Lion Brand Heartland – A Review

Savannah

Remember back to when you first started crocheting – what were your favorite yarns? What ones did you try and hate and which ones did you try and absolutely love?

Me? I remember trying out so many of them. I picked up Simply Soft, Super Saver, Sugar n’ Creme (big mistake for a first project…), and Heartland. You know what? I hated Heartland to the core. I don’t know if it was something to do with first learning how to crochet or something with the yarn itself, but I absolutely HATED it.

When I say I hated it, I’m really not kidding – you can still see my original review for my first blanket on my Ravelry page.. I even rated the yarn a 1!

So why do I want to play around with this yarn again?

Heartland Overview

WeightWorsted – 4
Recommended HookUS J/10 – 6.00 mm
Recommended NeedleUS 9 – 5.5 mm
Care InstructionsMachine Washable & Dryable

Availability and Price

There are quite a few places that you can get this yarn – which is really nice! It’s not often that I go somewhere other than Michaels for yarn – but it’s nice to know that I can get this at Walmart if Michaels seems to be out of the color I need. It is also available on the Lion Brand Website.

Don’t like Walmart and don’t have a Michaels nearby? JoAnn sells it too!

Usual Price Per Ball$6.99
Yardage/Meters251 yd. (230 m)
Weight of Skein5 oz. (142 g)
Price Per Yard (gram)$.027 per yd. ($.030 per g)

Price-wise, yes, this yarn is a fair bit pricier than other 100% Acrylic alternatives. Coming up at about $6.99 a ball on the Lion Brand website, you can get it cheaper during sales or at other stores with coupons, depending on what is available at your local stores.

Colors

Available in 34 beautiful colors (at the time of writing) – this yarn comes in some really beautiful colorways. This is one of my favorite parts of this yarn! I’m constantly drawn back to this yarn because of the brilliant colors – deep reds, vibrant yellows, and beautiful, bright whites.

Colors currently available – via Lionbrand.com

Each color is named after some sort of landmark across the United States, which I absolutely love. Sure, it might just be a name, but c’mon – there’s something so satisfying about the naming convention they used.

Not only does it come in a beautiful range of colors – but the colors are also heathered. Now, I love myself a nice solid yarn, but there’s just something about heathered yarn that is just so beautiful. Perfect, but imperfect at the same time, I love it!!

If you’re looking for 100% solid yarns, I would say this yarn may not be your best bet. Sure, there are some solid colors, but even the solids seem to have a bit of a heather to them. It’s not an extreme heather like some of the others, but it’s enough to at least mention it.

Swatching

For this wash test, I made two identical 6.5″ granny square swatches. One of them was washed once, while the other was left unwashed, to compare both of them before and after a wash. Each wash is done per the label instructions. I used a US J/6.00 mm hook as suggested on the label as well.

The two swatches side-by-side, after washing the second.

Working Up

Softness: Working up, this yarn is extremely soft – like, really soft. This is actually one of the reasons I picked up a ball of this in the first place – in the skein it’s soft, working up it’s soft, washed it’s soft. It’s just soft in general and I love it! It’s not rough like other acrylic yarns and doesn’t start to hurt my hands after a while of working with it.

Splitting: I wouldn’t say this yarn is particularly splitty – it’s not as tightly wound as some of the other acrylic yarns I’ve tried, but even with it’s looser twist, I haven’t had any problems with splitting using either a blunt or pointier hook.

Consistency: The yarn, while inconsistent in color (see color section regarding heathered yarn), is fairly consistent in size throughout. I haven’t noticed any thinning out of the yarn as I work, nor have I noticed any large twists of yarn throughout the balls I’ve worked with. The twist is fairly consistent as well.

Yarn Barf/Tangling: Ok this got me – I don’t often work from the center, but while working from the outside of the yarn, i have noticed a few times that there have been large knots in the center of the ball. This only happened a few times, I should mention. While it doesn’t happen often, it is a huge annoyance. Like come on really? I don’t even center-pull, but I have to deal with all the center-pull annoyances from time to time.

Knots now, on the other hand… I’ve noticed quite a few knots in the few balls I’ve been using for a blanket. While the knots aren’t huge, you can really tell them apart with this yarn and it looks awful – it almost looks like just a thicker part of the yarn but is WAY fuzzier.. I find myself having to cut them out every time, which is just more ends to weave in… unfortunately. I’m glad to say it doesn’t happen as often as some other brands, but it does happen more often than I think it should.

