Yarn Review: Ice Cream by Lion Brand

Introduction

All of my reviews reflect my honest opinion. I do my best to scrutinize aspects of the yarn that I’ve seen are important to knitters and crocheters, and point out the pros and cons regardless of my or the community’s preferences. My opinion is not law and is just a testimony of sorts for those interested in learning about a yarn line before buying it.

Overview

Ice Cream is a yarn line by Lion Brand Yarns. It’s marketed as a baby-weight acrylic yarn and comes in a variety of patterns and colors, most of which are pastels.

What’s On the Ball Band?

  • Weight: 3
  • Yardage: 394 yards/ 360 meters per 100 grams
  • Hook: 5mm (H-8)
  • Needles: 3.75mm (size 5)
  • Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic

Pricing

At the time of this review, this yarn can be found mainly at:

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First Impressions

Looking at the yarn (in the mint colorway), the colors definitely came off as “baby item-material” with its light pastel tones. In the skein the yarn felt fairly soft and thin, befitting the weight given on the ball band.

Soft and Silky or Itchy Scratchy? {6/10} {7/10 AW}

After using a couple skeins I realized the yarn’s softness is not consistent. Some skeins were definitely softer than others, although none of them were scratchy or rough.  The skein I used to knit the mint blanket was not as soft as the one I used for the pink heart one, which felt smooth like butter in my hands! Because of this, purchasing the yarn in person is the better choice, but is not absolutely necessary as all the skeins I tried were soft.

After washing {AW} the yarn softens up even more, going from a 6/10 to a 7/10 for softness. I also steam blocked the blankets before washing, although it didn’t make them softer; rather, the blankets held their shape and acquired more drape.

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Stitch Definition

This swatch (not washed) was crocheted using the recommended hook, with 20 stitches across, and with four rows of single-crochet, three rows of half-double crochet, three rows of double-crochet, and three rows of double-crochet lace.

The Split Factor 

Crocheting – {7.5/10} a.k.a A Bit of Split: Even though I crochet fairly quickly the yarn barely split while I worked. I used a 5mm Boye hook to make the pink blanket, which is comprised of double crochets. The larger stitches gave the yarn ample chances to split on me, but I didn’t have much issue with it. The yarn is not split-free, however, and did split once in a while, especially in areas where the plies were looser.

Knitting – {6/10} a.k.a Moderately Splitty: Splitting was more of an issue when it came to knitting. I used Chiaogoo Red Lace 3.75mm needles to make the mint blanket, and had the yarn split on me more often than it did while I crocheted. The plies seemed to give way to the needle tips more readily than they did to the crochet head, which often led to backtracking on my last-worked stitch to correct the problem. Despite this the splitting was not a large-enough problem to cause frustration, and definitely warrants a rating above 5.

Knotty or Nice? {4/10} a.k.a Very Knotty

The biggest downfall of this yarn for me was the number of knots I found. When it comes to knots, sometimes you just get a bad skein. In my case, I got a couple of bad skeins in different colorways that I purchased at different times. Out of 5 skeins, all of them had at least 2 knots, and 2 of them had 3 knots. The mint skeins were bought months apart from the pink ones, with the mint skeins coming from a Hobby Lobby store and the pink ones from a Joanns. From my experience knots are consistent problem, so I have to give a score below 5 for this one.

Color the Ways {6.5/10}

At the time that this review was released, Lion Brand’s website offered 18 different colorways for their Ice Cream line. They offer different color patterns such as gradients, stripes, and “sprinkles” in both conventional and unconventional pastel colors. You can find your typical baby blue in their Blueberry colorway, or something with a tint of green in their Mint. Everyone’s favorite pink shade can be found in Birthday Cake and Strawberry. My favorite unconventional colorway was Cookies and Cream. I never thought a baby blanket would look good in shades of grey and black, but this colorway got it right!

While 18 colorways is a decent amount, it’s definitely not a lot either (hence a score below 8). What’s more, the yarn does not come in solid colors, so making solid-colored baby items is a no-go. For a comparison, there are other baby yarn lines that offer over 20 colorways, including ones in solid colors (like La Mia Baby Cotton and Paintbox Yarn Baby, just to name a few).

Squeaky Sheen

Squeakiness – {6.5/10} or Moderate: Just like its softness, the yarn’s squeakiness was inconsistent. Most of the skeins I used did not produce an audible squeak while I worked, but one skein in particular was comprised of yarn that was constantly noisy on my hook. The same yarn felt stiffer and sometimes tricked me into thinking I had some sort of residue on my hands. In all honesty I did not enjoy working with this particular skein at all. Towards the end of the very same skein the squeaking stopped, and so did the icky feeling left on my fingers. I am not sure whether to attribute these problems to shipping and handling processes or the actual manufacturing process, but for the most part, all of the other skeins I worked with were pleasantly silent and free of residue.

Shininess – {5/10} or Moderate: In most lighting this yarn has very little sheen. In harsh artificial light or sunlight the yarn’s shininess becomes much more apparent. I personally prefer the duller matte look, but any gleam the yarn did give off in those rare instances did not bother me at all. If you like yarn with those qualities, then a rating of 5 in this department is perfect. If you don’t care for a middle-of-the-road yarn and want something with more matte or more sheen you might want to look elsewhere.

Summary

Softness: 6/10, 7/10 AW

Splitting: 7.5/10 for crochet, 6/10 for knitting

Knots: 4/10, I found 2 knots in every skein and 3 knots in two skeins

Color Availability: 6.5/10, a decent number of interesting colorways, but not a large number and no solid colors to choose from

Squeakiness: 6.5/10, inconsistent squeaking across skeins

Shininess: 5/10, moderate shininess

Price For What You Get: This yarn is pretty inexpensive for its competitors, namely other baby yarn lines. You can get a decently sized baby blanket from less than two skeins, and stores like Joann, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s often have sales and coupons you can use to get a discount. The colors by themselves are beautiful and you do not need to worry about color changes or weaving in tons of ends. I definitely think the yarn is worth the listing price.

And there’s that!

I hope reading about my own experience helped you in some way! Whether you are thinking about making a yarn purchase or were just curious, I thank you for reading!

What parts were helpful to you? Surprising or interesting? What’s your own opinion about the yarn? Were there parts of my review you agreed or disagreed with? Is there another yarn you would like me to review? Comment below or send me a message via my blog or Instagram (@lebydeecreations). I’d love to hear what you think!

4 thoughts on “Yarn Review: Ice Cream by Lion Brand

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