The Best Yarns for Knitting, Weaving, Crochet, and More
No matter what type of craft you enjoy, there will always be preferred methods, tools, and materials to work with. That is as true for knitting, crochet, and weaving as it is for anything else. When setting out to create your first project, you may look at the variety of yarns and feel excited to get started or overwhelmed with all the choices in front of you. With so many gorgeous choices, where do you begin?
Our online yarn store, Wool and Waves, is located in the beautiful village of Cumberland, BC, and we carry a wide variety of yarns from Canadian Indie Dyers and a selection of budget friendly yarns, perfect for everyday.
Choosing the best yarn depends on what you are making, who you are making it for and what you want your final project to look and feel like.
Whether you are using pure sheep's wool or a soft merino, wool tends to be one of the most preferred yarns for knitting. Wool yarn has a variety of advantages. Natural and renewable, it is breathable, moisture absorbent, and insulating. This makes it a great choice for clothing as the finished project is long wearing. Cozy slippers, sweaters that last, beautiful drape and gorgeous stitch definition - what's not to love.
CottonStrong and durable, but also soft and comfortable, cotton can be an excellent choice for your project. A good choice for those sensitive to animal fibres, cotton yarn gives nice, clear stitches and can quite often be the preferred yarn for baby items. Cotton does not have the bounce back or elasticity that wool does, keep this in mind if you are thinking of knitting a garment with cotton. As always, do your gauge swatch and wash it to get an idea of what the drape will be like.
Due to its durability, cotton makes a great choice if you are making household items such as towels, rugs, washcloths, or dishcloths.
AcrylicsAcrylics can come in vibrant colours and are soft and strong, though they are not as breathable or absorbent as wool and cotton. It can endure washing and drying without shrinking or distorting. Remember that not all acrylic is created equal, and it can have a tendency to pill and split. We like Universal Uptown Worsted or Super Bulky.
Acrylic yarn is a good choice for beginners as you can stitch and start over repeatedly to practice your stitches without ruining the yarn. It gives a great stitch definition, which helps in learning to count your stitches.
Aside from these three types, you will encounter a host of other types of yarn, such as hemp, linen, silk, alpaca, mohair...each with their own pros and cons. Hemp, for example, is stiff to work with, but it can be suitable for projects like placemats or market bags. Linen has some similarity to cotton, being strong and absorbent, but lacks the former’s stretch. It is suitable for shawls and garments and softens up with wash and wear. Silk is lovely, but it can be “slippy,” meaning it may be difficult to catch the stitches if they come off your needles - not a great choice if you are just learning to knit. Get set up for success and choose a mid-range wool/wool blend or a good quality acrylic to start you on your way!
These are just a small number of the yarns available. Ultimately, the best yarn will be up to you, based on your experience working with different types, and the project you are working on. In the long run, there is no bad choice. If you see something that you love, grab it and give it a try.
Wool and Waves carries a great selection of independent Canadian dyers and a selection of budget friendly yarns, perfect for everyday. We also provide kits, notions, tools, and pattern ideas. Located in Cumberland, BC, a village in and among the trees in the Comox Valley on beautiful Vancouver Island.