In 7 Things I WISH I Knew About Paintbox Simply DK Before Crocheting Amigurumi, we will explore the pros, the cons and everything in between about this popular yarn for crocheting toys.
For crochet enthusiasts and amigurumi aficionados, choosing the right yarn can be just as important as the pattern itself. The texture, color, and overall quality of yarn can significantly impact the final look and feel of your adorable creations.
Recently, I embarked on an exciting adventure: testing new yarns for my amigurumi projects. I’ll share my experience and insights about Paintbox Simply DK and help you decide if this is the right yarn for your next amigurumi project.
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To test this new yarn I decided to crochet a fun little amigurumi toy. Making crocheted toys is a great way to test a new yarn because you will learn:
- the strength of the yarn
- the stitch definition
- how the yarn feels in your hands
- how the finished project looks
Mei from AmiguruMei just came out with an adorable new book of patterns and I had to make one for myself. In Amigurumi People you will find 16 of the cutest amigurumi characters to crochet.
- Sleepy Time Sophie
- Helena the Doctor
- Ollie the Firefighter
- Austin the Astronaut (& Rocket)
- Megan the Exchange Student
- Anna the Ballerina
- Grandpa & Grandma
- Best Friends
- Mommy & Twins
- Zara the Zookeeper (& Elephant)
- Little Scottie
- Samantha the Big Sister
One of the best parts about this book is that each project is desinged to help you improve your amigurumi skills:
To make your amigurumi journey much more enjoyable, we’ve packed the pages with useful techniques on how to crochet hair that curls a certain way and whip up colorful crochet clothes and accessories to match. Each pattern comes with complete step-by-step instructions so you can sit back and focus on the fun parts.Amigurumi People
Each one of the amigurumi characters from Amigurumi People is adorable so I had a hard time choosing which one would be perfect for my yarn test.
Ultimately, Austin the Astronaut rose to the top of the list and one of the reasons I chose him is because I liked how many different colors are suggested to make this toy.
When testing a new yarn I find that it’s important to test more than one color. Have you ever used different colors of the same yarn and noticed that they felt or looked a little different from one another?
After doing a little research about why some colors of the same brand are thicker or thinner than another I discovered an interesting fact.
The dyeing process has an effect on the yarn itself. The more dye is needed for the yarn, the thinner it will be. That’s why you’ll find that a white or natural color is thicker than a yarn with rich deep color.
Searching for the Perfect Amigurumi Yarn
For the past few years I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect yarn for amigurumi. This journey has taken me down a winding path of learning about yarn and the characteristics that make it work well for amigurumi.
These are the different factors I’ve been considering while on my quest.
- Fiber Content: Acrylic yarn is a popular choice for amigurumi due to its durability and affordability. However, I’ve also been experimenting with cotton, cotton blends, wool, wool blends and even mohair to see what works best.
- Weight: Choosing a yarn weight has also been a factor that I’ve been experimenting with as well. In the beginning I stuck to only worsted weight yarns, which are a category 4. But I’ve been dipping my toes into DK, sport and fingering weight yarns as well.
- Texture: Texture is also something I’ve been playing with. I’ve tried smooth yarns like YarnArt Jeans but I’ve also experimented with mohair like Rowan Kidsilk Haze to add a bit of fuzziness to toys.
- Color: Color is one of the most important qualities that I’ve been looking for in the perfect amigurumi yarn. It needs to have plenty of gorgeous colors to choose from. The more the better.
- Budget: I’ve been trying yarns of different budgets as well. Some of my favorites have been the most budget friendly, but I’ve discovered some real gems by experimenting with moderate priced yarns as well.
Check out some of my other yarn test posts here:
- 16 Facts to Know About YarnArt Jeans for Crocheting Amigurumi
- Is Dollar Tree Yarn Worth the Hype? An Honest Review
Paintbox Simply DK
I’ve been using the Paintbox line of yarns for quite some time for amigurumi.
When I first started crocheting toys I used Paintbox Cotton DK. This is a fantastic yarn for those that love 100% cotton. It comes in 71 different colors and is a good price at $3.75 per 1.8 oz skein (but you can get an even better price of $2.63 if you wait for the sales).
Because I had a lot of hand soreness from using 100% cotton because its less stretchy fiber, I tried the Paintbox Wool Mix Aran. This is a fabulous wool blend that comes in 60 different colors, but it is more expensive at $9.50 per 3.5 oz skein. The current sale price is $6.65, which is a significant discount.
