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Finding an alternative to acrylic yarn for washable apparel


Depending on your first experiences in knitting, on who taught you, on your taste, on your budget, and on a whole lot of other factors, you may find yourself in the “I only knit kid’s sweaters with acrylic” camp, or you may be in the “children can’t be warm in acrylic and need wool sweaters” camp. I’m not here to say one is right and the other wrong. All yarns have their merits and today I’d like to introduce you to Fibra Natura’s Dona. This superwash merino wool yarn is washable and yet it’s not like the superwash yarns that came into stores a few years ago.


Dona DK superwash merino by Fibra Natura
Dona DK superwash merino by Fibra Natura


DK weight yarn is my favorite. There’s nothing I enjoy more than taking out yet another pair or set of 4mm needles and casting on some Double Knitting (some call it light worsted) weight yarn. Dona is a squishy, soft and lofty yarn that really is a pleasure to knit.


Close-up of Dona yarn
Close-up of Dona yarn


As you can see in the above picture. It consists of 6 strands of 2 plies twisted together with an S-twist. The 6 strands are also spun with an S-twist, but the number of twists per inch is small enough to prevent it from feeling like cord, but frequent enough to prevent it from being ‘splitty’. I only knit some swatches this time, each one was very light for the amount of surface area. The yarn is soft both knit up, as a single strand, and in the ball.

It’s a superwash merino. So this exquisite breed has triumphed once again in the yarn world, providing the mill in Italy with a micron count that is so small, I would say that even the Princess (she of the pea sensitivity…feeling one through several mattresses) would not be able to say there is an itch factor in this yarn. And even though the yarn has been treated so that it doesn’t shrink, it really stays soft and doesn’t have that crunchiness that some superwash types do. This is what makes it an excellent alternative to acrylic yarn. It doesn’t pill when washed, and it’s super warm and soft.

The yarn comes in 32 colors, some richly intense, and some pastels. I chose vanilla, black and real teal for this week’s posts.


Dona of Universal Yarns in color: Vanilla
Dona of Universal Yarns in color: Vanilla


Looking at this closeup of the Vanilla skein, you can see that the way the yarn is twisted, there is a lot of play on light and sheen. There isn’t one ounce of silk or rayon or any other shiny fiber, yet there’s a gentle glimmer amidst the plies in every twist. I like that the vanilla is truly a creamy off-white and not a bleached white with little character.

The real teal is intense and alive (teal happens to be my favorite color, ever). and I can’t wait to knit myself a hat (I rarely knit for myself). The black is rich as well.

This week’s posts are going to explore the interplay of color with black and white. We will look at color blocking, fair isle, and more. Stay tuned.


Close up of Dona of Universal Yarns in color: Teal
Close up of Dona of Universal Yarns in color: Teal


This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2:  3 fixes for knitting intarsia


About Charles Voth

I’m Charles Voth, a crochet and knitting professional. I enjoy reviewing yarns and tools to help others find materials that will help them be happy with what they stitch. I design garments and accessories and items for the home. I teach both crafts at yarn stores, in schools, and at craft shows and retail events. I am also a technical editor of both crochet and knitting patterns and illustrate the charts and diagrams that make pattern reading accessible to so many.


  1. E. Wilson

    tempting Carla

  2. G. Wilson

    makes me want to take up knitting

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