Lion Brand Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling Yarn Review

When you crochet something you’re spending the time to make something that lasts the tests of time. Not too long ago acrylic yarn was considered an inferior material. This was due to it’s rougher texture and tendency to pill from normal use and washings.

Now a days, acrylic is a common yarn material that is soft, easy to work with and now pill free! Or at least that’s what Basic Stitch (Oo, that was close) Anti-pilling yarn says.

This yarn brags super softness and anti-pilling strands that can hold up to daily wear and tear. If said yarn does have a few pills on it you throw it in the wash and it comes out like it’s brand new.

But is this yarn really as good as it says?

Let’s find out…

About the Yarn

This is the description according to the Lion Brand site for Basic Stitch Anti-pilling yarn:

Even the best yarns wear down with frequent use and machine washing – until now. Lion Brand® created Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling™ for all your favorite projects that see a lot of wear and tear. Even before it is spun into a premium 4-ply acrylic, the fiber is treated to resist pilling. And, when pills do form (due to frequent use and washing), no need to pick them off – just throw the item in the washer and the pills disappear. But that’s not the only great thing about Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling. It is super soft, has great stitch definition, and comes in an extensive palette of 18 solids, 12 multi-colors, 6 heathers and 6 marls. This is the perfect yarn for those afghans the family loves to snuggle under on movie night, the scarf and hat you wear every day, and baby’s favorite blankie that gets dragged through the playground.

The Lion Brand Website on basic stitch Anti-Pilling yarn

These are the details of the yarn brand from Lion Brand:

  • Yarn Weight 4 Medium
  • Crochet Gauge (4in x 4in)11 sc x 14 r on J-10 (6 mm)
  • Knit Gauge (4in x 4in)16 sts x 22 r on #8 (5 mm)
  • Length (yd)219
  • Length (m)220
  • Weight (oz)3.5
  • Weight (g)100
  • Fiber Acrylic
  • Fiber Detail 100% Acrylic
  • Care Machine Wash, Machine Dry

Price

$4.99 USD

Without any kind of sale that makes it the price around .02 cent a yard.

Big Box store such as Joann’s and Michael’s, frequently do 20% – 30% off sales, which would make it $3.99 – $3.49. Either store usually ha a 40% off any regular priced item, that brings it down to $2.99. Sometimes they have better coupons or stack-able coupons like 20% off your order including sale items.

Be sure to check out the *Lion Brand’s website because they sometimes have good sales on their products.

*Not sponsored, just a fan of Lion Brands yarn. All the opinions outside of the, About The Yarn, section are my own.

Yarn Specs

This yarn comes in 42 colors, is made in India, and is extremely soft and easy to work with. The 100% acrylic yarn weights 3.5 oz with a length of 185 yards. Which is a pretty decent amount of yarn.

It has a dye lot number which is good for making sure your project stays the color you want. Also, this particular color is turquoise heather if you’re interested. The list of colors with heather in the name are below:

  • Turquoise heather
  • Silver heather
  • Red heather
  • Gold heather
  • Charcoal heather
  • Taupe heather

On the lable under it’s title, there is a project guide that tells you how many skeins are needed for a general crocheted item, a hat, a scarf, and a sweater. Bear in mind that this is a general guide. Textured and dense stitches will use more yarn so make sure you have more than enough for your project. As for the sweater, everyone’s size is different so make sure that you refer to your pattern for yardage or if you’re making your own pattern that you calculate your yardage before you buy. And possibly buy 1 or 2 more skeins for sewing, swatch, and mistake purposes.

Variations within the brand

This yarn has one other variation under the name Basic Stitch.

Basic Stitch Premium yarn, is priced at $4.99. This yarn is a washable and dry-able, worsted weight (4), acrylic yarn that is wonderfully soft. The premium yarn comes in 18 solid colors and each skein is 3.5 oz (100 g) and 219 yards (200 m).

Comparison

The price range of Basic Stitch Anti-pilling yarn compared to other anti-pill yarns.

Price and yardage wise, here’s the comparison of 2 brands.

  • Premier Anti-pilling everyday worsted solids yarn : $3.99
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) 180 yards (165 m)

  • Basic Stitch Anti-pilling yarn: $4.99
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) 185 yards (169 m)

I generally like having 3 brands for comparison. However these are the only anti-pilling yarns I could find and have used. If you know of any others let me know in the comments.

Cons

The Basic Stitch Anti-pilling yarn is a bit more expensive than I would like for an everyday uses type of yarn.

What’s The Verdict

As far as softness goes this yarn feels great in your hands and works up really well. I worked up a swatch of the Jasmine stitch to use and abuse to see if I could see any wear or pilling. Here is is fresh off the hook..

Jasmine stitch

There wasn’t really that much of a “halo” around the yarn when I finished the swatch, so I was optimistic about the lack of pilling.

I then proceeded to rub the swatch on just about every fabric surface I could find, mostly my couch and shirt, to see if I could generate some pills. It took me rubbing in a circular motion for about 15 – 20 minutes to get it to pill up.

It’s not an awful level of pill, however it claims that a trip through the wash will get rid of any pilling that does happen. This is a close up of some of the pills. I circled the bigger ones so you see what I’m talking about.

Soo… 1 trip through the wash later, this is how the swatch turned out. Far from the claim of the pills disappearing there seemed to be more of them. There is also most definitely a noticeable “halo” now. The yarn is noticeably softer, incredibly so since it was quite soft to begin with. However it doesn’t really make up for the yarn not preforming as expected.

The jasmine stitch is quite loose, so to give it a fair shake, I decided to crochet another swatch of a more typical stitch, the front post double crochet, to see if the washing process alone would cause the pills. Mind you the “process” is a normal wash on cold, followed by a trip through the dry on normal. This is exactly as the care instructions state on the yarn label.

This is my freshly finished headband after the wash. Much like the first swatch the fabric has become insanely soft, unfortunately, it has a few pills.

There is definitely a fair amount of fuzz, also known as a “halo”. These loose fibers meshing/knotting together is generally what causes pilling… This is not an awful case of pilling, but it’s supposed to be an anti-pilling yarn…which is why I’m being a bit of a stickler.

So, my conclusion is that this is a lovely yarn to work with and the colors are beautiful. I especially love this turquoise heather color. In fact all the heather colors in this line are quite pretty.

To be completely honest, I’m just not sure it’s worth it at it’s normal price. The pilling was quite bad on the Jasmine stitch swatch, but to be fair I did force the pilling. The slight pilling on the headband however was natural from washing it as instructed.

So, if you see it on sale or have a coupon and want a super soft acrylic yarn then definitely enjoy it’s wide range of colors and it’s ease of use. Just bare in mind that it’s not necessarily as anti-pill as it states.

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