Caron's Simply Soft Eco has a lot of the same qualities as regular Simply Soft, but it includes 20 recycled polyester made from plastic bottles, making it a slightly greener choice for people who like durable acrylic yarns.
- Content: 80 percent acrylic, 20 percent NatureSpun recycled polyester
- Yarn weight: Medium
- Gauge: Ball band says 18 stitches and 24 rows per 4 inches on size 8 US knitting needles; I got 18 stitches and 22 rows on size 8 needles
- Yardage: 249 yards per 5 ounce skein
- Color availability: 34 solid and heathered chades
- Color used in swatch: Forest Floor
- Care instructions: Machine wash warm, dry low, no bleach or ironing.
Caron Simply Soft Eco has a similar feel to Simply Soft, but is in its way quite a different yarn. Each skein removes 60 percent of a plastic bottle from the waste stream, which isn't a lot, but one hopes they'll experiment with adding more recycled content as time goes on.
The yarn is softer than you'd expect and was very easy to work with dull-tipped needles, with no splitting and very even stitches (I found it to be less splittly than the regular Simply Soft).
Stockinette Stitch curled somewhat, and though much of the curl came out immediately after blocking, more curl returned over time.
Uses for Berroco Latitude:
Simply Soft Eco is a fine choice for any projects you might normally use Simply Soft or a similar soft acrylic yarn for, including baby and child projects and anything that needs to be durable. This doesn't feel as fake as a lot of acrylic yarns do, which is nice.
The Caron website notes that some of the darker shades have random white flecks in them, which is from the plastic part of the yarn. I didn't see that in the yarn I sampled, but you might want to knit a swatch in any dark color you're planning to use to see if you get this effect and if you like it.
Caron Simply Soft Eco is widely available (it's sold in those Wal-Marts that still have craft departments) and retails for a little over $3 a skein. That's not bad for the yardage you're getting, making this a real contender as a go-to acrylic yarn if you like to use such yarns for children's projects, charity knitting and other projects.
The environmental cred of the yarn isn't great (it is still acrylic, after all, and why not a whole bottle per skein?) but it is a small step forward by a major yarn manufacturer that, if successful, we can hope will lead to more (and greener) endevours in the future.