Getting Started: Yarn

If you watched my introduction video yesterday, you saw that crochet generally requires four tools:

Yarn
Crochet Hook
Tapestry needle for weaving in your ends
Scissors

I’ve added a fifth: Patience!

But if you’re impatient to jump into crochet, you’re probably already planning your trip to a local arts and crafts store or local yarn store (commonly referred to as LYS on social media). Prepare to be overwhelmed by options! Yarn is available in a massive variety of colors, materials, weights and it can be tricky deciding what to pick.

If this is your first time working with yarn, I would recommend starting with something acrylic. Acrylic is a manmade fiber that comes in a wide range of colors including yarns that have an “ombré” effect which means the colors will change throughout the skein without you having to cut your yarn to tie in another color or are considered “self-striping”. It has a little stretch to it which makes it one of the most forgiving materials to work with as you start learning. I initially tried learning with cotton and I will just say that didn’t go so well.

Acrylic yarn is usually not very expensive so you can pick a color or two from a couple of brands to see what you prefer. Acrylic is also machine-wash and dryer friendly and doesn’t usually require any special handling. It is a great choice for kids and pets since it is durable.

Here are some examples of acrylic or acrylic blend yarns and what their labels might look like:

Yarn labels have a lot of information but the main things you are looking at are:

How much yarn is in the skein? This is typically shown by length in yards or meters as well as by weight either in ounces or grams.

What is the weight of the yarn? This is usually shown as a number on a skein of yarn which goes by a standard from 0 for lace weight to 7 for jumbo. I will dive into yarn weights further in a future post but for a full table of each of the yarn weights, just click here.

What size hook is recommended? For beginners I recommend a yarn with a weight of at least 3 or 4. These will recommend a hook size of H (also shown as 5mm or 8) to K (6.5mm or 10 1/2).

A worsted (also known as Aran) yarn is considered a medium weight. It is a little bit thicker which means your work will grow quickly while making your stitches easier to see.

If you are running to the store, I would recommend a yarn like Caron Simply Soft or a cake like the Mandala by Lion Brand shown above that changes colors. If you want to order online, I would recommend Knit Picks Brava Worsted which you can order here.

Pro tip: If you are a beginner, don’t buy black! You want to be able to see your stitches and keep count and black is notoriously difficult to work with especially when you are first starting!

Look for a video discussing yarn and how to read labels on my YouTube channel soon.

Coming up next: How to pick a hook!

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