I’ve been waiting for this post all month…it’s by far my favorite! I’m super excited to talk about one of the best parts of crocheting – YARN.
It’s no secret that I absolutely love yarn, as I’m sure many of you do as well! I thought maybe I should start off by giving you a tour of my yarn stash…so I made a video. My stash is a little messy, to put it nicely – organization is not my strong suit – but I never said I was one of those super organized crochet designers. 🙂
I’ve acquired a fair amount of yarn in my time crocheting – yarn stores are a dangerous thing. 🙂 I’d love to hear what your yarn stashes are like!
There’s so much to say about yarn, there’s no way I could ever get to it all in one post. So I thought we could just touch on the various categories, and how you can go about choosing yarn when you start crocheting. 🙂
A Hobby Lobby store from when I visited family in Michigan this summer – they don’t have Hobby Lobbies in my current state, and I was over the moon to find my favorite brand of yarn again!
There are lots of different fibers, like acrylic, cotton, and tons of different kinds of wool. I’m allergic to wool, so I won’t pretend to know anything about it. I’m an acrylic fan, myself, because it’s so easily washable. But I will readily admit it’s not always the nicest yarn – natural fibers can be super soft and amazing! I really wish I could wear wool, but it’s too itchy…if I want to know if something contains wool, I just hold it to my neck or the inside of my wrist and within seconds I can tell, just because my skin is so sensitive. 😛
I really recommend learning to crochet with acrylic yarn. First, it’s the least expensive (in general), so you won’t break the bank and feel guilty about wasting fancy yarn. Second, it’s super easy to find at just about any craft store (like JoAnn’s or Michaels – you probably won’t find acrylic yarn at specialty yarn stores!) Third, it’s smooth and doesn’t split (which means your crochet hook catches on the fibers as you crochet). Once you get the basics, then there’s a whole world of yarn to explore. 😀
I use cotton yarn for dishcloths, but not for much else. Fiber snobs will hate me for cheerfully crocheting with cheap acrylic yarn, but I’m a broke college student who’s allergic to wool. What do you expect? 😛
Some yarns are thinner than others, and you would use different weights for different projects. For example, bulkier yarn is great for blankets, while thin thread-like yarn is good for lacy shawls. The Craft Yarn Council has a standardized way to sort yarn, using little yarn symbols with numbers inside. Click here to visit their website and learn more about that!
Some of the different weights are fingering-weight, sock yarn, DK (double knit), worsted, bulky, super-bulky, and (a new addition as of this year!) jumbo. Some of these weights have more than one name, like worsted/aran weight, and the full list is on their website.
I would recommend learning to crochet with #4 weight yarn, which is worsted. It’s probably the most popular weight, and is a nice medium size for learning. You definitely don’t want to start with too thin of yarn – very frustrating!
This is where it gets fun!
I’m not particularly good at putting colors together, so I often bring my sister, who’s a fantastic artist, to the yarn store with me. She has a fantastic eye for color and has helped me with many decisions in the past. But if you don’t have a resident artist at your disposal, you can always scour the Internet for inspiration! I really want to direct you to Lucy of Attic24, if you haven’t already heard of her. Her blog is full of color inspiration. She even sells yarn packs! I received one for my 17th birthday, and you can see a picture of it above. I absolutely love her color arrangements – I would never have thought to put these colors together, but I love the result!
Here’s how they look crocheted into something, if you’re curious. 🙂
Local Yarn Stores (LYS)
Then the real danger begins… YARN SHOPPING. 😀
Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics are wonderful, but it’s also really fun to explore smaller, specialized yarn shops. The yarn is more expensive, but it’s the kind of stuff you can’t find at chain stores – fancier fibers and the like. Which means I can’t wear it, but I still love visiting my LYS (local yarn store) for inspiration. It’s also really fun to talk with the owners and employees, who are super knowledgeable about yarn-related things…sometimes the stores offer classes, too! I took a knitting class at my LYS and it was super fun.
I mentioned that I went to visit Michigan this summer. (I got to go to my cousin’s wedding, which was super awesome!) When I was there, my grandma took me yarn shopping, and we did some crocheting together – it was a blast! We went to Hobby Lobby, which has my favorite yarn brand ever – “I Love This Yarn.”
Side tangent: this actually led to a hilarious conversation with my aunt, who is a knitter and wanted to know what my favorite brand of yarn is.
Me: I Love This Yarn.
My aunt: I know you do, what kind is it?
Me: It’s I Love This Yarn.
My aunt: (getting frustrated with my lack of help) Yes, but what brand?
Me: (using air quotes to get the point across) The name is “I Love This Yarn.”
Anyway, confusion aside, I really do love this yarn because it’s SUPER SOFT. You know how Red Heart Super Saver has a bad reputation for being kind of scratchy? Well, I Love This Yarn is about the same price, has the same yardage, a HUGE variety of colors, and it is the softest yarn on the face of the earth. It’s ridiculous. And it gets SOFTER when you put it through the washer and dryer. By far my favorite yarn brand! Unfortunately, there are no Hobby Lobbies where I live now, and I don’t like buying yarn online. So it was a huge treat to see a WALL of this yarn. (I realize I seem overly excited in this paragraph. It’s because I am. 😉 )
After we went to Hobby Lobby, my grandma took me to another yarn store, but this was a LYS. I really wish I could remember the name! I was a little unsure about taking pictures inside the store, but I wanted to share it with you all. Just look at this glorious yarn.
The organization in this picture pleases me greatly ❤
Side note here: The fiber world seems to be obsessed with “Noro” yarn. It’s absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it? But it feels super scratchy, and I don’t think it’s just because of my wool sensitivity. Sad, because the colors are so pretty!
My grandma picked out this gorgeous red yarn and commissioned me to make a pair of fingerless gloves for her. Which I was of course delighted to do! 🙂 I don’t get a chance to crochet with this quality of yarn very much (Red Heart Super Saver being my go-to), so this was a treat. (Also, my fingernails look nice for a change in this picture…sigh. :P)
All right, I could keep going on about yarn for ages and ages, but I think I’ll stop here. I would absolutely LOVE to discuss yarn with y’all – what are your favorite brands? Are you a fan of wool? Do you frequent your LYS? Do tell! And I’ll see you tomorrow for the last post in Crochet A to Z – it’s been a fun month! 🙂