Bernat Handicrafter Cotton
In terms of quality it’s not the “softest” cotton and it isn’t “shiny” at all like the pricier mercerized cottons. The softness depends very much on the colours. Some colours feel grippy on the hook, seem to fuzz up more and split more frequently than others. This seems especially true of the lighter but vibrant colors, like Hot Green and Hot Orange. White is definitely not my friend but Rose Pink is a dream. This isn’t specific to BHC though, other brands have this as well, and I think it is mainly to do with the dyes and processes required for certain colors. The yarn works up nicely, the finished fabric feels good and it doesn’t fuzz too much. I like how it doesn’t wound me or feel like SOS pads in my hands like most syntho yarn does. You run into the occasional mill end that is tied, but it’s pretty rare. I don’t usually run into defects although some colors (mainly the off-white) have teeny little chunklets that would appear to be from the cotton plant, that are about the size of a grain of sand, peppered in sparingly throughout the yarn. For the most part it works up nicely and doesn’t snag or split too much, although pointy hook users may run into this more than others. For amigurumi I work it with a 3.5mm or 3.75mm hook though you can go as low as 2.5mm and as high as 4.5mm (which is what the manufacturer recommends).
The small ball in solid colors is 1.75 oz (usually $1.59-$1.79 CDN) and the large one in solid colors is 14 oz (usually $7.97 – $9.27), ombres, stripes and prints cost the same but have less yarn. The seasonal Christmas balls are weird odd sizes and different price points. I like this yarn a lot, it’s quality is decent, it has some good colors, it’s cheap and I can find it on local shelves.
My Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Stash
My biggest grievance with BHC is the color selection, which when it comes to solids, is not sufficient in my books. The readily available solid colors tend to be very pastelly and underwhelming. The available colors consist primary of ombres, graduating stripes and prints, which I have no interest in. I do have a ton of solid colors now, but these were the result of constant trolling and combing of the shelves at every Walmart, Michael’s and Zellers in my area, a few times a week, for over a year. There is also still no such thing as black, emerald green or a true sunshiney yellow, which is an issue.
Finding exotic BHC colors is a bit like going on Safari… BHC has some bizarre availability issues, like a true red being available only as a seasonal color pre-Christmas time, or exotic colors like Country Mauve trickling out onto store shelves in such few and far between quantities that I have only ever seen 1 ball. Some solids only come in the little ball, some only come in the big ball, and some colors, the most mysterious of all (annotated with * in the color chart above), are never listed on the Bernat website, never seen in any online stores, and don’t seem to exist anywhere other than in the wilds, once in a blue moon. If you see a color you like and haven’t seen a ton of, buy it, for you may never see it again. There are clearly many BHC hunters in my town, because when the local Walmart gets stocked up with a whopping 5 balls of Country Red, they are gone in a day or two, never to return again.
Speaking of websites, the colors shown on the Bernat website are not very good representations of most of the actual colors of the yarn. The images are more washed out and lighter in the images than the actual yarn looks, I tried to adjust them to best represent what the color actually looks like, but monitors and amateur photoshop skills produce varying results.