What I really like about this yarn is that it feels great in your hands and creates beautiful toys.
It is an Aran weight yarn, which means it is slightly heavier than a worsted weight yarn. That means that your toys will be CHONKY.
Based on my great experience with the other two Paintbox yarns I had high hopes for the Paintbox Simply DK yarn.
It comes in 75 gorgeous colors and costs $4.75 for a 3.5 oz skein. It’s currently on sale for $3.33 per skein.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how I went about testing Paintbox Simply DK. These were the characteristics I was testing for:
- Stitch Consistency: I was paying attention to the stitch consistency while working with the new yarn. Is it easy to maintain even tension, or does it tend to split or snag? Smooth, consistent stitches are essential for a polished amigurumi look.
- Appearance: I was evaluating how the yarn looks as my project progressed. Does it create the texture and appearance I envisioned for my amigurumi? Consider how it holds stitch definition and how the colors look together.
- Softness: In addition I was assessing the softness of the yarn. Amigurumi are often handled and cuddled, so a soft yarn is preferable, especially for projects intended for children.
- Durability: I also tested the yarn’s durability by pulling on it and examining how well it holds up. You want your amigurumi to last, so choose a yarn that can withstand some wear and tear.
- Joining Colors: Since my amigurumi project involved color changes, I looked to see how well the yarn joins and weaves in. Neat color changes contribute to a professional finish.
There are a lot of things to like about Paintbox Simply DK:
- colors – the availability of colors is a big pro in my book. There are so many on trend colors as well as traditional classics to choose from. I also like that there are many skin tones available.
- price – when buying Paintbox Simply DK on sale, that’s a great price. $3.33 for 3.5 oz comes out to 95¢ an ounce. That’s a real bargain.
- durability – this is a nice strong yarn. It is not going to break when you sew on body parts. Tug and pull on this yarn, because it can take a beating.
Unfortunately this section is going to be longer than I had hoped. I went into this test with high hopes. Because of my previous experience with Paintbox yarns, I was under the assumption that I would have a similar outcome. You know what they say about assuming.
- stitch definition – this yarn does not create the stitch definition I was looking for. My finished astronaut toy looks good, but he does not have the stitch definition I would have liked.
- stitches at work – even though the toy doesn’t have the stitch definition I prefer, there’s a much more serious problem with this yarn. I had a very difficult time seeing my work. Now, I may not have the best eyesight, but I have many so many amigurumi toys and can’t remember ever having this problem. For example, while making invisible decreases, I had a terrible time finding the front loops of the stitches. This made working this yarn a real pain.
- feel – because Paintbox Simply DK is a 100% acrylic yarn I was hoping it would feel extra soft. Nope. I personally didn’t like the feel of this yarn in my hands.
- final look – although I think my little astronaut is cute, I don’t like the way the fabric looks. I like toys that have crisp stitch definition, but I also like the look of gentle fuzz that other acrylic and wools have given my toys. This has neither of those. It looks a bit messy to me.
Final Thoughts: Paintbox Simply DK for Amigurumi
My thoughts on this yarn are just that.. my thoughts. This yarn has over a thousand reviews on LoveCrafts and 979 of those reviews are five stars. Basically that means that a whole lot of people really like this yarn.
While this is not the yarn I was hoping it would be, it might be the perfect one for you.
Testing a new yarn for your crochet amigurumi projects can be an exciting journey filled with creativity and discovery. After my testing experience, here are some final thoughts and tips to consider:
- Keep Detailed Notes: Record your observations during the testing process, including hook size, colors you used and any challenges you encounter. This will help you remember what worked and what didn’t for future reference.
- Wash and Block: If the yarn is washable, give your amigurumi a gentle wash and block it to see how well the yarn holds its shape and color.
- Experiment and Have Fun: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different yarns and textures. Sometimes, unexpected combinations lead to the most unique and charming amigurumi.
- Share Your Findings: Share your experiences and insights with fellow crocheters in online forums, social media, or your blog. It can be incredibly helpful to the crafting community.
Paintbox Simply DK for Amigurumi
In conclusion, testing a new yarn for crochet amigurumi projects is a delightful adventure that allows you to explore new possibilities and enhance your crafting skills. By carefully selecting your yarn, thoroughly testing it, and keeping track of your results, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning amigurumi that both you and others will cherish. Happy crocheting!