When you decide to take up knitting or crocheting as a hobby, it can be a little overwhelming to try and figure out what all the different types of yarns are, and what you should be using them for. This guide has been designed to get you started:
This is the thinnest yarn, and is to be used with the smallest crochet hooks and knitting needles. It is sometimes referred to as fingering yarn or crochet 10 count thread. It’s used with a 1.5 to 2.25 mm crochet needle, or 000 to 1 knitting needle range.
This is also referred to as sock yarn, fingering, or baby yarn, and is used with 2.25 to 3.25 mm crochet needle, or a 1 to 3 knitting needle range.
This is sometimes known as sport yarn or baby yarn. It’s used with a 3.25 to 3.75 mm crochet needle, or 3 to 5 knitting needle range.
Also known as DK or light worsted yarn. It’s used with a 3.75 to 4.5 mm crochet needle, or 5 to 7 knitting needle range.
This is called worsted, Afghan, or Aran yarn. It’s used with a 4.5 to 5.5 mm crochet needle, or 7 to 9 knitting needle range.
This is sometimes known as chunky, craft, or rug yarn. It’s used with a 5.5 to 8 mm crochet needle, or 9 to 11 knitting needle range.
This is the thickest yarn available, and is also referred to as bulky or roving yarn. It’s used with a 8 to 12.75 mm crochet needle, or 11 to 17 knitting needle range. There is some materials that are thicker, and that use bigger needles, but the ones listed are the most commonly available.
For more help on this, check out the Craft Yarn Council website for full details. There is also a more detailed look at the varieties of yarn at Dummies.com. This website goes into greater detail about the different types of wool, fleece, and novelty materials.
The lighter yarns are often used to create clothing and home ware items, whereas the thinker yarn is for toys and knitwear jumpers, but of course the choice is up to you. The beauty of knitting is that you can be as creative as you like – there are no restrictions.
A lot of websites have been designed to help out beginners, by suggesting the correct yarn and needle size along with each pattern. They are a good place to get started until you understand what you’re doing yourself, and you can make your own judgments. Knitting is a hobby that you need a little time to get used to before you can start going too wild – practice makes perfect!
For more information on terminology used for yarn, check out the Soft Textile Glossary – the more you learn about the correct language used, the easier buying the correct yarn will be.
Do you knit or crochet? What type of yarn do you use most often?