With so many different yarns on the market, a complete beginner to crochet can understandably feel overwhelmed! Yarn comes in various thicknesses, textures, and color variations which is part of what makes this craft so enriching. This is music to the ears of more experienced crocheters, but how about those who are just starting?
A suitable beginner yarn should work up quickly and be thick enough to ensure your stitches are easy to see. In this case, a DK or Worsted weight (category 3 or 4 yarn) is ideal. Yarn should also be light-colored for greater visibility and be made from a durable, machine-washable material like cotton or premium acrylic.
The next time you’re in a craft store, it’s a good idea to read the yarn label to familiarise yourself with the different weight categories, textures, and materials. For now though, we hope our mini guide will help you in making your yarn purchases. We’ve recommended the best yarn out there for making clothes, blankets, and accessories, plus tips on how to choose your yarn as a beginner.
Best Crochet Yarn for Beginners
Beginners commonly purchase their first ever ball of yarn from the most convenient or cheapest source possible – for you, this may be your local dollar store or haberdashery as these tend to sell cheap 100% acrylic yarn.
This is the kind of yarn I started with first and while it served its purpose in helping me practice my first ever stitches, the yarn fibers were a little rough on my skin and the strands tended to split quite easily.
Knowing better now, I’d recommend the following lovely yarn to work with!
This ultra-soft all-purpose yarn by Red Heart is made from premium acrylic and is a category 4 medium weight or ‘worsted’ weight yarn, making the strands more visible and easy for beginners to work with.
The strands have a lower tendency to split, helping the yarn fiber retain its shape and glide smoothly over the hook. This yarn also has a nice plush quality to it, making it ideal for crocheting cuddly toys or clothing and this light seafoam-blue color is perfect for seeing your stitch detail!
Best Crochet Yarn for Blankets
When first crocheting a blanket, you’ll want a yarn that can help you work one up super quick (like in the space of a weekend!). A soft, chunky yarn like the following will help you do this in no time…
This beautiful bulky weight yarn (category 5 weight yarn) by Bernat is ideal for making blankets as the thicker yarn strands will enlarge your stitches – allowing you to work up rows really quickly compared with category 4 and smaller yarn categories.
Bernat’s robust 3-ply yarn provides amazing stitch definition too, which offers amazing visibility when you’re trying to learn complicated stitches. It also has a slightly stiff and anti-pilling quality, helping it hold up well to repeated use and washes.
Best Crochet Yarn for Clothes
The best yarn for clothes will depend on the season, the type of garment, and which yarn feels good against your skin. It’s a good idea to hold yarn against your cheek to test its softness and wearability.
Breathable cotton, for example, is well-suited for a summer dress whilst a warmer wool/acrylic mix will make a winter cardigan/sweater. The following yarn type is a good starting place.
This yarn by Patons is a great choice for making your first ever crochet garment as it’s made from lightweight and ultra-soft mercerized cotton. Mercerized cotton is not only stronger than regular cotton, but it’s also more lustrous and resistant to mildew, resulting in a more durable wardrobe piece.
Using this yarn, you can make a cozy, lightweight sweater or a breathable summer vest, shawl, or beach cover-up. Patons Grace also comes in various color shades to suit different seasons and tastes.
Best Crochet Yarn for Bags
When crocheting a bag, it’s best to go with yarn that is super sturdy and one that won’t stretch over time. This is especially important if you’re making large tote bags with handles.
Made with 100% cotton, this category 4 worsted weight yarn by Lily Sugar’n Cream is thick enough to hold up well to pressure, making any bag sufficiently durable as a grocery tote or shopper bag.
This yarn also has some nice elasticity to it, providing some give without sagging too much compared with other yarn materials. Lily Sugar’n Cream is also known for their vast color selection, so you’ll be able to customize your purse or grocery tote to your taste!
Best Crochet Yarn for Hats
Depending on the style and season, crochet hats can be stiff (like those replicating a straw beach hat) or slouchy (if you’re wanting to create a simple winter beanie).
For most beginners, their first foray into crocheting hats is with a cozy and squishy winter beanie, using a soft, durable yarn like our following pick…
This Wool Ease yarn by Lion Brand is a super bulky category 6 weight yarn and is labeled “thick and quick” as you only need 1-2 balls of yarn to make a simple beginner’s beanie hat in under an hour!
The yarn is made from a blend of 80% acrylic and 20% wool which gives it amazing warmth and durability after many years of use. We also love that this Wool Ease yarn provides incredible stitch definition (if using a solid color) and comes in a variety of colorways to help you match it to your gloves, scarves, and other pieces in your winter wardrobe.
Best Crochet Yarn for Scarves
Scarves can be bulky (perfect for bitter winter weather), very light (to wear as a summer accessory) and every thickness in between, so the best scarf yarn will depend on the season and your preference.
For a beginner, it’s often sensible to choose a yarn that has a medium thickness and one that is comfortable above all! Alpaca and Wool-blend yarns, for example, provide great warmth, but some can find them to be a little scratchy.
Made from premium acrylic, this Lion Brand yarn is a lightweight yet durable choice for making scarves as it holds up amazingly well to multiple machine washes and won’t pill or split on you as much as similar acrylic yarn brands tend to.
The yarn is an acrylic and rayon blend, resulting in a super soft material that feels great around your neck for long periods without getting itchy. It’s also a decent yarn weight for beginners (category 4 or worsted weight).
How to Choose the Best Crochet Yarn? (for Beginners)
As we’ve learned above, certain yarns will work best for crocheting a blanket, clothing item, or accessory, especially when you’re first learning to crochet.
Here are some extra tips to keep in mind when buying your first yarn either in store or online:
TIP #1: Choose Yarn Balls/Skeins over Hanks
If you’d prefer to choose your own yarn, our first piece of advice would be to choose a yarn ‘ball’ or ‘skein’ over a ‘hank’ of yarn. The majority of yarn sold in craft stores or even your local grocery/dollar store will be in ball or skein form (the yarn is wound into a ball or oblong shape, making it easier to use and less likely to tangle).
A hank of yarn, meanwhile, is when the yarn has been loosely wound into a ring and twisted, forming a kind of braid. You tend to see yarns displayed and packaged this way on Etsy and specialty yarn shops as it’s more visually appealing. But the problem with this is that hanks require unwinding and turning into a yarn ball before it can be used easily.
TIP #2: Avoid These Yarn Types as a Beginner
As you gain more experience in crochet, the following yarns can be amazing to work with and open up so many avenues for your projects in terms of texture and color possibilities! When you’re learning, however, these yarn types can hold you back. Let’s find out why…
Variegated yarn basically means ‘varied’ or multicolored’. This yarn is dyed with patches of multiple colors which creates patterns as you work it up. The result is a very busy and loud colorway that can make it very difficult for you to see your stitches. It’s best to use a solid color yarn instead.
Darker yarns tend to make your stitches near-invisible, making it impossible for a beginner crocheter to learn the technique, so always opt for lighter, brighter yarns!
Fluffy, textured yarn types like this make amazing cuddly toys, but they can be extremely difficult to work with unless you’ve been crocheting for many years, and even then you have to really concentrate on your stitches (I know I still need to!).
Any yarn below category 3 will require much smaller crochet hooks and result in much finer, delicate stitches, causing a strain on your eyes and patience when you’re first learning, so go with the thicker yarns instead (weights 3/4/5).
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