How to Choose the Best Yarn for Your Project

knitting

Whether you enjoy knitting, weaving or crocheting, picking the right yarn is essential for ensuring the success of your project. When it comes to yarn, there are several factors to consider, although many amateurs base their choice on color or texture. However, if you want to take your knitting skills to the next level, you must learn how to choose the right yarn for each project. Don’t worry, this is not as complicated as itsounds. Check out our easy yarn picking guide, and you will find the answers to all of your yarn questions.

Choosing the right fiber

Nowadays, there are countless types of clothing fibers, from animal based, to plant based and even synthetic based fibers. However, not all fibers are suitable for knitting and crocheting projects. Our advice is to stay away from synthetic fibers. They may be cheap, but they don’t have many advantages. The best yarn fibers are wool, silk, cotton, merino wool, alpaca wool, angora wool, cashmere and mohair. The type of fiber that you choose depends on how you want the garment to feel and look.

  • For structured garments (socks) – Basic wool
  • For a heavy drape (shawls or sweaters) – Silk
  • Low maintenance, machine washable (vests, sweaters) – Cotton
  • Soft and shiny (shawls) – Merino wool
  • Warm (winter clothes) – Any types of wool, but Alpaca wool is the warmer
  • Warm and fuzzy – Mohair or Angora wool

The fiber of the yarn is very important, but keep in mind that the same fiber can be different, depending on how it is manufactured. Our advice is to buy yarn from reputable manufacturers. For example, the best merino wool can be found in Darn Good Yarn’s Malabrigo Yarn, which is handmade and hand-dyed, and it comes in a wide range of thicknesses. How the yarn is manufactured has a big impact on its softness. Moreover, hand-dyed yarn is always the best choice, as it guarantees that your project will be one of a kind, featuring a gorgeous and unique ombre shade.

Choosing the right weight

If you are following a certain knitting pattern, it will usually come with specific yarn instructions, so that your final result will be the same as the one in the pattern. The instructions usually consist of recommended needle size, gauge and most importantly, yarn weight. Although it is called weight, this property actually refers to the thickness of the yarn. If you aren’t following a pattern with specific instructions, you need to know the characteristics of each yarn size.

  • Lace – This is the equivalent of one ply and it is the thinnest yarn that you can find. This type of yarn is used for light and airy projects like dollies or shawls. This yarn is quite delicate and it can break easily, so you need to be very gentle when working with it.
  • Fingering – This is also a very light yarn, slightly thicker than the lace type. It is also very common for shawls, almost as delicate as lace yarn, but slightly easier to work with.
  • Sport – There are several yarn weights that belong to this category, basically everything from two to five plies. These types of yarns are used for small projects like socks, gloves and baby clothes. These yarns are rather easy to work with, and they are much stronger than lace and fingering yarn.
  • Worsted – This medium sized yarn can have eight to ten plies. It is a great yarn for beginners, as it has a great stitch definition. It is best suited for sweaters and mittens, but also for thick scarves and even hats.
  • Bulky – Anything from twelve to fourteen plies counts as a bulky yarn. This type of yarn is very think, it requires big needles, and it is best suited for blankets or very thick scarves. To achieve a good loft, this yarn requires very large stitches. When buying bulky yarn, make sure it is evenly spun, otherwise you will end up with uneven knits.

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