Crocheting has now become a profitable business that many hobbyists have started their own small businesses to earn extra. And with the popularity of such ventures to people, it’s no wonder many are interested in needlework, especially crocheting.
But to start, you will need to learn more about the craft. Sure, watching a couple or so YouTube tutorial videos would work greatly. However, aside from the technique, you also need to know everything starting from the basics, specifically what you would be working with.
Types of Yarn
There are a variety of yarns available on the market, and as a newbie, it could get overwhelming. But there are some types that would make the work easier for you when you’re still learning the knots.
There are basically two things to consider when looking for a yarn for crochet:
- Fiber type
- Yarn weight
Different Fiber Types
There are three different yarn fiber types: plant-based, animal-based, and synthetic type.
The fiber type will most likely be the most overwhelming part of finding the right yarn. Under each of these categories, you’ll find numerous types, from cotton fiber, banana silk, bamboo, or linen to alpaca, cashmere, camel, or sheep fleece.
Of all the plant-based fibers, cotton is perhaps the most common and popular type. This natural fiber is rather inexpensive, so it’s one of the go-to yarn types of many hobbyists. However, as a beginner, you might find it a little challenging to work with because it’s an inelastic choice, meaning it could split in the middle of your project. (Source: Martha Stewart)
Still, cotton is a great choice, and despite the challenge, it’s still something beginners can try to work with. It’s especially great for some projects where you want the item to carry its shape. Some projects you can start with this type of material are purses, placemats, or tote bags.
You can choose from American cotton, which comes in a variety of colors, Egyptian cotton, which has the longest fiber and is, therefore, more durable, or Pima cotton, which is a combination of both.
Other Plant-Based Fibers
Here are other plant-based fibers you can work with if you decide to upgrade from cotton or if your project calls for it:
- Linen – Great for summer clothing and is a durable fiber, but it can wrinkle easily so clothes made from this are a little high-maintenance.
- Bamboo – It’s a lightweight fiber and produces an elegant sheen.
- Seaweed – Yes, seaweed yarns are also available, and they are seen as a great vegan option to cotton as they have the same chunkiness to them.
Aside from cotton, animal-based fibers are immensely popular in the needlework industry. It is spun from a sheep’s fleece and is also inexpensive and easy to acquire. You can get natural wool fiber in creamy white, which you can dye on your own. But there are also a variety of pre-dyed wool yarn in a variety of colors
Wool is one of the best choices, not just for every crochet hobbyist, but especially for newbies.
Wool is rather forgiving when it comes to mistakes compared to cotton. If you make a mistake, you can easily unravel it to start again. So, it’s great for practicing your crochet techniques. Plus, it’s a durable fiber, so anything you make out of it would also be as resilient as the fiber itself. (Source: Spruce Crafts)
Still, it is commonly combined with other types of fiber to make it even more durable.
If you like to create winter garments such as sweaters, wool is the perfect fiber for its capability of keeping you warm. However, it’s also a good choice in the summer for its breathability and it is also moisture-wicking.
One thing about wool is that it has a tendency to piling.
Other Animal-Based Fibers
When it comes to animal-based fibers, you have a wide variety of choices. Here are more of them:
- Cashmere – From the Kashmir goat, this type of yarn fiber is rather on the expensive side. However, it can be blended with other fibers to make it more affordable. It’s a warm fabric and does not breathe as well as the other types. It’s also prone to pilling. Still, it’s considered a luxury yarn.
- Alpaca – Spun from Alpaca fleece, this type of fiber is dense and is great if you have allergies or sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic. It is prone to overdrape, so it’s typically blended with other fiber types.
- Mohair – It’s well-known for its soft sheen, elasticity, and is known as a luxury yarn. It’s also one of the warmest fibers.
Synthetic types are man-made fibers and often imitate the qualities of natural ones.
