In Praise of Red Heart

I realize that I probably lost a significant number of readers with that title. If Red Heart was a high school girl, she'd be from the wrong side of the tracks (albeit she'd embrace who she is). Mean girls (i.e. members of certain Facebook groups) regularly shun her and fiber shame those who befriend her.

Confession: I'm a secret mean fiber girl.

By that I mean I've defended knitters for using Red Heart, but I've stayed far far away when choosing yarn for my own projects based on that rep. It never softens up, it squeaks on the needles, it's rough against the skin! No thanks.

Then Tanya (@bzmama on Instagram) released her Land of the Midnight Sun Shawl last month. The official photo is beautiful:

I've neglected my knitting for a few months now in favor of cross stitch, but this pattern brought me back. I love the cream tweed sections with the contrasting navy blue, so immediately checked out the pattern on Ravelry.

Red Heart? Really?

Yes, really. That cream yarn is Red Heart Fleck, 100% acrylic and a pleasure to knit with. I started the shawl yesterday and haven't looked at my cross stitch since. My progress as of lunch today:

This pattern knits up quickly, mostly stockinette with the contrasting rows knit with eyelets (yarnovers) then knit on the wrong side to create a ridge of purls. Just enough to mix it up a bit but not so much that you can't knit this while on cafeteria duty with 300 teenagers!

You can definitely use leftover yarn from another project for the contrasting color. I plan to use green yarn of the same brand (Plymouth Yarn Tweed Worsted) for the later rows since I don't have a lot of the blue. The pattern is that versatile and really easy to memorize!

I'll post my finished shawl when it's complete. Let me know in the comments if you give this pattern a try, and if you do, please use the Red Heart. Like me, you may change your mean fiber girl ways!


  1. I started off with Red Heart because it was inexpensive, steered away when I discovered nicer yarns, but I've given it a try again recently too. I think they've softened their "formula" - even for Super Saver. It's not as soft as some of their other yarns like RH Soft, but it's not as bad as I remember. Now ... on the other hand, someone gave me some Craft Smart (Michael's brand?). I loved the color but it was the stiffest, roughest yarn I've ever dealt with. Ugh.

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