Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yarn Review: Starbella by Premier Yarns

  Have you used this yarn yet? Don't hesitate to share your comments!

  Starbella by Premier Yarns is an acrylic mesh tape yarn available in a large variety of colors. This super bulky (6) weight yarn comes in 33 yd (30 m) skeins.

  I have to be honest and tell you that I wasn't impressed with Starbella when Premier Yarns first introduced it. I didn't make a point to try it out because I wasn't interested in making a ruffle pattern at the time. Plus, I really thought the only thing you could make out of mesh yarn is a potato chip scarf. But, I've finally broke down and bought some (half-price!) because of a yarn sale.

  I got a hook out almost as soon as I got in the door with my new purchase. And then...Wait a second... How do you use this stuff?

  Luckily, Premier offers free video tutorials for how to crochet and knit with their product, and free patterns. The first thing to learn was the difference between the top and bottom of the mesh. The solid band is the finished bottom, and the open mesh spaces are the top, where you work your stitches. Beginning with the mesh yarn was also more difficult than I anticipated, until a visit to Premier's website.

  After learning the "proper" way to use Starbella, and practicing with a few different patterns, I could see the good points of working with this yarn. Although it might be difficult for a beginner at first, once you learn the right way to use it, you can make fancy or fun ruffles that work up quickly with a minimal amount of effort.

  It can also be used as a bulky yarn, held together. This makes giant chains that grow by the second. The variegated color I'm working with has dramatic color changes with every few inches of chain. Using Starbella as a tape yarn created a more satiny, silky feel than the fluffy ruffles have.

  Discovering new ways to work with this yarn definitely changed my original (and uninformed) opinion. It led me to more experimentation and an awesome new pattern. Starbella can absolutely be used for so much more than potato chip scarfs!

  I love the color I picked out, Canyon Sunrise. After visiting their website, I also fell in love with the colors Purple Rain, Faded Jeans, and Seabreeze. Plus, I thought a skein of Birthday Cake would be great for making something for a little girl.

  However, I have to admit that I'm a little reluctant to work with this yarn again. You can create so many different effects with it, and the color choices are awesome, but I had a hard time using it. It twists while you're working, it sticks to the tiniest rough spots on your hands, and it picks up every bit of dust (or cat fur) around it. On the bright side, you could use scraps of leftover skeins to make a very useful duster.

  I hate to give something a bad review just because I had difficulty using it. Maybe I need to practice some more, or try a few more patterns to really like it. I'd like to see the results of the project I made after a few more washes, too. I have a feeling it's not going to look so pretty if I keep throwing it in the washing machine. I could have sworn the (lost) label on my skein stated "machine wash gentle, dry low", but the product website says to hand wash. Starbella is definitely better off being washed by hand, because I can already see signs of fuzz and loose threads, even using gentle cycle. It's my mistake that it was put in the washer, so the fact that it didn't fall apart and it's not ruined yet is a plus for Starbella.

  My conclusion is that I can see the benefits of a yarn like this, but it's just not my cup of tea. I love the variety of the available colors, and I love the softness of my completed project, but... I just didn't love working with Starbella.

  Don't let my negative opinion stop you from trying this product at least once. The yarn itself offers so many possibilities, and Premier's website offers FREE tutorials and patterns. Click here to get more information, check out all the colors and patterns, and find help with using Starbella.

  Crochet is the Way will soon have a new free pattern for you to use Starbella with. 

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