I just read an excerpt from The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber in the winter issue of Twist Collective (The Softness Myth by Clara Parkes). I think this article is full of good observations — yarn should not just be as soft as possible. I have had the conversation on many occasions about a particular yarn I happen to like and been told it is not soft enough, but I ask you: how soft does yarn need to be?
I confess here that I am quite accepting of scratchy wool and will quite willingly wear a hat that makes me scratch and scratch when I take it off — which of course means a red forehead, but I don’t mind (I generally make sure that any yarn I suggest others use in my yarn suggestions is not too scratchy as I know not everyone shares my particular preferences). All the same, if you live somewhere really cold — please never underestimate the value of good forehead coverage, it really is important — I gave myself frostbite (or something very close to it) walking to work one day when it was too cold for the car to start and will never forget that particular lesson (other lessons, yes, that one, no).
But all the same yarn should not only be judged on being as soft as possible — there really are all sorts of measures of a yarn, and I am happy to see more discussion on the subject.
I have immediately requested said book from the library to check out what else Clara has to say.