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Best Yarn for Crochet

Best Yarn for Crochet: Which Yarn is Best for Crochet?

If you’re ready to start learning how to crochet, you need to know how to identify the best yarn for crochet. Unfortunately, there’s no one quick and simple rule to determine what kind of yarn to use for crochet.

When you’re just learning the basics of crochet, the massive variety of materials can feel overwhelming. In theory, you only need a crochet hook and some yarn, but rarely does it feel so simple.

Best yarn for crochet
Image source: Yarn

If you know how to sew or are learning how to sew, you already know that intelligently choosing among the countless different types of fabrics is an important skill for creating a successful project. The same is true in crochet.

    1. How to select the best yarn to crochet with
    2. The best yarn brands for crocheting
    3. The best yarn for crochet beginners
    4. The best yarn for crochet hats
    5. The best yarn for crochet beanies
    6. The best yarn for crochet sweaters

How to Choose Yarn for Crochet

Best yarn for crochet beginners
Image source: Three Bags Full

If you’ve walked into a crochet store or read a “beginner-friendly” pattern, you’ve certainly encountered terms to describe yarns that you’ve never heard of before. Or maybe the pattern’s yarn suggestions made no sense to you. Let’s start with the basics of crochet yarn.

Yarns can be described in many different ways, ranging from numbers to vague descriptors. Let’s review the basics of different yarn types, yarn weights, and more yarn characteristics to help guide your future yarn purchasing decisions.

Types of Yarn

Types of yarn for crochet
Image source: Fave Crafts

Dozens of different yarn types are available to crocheters. It’s not important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of every single yarn type in the beginning. To get started, you should familiarize yourself with the three major categories of yarn.

    1. Animal fibers: Animal fleece is shorn and turned into yarn. Examples of animal fiber yarns include angora, cashmere, and the extremely popular wool yarn.
    2. Plant fibers: Inner fibers from plants are spun and combined to create yarn. Plant fiber yarn is often blended with synthetic yarn strands for a nicer finish. Hemp, bamboo, and cotton are all examples of plant fiber yarns.
    3. Synthetic fibers: Yarn is manufactured from synthetic fabrics such as acrylic, polyester, and rayon. Novelty yarns are also typically synthetic.

 

Yarn Weights

Yarn weights crochet
Image source: i1 Wp

Yarn weights describe the thickness of a yarn. Choosing the appropriate yarn weight for a project is essential to having an attractively finished piece. Crochet patterns are designed specifically for a category of yarn weight.

Yarn weights have been standardized by the Craft Yarn Council. However, no two crochet patterns write yarn weight exactly the same, so keep this table convenient while you begin your crochet journey.

Yarn Weight Number and Name (USA) Also Referred to As… Suggested Hook Size
2-3 Ply 0: Lace
    • Ultra Fine
    • Light 
    • Fingering
1.50 – 2.25 mm
4 Ply 1: Super Fine
    • Fingering
    • Sock
    • Baby
2.25 – 3.50 mm
5 Ply 2: Fine
    • Light Weight
    • Sport
    • Baby
3.50 – 4.50 mm
8 Ply 3: Light
    • DK
    • Light Worsted
4.50 – 5.50 mm
10 Ply 4: Medium
    • Aran
    • Worsted
    • Afghan
5.50 – 6.50 mm
12 Ply 5: Bulky
    • Chunky
    • Craft
    • Rug
6.50 – 9.00 mm
14 Ply 6: Super Bulky
    • Super Chunky
9.00 – 15 mm
15+ Ply 7: Jumbo
    • Roving
15+

What to Consider When Choosing Yarn for Crochet

With so many different considerations for yarn (weight, color, texture, etc.), it’s hard to know what to prioritize while selecting yarn. Follow the list below for the key factors in your yarn selection, starting with the absolute most important.

    1. Pattern suggestions: When following a pattern, always stick to the yarn qualities that the designer recommends. You don’t have to buy the exact brands and colors but select a yarn with at least the same weight and fiber.
    2. Yarn weight: Using different yarn weights creates very different finished effects. Choosing the wrong yarn weight could have catastrophic impacts on a crochet pattern.
    3. Budget: The price of yarn can range from affordable to luxury. Make sure that you have a budget in mind for each project that considers your skill level, the purpose of the project, and your overall comfort level.
    4. Color and texture: Not only do these factors majorly impact the look of a finished piece, but also they influence the crochet process. Light, low-textured yarns allow you to see your stitches more clearly.
    5. The purpose of the project: Is this piece meant to be worn? If yes, by whom and in what climate? Cashmere might be the best choice for crocheting an elegant sweater, but the acrylic yarn is better suited for making children’s toys.
    6. How you want your stitches to look. Different yarn weights impact the final look of the four basic crochet stitches (single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet). Think about how open you want the finished project to look.

