As a beginner in crochet, understanding the different types of yarn for crochet is important because it will help you select the correct type for your project.
Because the last thing you want to do is put your time and effort into making something like a summer top with 100% wool because it will be too hot to wear in summer.
So let's try and avoid or minimize those mistakes by learning about different types of yarn for crochet.
Table of contents
Different Crochet Yarn Types
You will find that most yarn types will fall into three categories animal, plant, and synthetic:
These come from animals such as sheep (wool), goats (mohair cashmere), rabbits (angora), alpacas (alpaca), and silkworms (silk).
These fibers are warm and have more texture than synthetic fibers, but they can be more expensive to buy and may require special care when washing and storing.
These are fibers from plants, such as cotton, bamboo, linen, and hemp. These fibers tend to be breathable, lightweight, and have a smooth texture.
They can be cheaper than animal fibers and are more eco-friendly because they are renewable and biodegradable.
These are man-made and include materials like acrylic, nylon, and polyester. Synthetic fibers are cheaper than natural fibers and can be more durable and easier to care for. They come in a wide range of colors and textures making them a popular choice for beginners.
Apart from the above categories, there are blended yarns that combine different types of fibers to create unique textures and properties.
For example, you may come across blends that combine cotton with acrylic for extra softness and color fastness or wool combined with nylon for extra durability.
Types Of Yarn Fibers
Listed below are the most common types of yarn fibers that you can buy:
- Wool is a natural fiber that cones for sheep and is warm and soft.
- Cotton is a plant fiber that is soft, breathable, easy to care for, and great for summer garments, dishcloths, face scrubbies, and other household items.
- Acrylic yarn is a synthetic man-made fiber that is affordable, easy to care for, and comes in many colors. It can be used for making blankets scarves and hats.
- Nylon is also a synthetic fiber that is strong, durable, and stretchy. It is often used for making socks and other items that need to be strong and long-lasting.
- Polyester also a synthetic fiber is strong and durable and resists wrinkles, does not shrink, and is colorfast. It is often used to make bags, totes, and other items that need to be tough.
- Mohair is a natural fiber that comes from Angora goats. It is soft and strong and can blend with other fibers to create unique yarns with a fuzzy texture and a nice sheen. Great for warm winter wear.
- Alpaca comes for the fleece of alpacas it is soft, warm, and hypoallergenic. It is often used for winter accessories like hats and scarves.
- Bamboo is a plant fiber that comes from the pulp of bamboo, it is soft and breathable and great for lightweight summer wear and baby items.
- Yarn blends are made by combining two or more different types of yarn to make another type of yarn.
- Crochet thread - these are much thinner and finer than yarns and are used for making delicate and intricate items like dollies, lace, jewelry, and edgings.
As you get used to working with different types of yarn you will soon be able to tell just by looking and handling it what type it is.
However, until then you are best looking at the yarn label to find the yarn type.
Learning how to read a yarn label will give you all the information that you need to know when selecting a yarn for crochet.
Yarn weight refers to the thickness or size of the yarn strand and it should be considered when selecting the right yarn for your project.
Yarn weight can range from the finest lace weight to the heaviest Jumbo, and often you will find these numbered on the yarn labels, from #0 (lace) to #7 (jumbo).
Here is a breakdown of the yarn weight categories:
- Lace weight yarn #0 -This is the finest and thinnest yarn weight category, often used for making delicate lace projects, and is the equivalent of 1-3 ply yarn
- Fingering weight yarn #1 - This is a slightly thicker yarn weight category, commonly used for making lightweight garments like socks, shawls, and baby clothes. It is equivalent to 4 ply yarn.
- Sport weight yarn #2 - This is a medium-weight yarn category, often used for making lightweight garments like sweaters, scarves, hats, and baby items. It is equivalent to 5 ply yarn.
- Lightweight yarn #3 - This is also a medium yarn and includes weights like DK and light worsted yarns, often used for making blankets, sweaters, scarves, and hats. It is equivalent to 8 ply yarn.
- Worsted weight yarn #4 - This is a medium to heavy yarn category, commonly used for making a variety of projects like afghans, hats, and scarves. It is equivalent to 10 ply yarn.
- Bulky weight yarn #5 - This is a heavier yarn category, used for making warm and cozy projects like blankets, scarves, and hats. It is equivalent to 12 ply yarn.
- Super bulky weight yarn #6 - This is the heaviest yarn category, often used for making quick and cozy projects like blankets, scarves, and hats. It is equivalent to 14 ply yarn.
- Jumbo weight yarn #7 - This is the thickest yarn available, it is sometimes called roving yarn. It is perfect for making oversized projects like blankets, throws, and floor poufs. It is equivalent to 16 ply yarn.
Other Things To Consider
The following things should also be considered when selecting yarns for your crochet projects.
Consider the project
Think about the type of project you want to make and what properties the yarn will need to have to achieve the desired result.
For example, a winter hat will require warm and cozy yarn like wool, while a summer top will require lightweight and breathable yarn like cotton or bamboo.
Check the recommended gauge
Always check the recommended gauge for the pattern you are following and choose a yarn that will achieve that gauge.
This will ensure that your finished project is the right size and shape.
Consider the fiber
Different yarn fibers have different properties and will affect the finished product differently. For example, wool yarn is warm and insulating, while the cotton yarn is cool and breathable.
Consider the properties you want in your finished project and choose a fiber that will achieve that.
Check the yarn weight
The yarn weight will affect the thickness of the yarn and how it works.
Make sure to choose a yarn weight that is appropriate for your project and will achieve the desired texture.
For example, you may not want to use a worsted-weight yarn for light and dainty baby clothes.
Check the yardage
Always check the yardage on the yarn label and make sure you have enough yarn to complete your project (this can be found on the yarn label).
If the pattern does not specify yardage, you can estimate the amount of yarn you will need based on the weight and length of the yarn, as well as the recommended gauge.
Consider your budget
Yarn can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive.
Consider your budget when choosing yarn and remember that a more expensive yarn may not always be necessary for your project.
Swatch before starting
Always make a swatch before starting your project to test the yarn and make sure it will work for your project. This can save time and frustration down the road.
Consider washing instructions
Check the yarn label for washing instructions to ensure that the finished project can be washed and dried in a way that is convenient for you.
If you are not sure about a particular yarn, read reviews from other crocheters to get an idea of how it works up and what to expect.
Easy Crochet Patterns
- Daisy granny square blanket
- Small crochet basket with handles
- Reusable crochet face scrubbies
- Easy rectangle crochet shawl pattern
- Moss stitch dishcloth pattern
- Easy crochet dishcloth pattern
- Suzette crochet washcloth
- Easy crochet dishcloth patterns
- Easy crochet lap blanket
- Small crochet drawstring pouch
- Crochet flower bookmarks
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