regular Go For Faux twisted together. Technically, this means if you want Thick & Quick but only have access to the regular – use a double strand. If you want regular and only have access to Thick & Quick – split it. Thick & Quick is only 20-some-odd yards, so it’s not like you’ll be wrangling a string bear to split it.
6. Don’t Worry About the Knots
Knots in faux fur are inevitable – it’s fabric after all. And the knots can be quite large with almost 1 inch tails. You can either cut the knot out and make your own, or even just tuck the tails into your work. You can simply trim the tails and move on. Alternatively, you can untie (or cut out) the knot and stitch the ends together. You will “waste” less yarn if you do it this way. But you’re only talking a couple of inches for any project. And unless you’re playing yarn chicken, you should have enough.
7. Brush it, Brush It Good
By using a brush lightly on the faux fur, your free up all the little bits of far that have gotten tucked under stitches. Just be sure to use a brush with blunt teeth. This is not wear you want to use your Chi Ceramic. But if that’s all you have, just be VERY gentle. You don’t want to snag your yarn.
Christy R. Hall is the owner of Hand Cramp Crafts and fancies herself to be a String Wrangler, and an all-around fiber phreak. In her free time, she spins yarn (both literally spinning fiber into yarn, as well as, writing), crochets for charity, watches silly cat videos, looks at pictures of Corgis, and plays PC and console games. Her current (ongoing) favorites are Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online.