Best Yarn Brands for Crochet

Wondering what the best yarn brands for crochet are? Brands often specialize in a type of yarn (animal, plant, or synthetic). Every crocheter has their own personal favorite brands, but it always depends on the project you’re working on.

Best yarn brand for crochet
Image source: Yarnutopia

It’s key to use well-trusted yarn brands so you can feel confident that your work will last the test of time. Browse the table below for a selection of the most well-loved yarn brands and their strengths.

Yarn Brand

Type

Advantages

Recommended For

Red Heart Soft

Acrylic

Soft, easy to work with, affordable

Baby hats

Caron One Pound

Acrylic

Does well with machine washing and wearing, great stitch definition

Clothing items and accessories

Loops & Threads Charisma Yarn

Acrylic

Feels chunky and luxurious to wear

Scarves, shawls, cowls, and blankets

Lily’s Sugar N’ Cream Yarn

Cotton

Available in great colors, very affordable. Many people consider this the best cotton yarn for crochet

Dishcloths, washcloths, and bags

Premier Cotton Fair Yarn

Cotton / Acrylic Blend

Thin and light, great for warm weather climates

Warm weather clothes

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick

Wool Blend

Bulky and works up fast

Blankets and winter accessories

Bernat Blanket Yarn

Chenille

Affordable and soft to the touch

Blankets

 Keep in mind that these yarn brands are just the beginning. When choosing a yarn brand, you should consider budget, project, purpose, and more.

What is the Best Beginner Crochet Yarn?

Best beginner crochet yarn
Image source: Pinterest

With so much variety to choose from, new crocheters often struggle to find an appropriate starting place. Fortunately, experienced crocheters recommend looking for yarn with specific beginner-friendly features.

    1. Acrylic: Acrylic yarns are the most affordable yarn type, making them ideal for beginners. When you start, the focus should be on learning the basic stitches and mastering techniques (e.g. changing colors, starting crochet chains, and weaving in ends). No need to invest in expensive yarns until you’ve gained more skills.
    2. Light-colored: Light and pastel-colored yarns make it easy to see your stitches and yarn as you work. This is ideal when learning new stitches and techniques. 
    3. Solid-colored: In addition to being light in color, beginner-friendly yarn is also solid-colored. Variegated yarns tend to obscure your stitches and work.
    4. Low textured yarn: Similar to variegated yarns, highly textured yarns (such as this daisy chain novelty yarn) make it extremely challenging to see your work. Save these for when you’re much more confident in your stitches.

Best Yarn for Crochet Hats

Best yarn for crochet hats
Image source: Cook Clean Craft

When crocheting a hat, you’re looking for a yarn that’s soft, warm, breathable, and structured. Warmth is extra important for hats meant to be worn in the winter.

Wool yarn is hands down the most popular yarn for crochet hats, and for good reasons. Wool yarns are widely available, durable, and warm. Other popular yarns for crochet hats include cotton, alpaca, mohair, and even certain acrylic blends.

Before crocheting your first hat, make sure you are confident in crocheting a circle and/or a magic circle, since they’re essential to creating rounded hat designs.

Best Soft Yarn for a Crochet Blanket

Best yarn for crochet blanket
Image source: Kirsten Holloway Designs

The best yarn for crochet blankets is durable, warm, soft, and safe for machine washing. Blankets might just be the ultimate crochet project, and with the addition of a custom woven label they make perfect gifts for anyone.

For washing-machine-safe blankets, opt for either acrylic or superwash yarn (a natural fiber yarn treated to allow washing without shrinkage). 

If you’re looking for the warmest blanket possible and don’t mind handwashing or dry cleaning, crocheters recommend woolen-spun or lofty yarns. These yarn types trap air better, allowing the blanket to hold in more heat.

Worsted-spun yarns offer a compromise of warmth and durability. If you want your blanket to hold up and be cozy, worsted-spun yarns are the way to go.

Best Yarn for Crochet Beanies

Free crochet flow hat pattern
Image source: Diy Craftsy

Just like crochet hats, the best yarns for crochet beanies need to be warm, sturdy, and washable. Ideally, your beanie yarn should also be soft, so that your working finger doesn’t get irritated when you’re making all those crochet decreases

Experienced crocheters recommend anti-pilling wool and acrylic blend yarns for their balance of warmth and durability. If you’re gifting or selling your crochet beanies, don’t forget to include a custom care label so that the recipient knows how to care for your creation!

Best Yarn for a Crochet Sweater

How to choose yarn for crochet
Image source: Coco Crochet Lee

Crochet sweaters must also balance warmth and durability. Wearable items like sweaters go through more wear and tear than blankets and accessories, so durability is the first priority. 

Washable yarns are typically one-fiber yarns, such as 100% cotton or 100% wool yarns. Look for wool yarns that label themselves as “super-wash”, which means they won’t felt in the washing machine. Cashmere is an obvious favorite as well but is more expensive and not machine washable.

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