This week I crocheted a Nyan Cat themed lovey for my impending baby. Unfortunately, trying to make something rainbow takes a lot of colors, and buying all 7 ROYGBIV plus the grey, pink and tan is a lot of yarn money. I bought Red Heart Super Saver thinking it couldn't be THAT bad.
I worked up the blanket part and it is bad - it would be scratchy and coarse for a baby at least. After getting depressed and dramatically declaring that my cute blankey idea was a failure (hey im pregnant, it happens) my husband suggested I look for ways to soften the yarn and save my project. At least someone was using their brain haha.
After a day or so of research and experimentation the blanket actually came out super soft :) It also had wonderful drape which I did not expect. There was much rejoicing. I'm not going to tell you it rivals the expensive high-end yarns but it does come pretty dang close. Now I can save money by buying cheapy yarn and softening them for the projects that require a lot of colors.
Take note that I had already finished the blanket part when I started this process, I don't know if this would work on the yarn itself before it's been worked up.
Step 1: Rinse in cold water
Step 2: Shampoo thoroughly, rinse twice
Step 3: Working in sections, saturate entire piece with hair conditioner
Step 4: Let sit in cool water for over an hour
Step 5: Rinse thoroughly
Step 6: Run it through the lightest wash cycle your washer machine can accomplish. Detergent is ok here as long as it is a small amount
Step 7: Put it in the dryer. You can use dryer sheets if you want. Dry until slightly damp. Take out and block and let air dry the rest of the way.
That's it, you're done! You'll be surprised by how soft and pleasant this yarn can become. I've also heard that the more you wash it, the softer it gets.
I used cheapo shampoo and conditioner because that's what I had on hand, so don't worry if you don't have fancy hair stuff.
Finished product! It turned out bigger than I intended but still very cute. I may post the pattern at some point so keep an eye out if you're interested.
**Update again!! 6/14/13 - I now have four different lovey patterns available in my shop!