Another crucial aspect of crocheting. After all, you can’t crochet without some type of fiber!
The big question is: Which fiber to use for which projects?
I remember when I first decided to teach myself to crochet, I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some yarn. I was SO overwhelmed. There were aisles and aisles of yarn. After about an hour picking up different types of yarn, reading the back and Googling things like ‘what weight yarn should I buy’ and ‘what’s acrylic yarn’ I finally just picked the cheapest option and ran out of there.
After that, my tactic was to buy a few of the cheapest yarn options on Amazon with the best reviews. Quickly I learned, just because the yarn was cheap, doesn’t mean it should be used by beginners. I believe this was something that really slowed me down in the learning process, in a good and bad way. Some yarns are VERY difficult to work with, especially as a beginner, it was frustrating and time consuming. However, it did make me slow down and really concentrate on my stitches, which was a good thing. It also taught me the importance of different types of yarn for different projects.
In hindsight, I realize I should have decided on what project I was going to start with, and pick the best yarn for that specific project. For my very first projects/practicing I would have chosen a wool yarn (reasoning below). Below I’ll lay out the different types of yarn and which are best for certain projects.
Wool is a great practice fiber. It’s very forgiving of mistakes, easy to unravel and start over. It’s also odor resistant and insulating. All this said, wool is a great yarn to use for sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, etc. Wool is also an elastic material, it has some give but it’ll bounce back.
Cotton makes a great sturdy yarn. It’s easy to care for (just throw it in the wash!) and it is very breathable. I like to use cotton for coasters, dishcloths, and baskets. One of my least favorite things about cotton is that it doesn’t hold shape very well. I often spray my cotton projects with fabric stiffener to help this.
Acrylic is the more economical choice. It’s also easy to care for as it’s typically machine washable. It’s lightweight and strong, and comes in many different colors.
The yarns listed above are the most common types of yarn, however there are many more. To name a few: alpaca, cashmere, linen, hemp, polyester and nylon.
Something to remember about yarn weight, weight = thickness.
The weight of yarn is always listed on the label. The weight will be labeled by a number 1-7 (1 being the thinnest). In my opinion, the best beginner weight is 4 (AKA worsted weight). This is a nice medium weight which isn’t too thin, and certainly not too think, it’s nice and easy to work with for your first projects.
- 1 – Super Fine – fingering, socks, baby
- 2 – Fine – sport, baby
- 3 – Light – light worsted
- 4- Medium – worsted, aran
- 5 – Bulky – chunky, craft, rug
- 6 – Super Bulky – roving
- 7 – Jumbo – roving
Now that we touched on yarn weights, which hook should you use for which weight?
Luckily, this is also something listed right on the label of the yarn. Below is a helpful image on all the different information listed on most yarn labels. Sometimes you’ll use a different hook depending on the look you’re going for (the bigger the hook, the bigger the stiches). When in doubt, use the recommended hook size listed.
This image also mentions laundering. When you’re making something that will be washed (clothing, blankets, coasters, etc.) be sure to pay attention to how that particular yarn can be washed.