Squeakiness: Working up, I notice that it is a bit squeaky depending on my hook that I’m using at the time. Is it awful? No not really, but it is there. It’s definitely something that’s annoyed me once or twice, causing me to put a project down for a bit, but it’s not something that seems to happen all the time, thankfully.

Wash Test

Softness: Post-wash, this is SO SOFT. Like, incredibly soft. If you thought it was soft before, just you wait. Running my fingers over both the swatches, I’d say that it did get softer than the un-washed swatch, but not an insane amount. The pre-washed swatch was also very soft, so I can’t complain either way about the softness of the pre and post-washed swatches.

Shrinkage: Size-wise, the swatch itself did shrink just a bit. While the original unwashed swatch was approximately 6.5″ x 6.5″, the finished washed swatch came out to be about 6″ x 6″. That’s about an 8% shrinkage from the pre-wash to post-wash swatches. Not an insane amount, but something you might want to be aware of.

Because of the slight shrinkage, you can also see that the stitch definition was also affected a bit – the holes between the clusters are smaller and the stitches seem fluffier. You can still clearly see the stitches, but they do look more… cloud like?

Squeakiness: Now why am I adding squeakiness to the post-wash this time? OH MAN do I have something to tell you. While the post-washed project wasn’t squeaky, the mid-wash one was. And when I say squeaky – I mean squeaky. Have you ever taken an old piece of elastic and just kinda stretched it and got that really weird feeling? It’s hard to explain, but that’s kind of how it felt. I’m glad to say after the dry it softens and feels normal, but during the wash. Oh god, just don’t plan on getting it wet, because it feels weird.

Real Time Use

So.. here’s where I think the 1 star review from Ravelry came from.

I have a blanket that I made out of this yarn back in 2014 and finished finally in 2016 (yes it took me 2 years to finish this blanket, no judgement pleaseeee). I can say that the fuzzing definitely took a toll on myself and the blanket’s relationship. In my original review, I wrote the following:

"The part of the blanket that was done back in 2014 is extremely fuzzy and, even as I sit around with it on now, fuzzing up. "

I guess we’ll see if it continues to do the same with the newer projects, but given how old the yarn from that blanket is, I wouldn’t doubt if we see different results with the newer yarn. I don’t really know how I can compare the two, with one being much older than the other, as I’ve seen yarn change drastically between years before.

I did buy a fabric shaver to help out with the fuzzing and keep it looking good, but man it really kind of sucks having to shave an entire blanket every now and then. Sure, it might be a chore that you don’t do every day, but still, not a fun one. The blanket had a lot of holes between stitches where the fabric pills and lint balls kind of fell into, so while I tried to get everything cleaned up, I couldn’t quite catch all of it.

Durability-wise? Oh yeah, this blanket held up, no holes, my ends are still woven in (or not woven in… but close enough!). When I first started to crochet, I didn’t quite figure out how to weave in my ends well, so I do see some ends poking out and just chilling, but I think that’s mostly on myself (this was my first blanket, afterall), so I can’t really hold that against the yarn.

Final Thoughts

So… my final verdict? On the new stuff? I actually quite like it! I’m unsure if this yarn was changed or if I’m just more experienced with cheap acrylic yarns (once again, don’t judge), but compared to some of the other yarns I’ve used, I’d highly suggest it!

This yarn has beautiful colors, a wonderful drape, sheen, and feel in both the un-washed and washed finished projects. One thing I really love about this though? Finished projects don’t need to be washed to feel soft. Some of the other acrylic yarns I’ve used absolutely need a wash before they are used. I absolutely love that I can just finish up a blanket and use it right off the bat and not be upset about how scratchy it is. Overall, I would give this yarn a 4/5.

In my final verdict, you can see I did take off a point. While I love how soft it is and how easy it is to work with, I am not in love with the fuzz-factor. The fact that it can fuzz up so fast and requires some upkeep is one of the reasons why I didn’t like it before, and not much has changed in that department. Maybe one day I’ll figure some way out to stop it from fuzzing up so much, but for now I’ll just deal with it and snuggle up in my fancy new blanket!

I have used this yarn for blankets, a few scarves, and may eventually play around with it for a sweater or fall top – I’m a bit hesitant to make garments with it because of some of the fuzzing, but I have seen some other projects with this yarn for garments, so who knows, maybe I’ll give it a shot one day!

What are your thoughts on this yarn? Have you used it or are you planning on using it for any projects? Leave a comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear others thoughts on this yarn as well!

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