Among the most common types of synthetic fibers is acrylic. It’s easily accessible and is an affordable option. Plus, it also comes in a variety of colors so you can create a variety of projects with this fiber. And if you’re a beginner, you would most likely be recommended to start with acrylic.
However, not everything is perfect with acrylic fiber. If you get a cheaper brand, you might encounter splitting. This does not commonly happen, but it does occur once in a while. What you can do is try another brand, or you can start with cotton or wool.
Other Synthetic Fibers
There are a few more synthetic fibers available for crochet enthusiasts. Here they are:
- Rayon – One of the oldest man-made fibers, rayon is silky smooth, shiny, and comes in a variety of vibrant colors. It has a great drape and is a great choice for summer knitwear.
- Polyester – It’s often blended with natural fibers and has good draping. But it’s not the choice if you want to show off your stitch definition.
- Nylon – It’s extremely durable and has a nice shine to it. It’s also smooth, cool, and easy to maintain.
Different Yarn Weights
Yarns have varying thicknesses, and this is defined as yarn weight. When buying a yarn, make sure you check the label. The weight would be numbered from one to seven, which defines how thin or thick it would be.
Specific yarn weights are used for certain projects. Here is a helpful chart to help you. (Source: Easy Crochet)
- Lace (Weight #0) – Perfect for creating scarves, lacy patterns, and shawls. It is crocheted with a U.S. size steel 6, 7, 8, and regular hook B-1. An example is fingering a 10-crochet thread.
- Super Fine (Weight #1) – Perfect for mittens, shawls, and garments. It is crocheted with U.S. hook sizes of B-1 to E-4. Examples are baby, sock, and fingering.
- Fine (Weight #2) – Perfect for cardigans, scarves, sweaters, hats, and all sorts of projects. It is crocheted with U.S. hook sizes E-4 to 7. Examples are baby and sport.
- Light (Weight #3) – Perfect for socks. It is crocheted with U.S. hook sizes 7 to I-9. Examples are light worsted and DK.
- Medium (Weight #4) – Perfect for any project. It is crocheted with U.S. hook sizes I-9 to K-10 ½. Examples are worsted, aran, and afghan.
- Bulky (Weight #5) – Perfect for chunkier projects, such as cowls, thick throws, scarves, and rugs. It is crocheted with U.S. hook sizes K-10 ½ to M-13. Examples are craft, rug, and chunky.
- Super Bulky (Weight #6) – Perfect for blankets, thick garments, and hats. It is crocheted with U.S. hook sizes M-13 to Q. Examples are roving and super bulky.
- Jumbo (Weight #7) – Perfect afghans, household accessories, and scarves. It is crocheted with U.S. hook sizes Q and bigger. Examples are roving and jumbo.
Related: Types of Crochet Tools | Crochet Hook Sizes
What is the difference between yarn and thread?
Basically, yarn is thicker than thread. This means certain projects are hard to do with a thread. It’s also not considered a beginner choice, but you can definitely try it if you’re doing laces or doilies.
What is the best type of yarn for beginners?
If you’re a beginner, you might want to start with acrylics as it’s the easiest to work with. However, you can work with cotton or wool if you are working on a certain project.
What is the best type of yarn for crocheting?
Wool is considered a great choice for all-around crocheting. But it could cause allergic reactions if you have allergies or you have sensitive skin. A good alternative would be merino wool. It works practically the same as wool but is hypoallergenic.
What is the most expensive yarn?
If you have $300 to spare, you can get an ounce of lace weight Vicuña. That is because it’s a rather rare fiber, with Vicuña only producing a pound of fleece per year, and only half of that is used to create a yarn. The animals are also on the verge of extinction, so there have been strict regulations on producing Vicuna wool and exporting it.
The process it takes to spin them is also an arduous task. However, this fine fiber is warm, light, and soft.
What is the best weight to work with as a beginner?
A medium-weight yarn is the best choice if you’re a beginner. It has the right thickness that is easy to work with. You can also practice your skills with it as this weight is perfect for almost any project you have in mind.