Before you ever start a project, it’s important to pick out the perfect yarn and hook for the project. And while most patterns give a suggested yarn and hook size, it’s always a great idea to know enough about picking out yarn to make substitutions. In this lesson we’ll discuss everything yarn related. Lesson 19 is reserved for talking more about yarn and hooks relating to patterns and gauge so we won’t get too technical just yet.
While a yarn shop is an obvious place to get yarn, not everyone has one close by. Craft stores are great places to find mass produced yarns. Big yarn brands include: Bernat, Caron, Lion Brand, Patons, and Coats and Clark. Even some big craft store chains have their own yarn lines as well (Michaels’ is “Loops and Thread” and Hobby Lobby’s is “I love this yarn”). Stores like Walmart and some discount dollar stores even carry limited choices of yarn. And of course you can also shop on-line, although I wouldn’t suggest shopping on-line until you know a little about the yarn you’re buying. Remember, when you shop on-line there’s always a chance the yarn won’t feel like you expected it to, or will be a little off in color.
I'm not going to tell you exactly where to shop or what yarns to buy. That's up to you. Picking out yarn is definitely going to relate to your personal tastes. I like a smooth, soft yarn with a wide array of colors to choose from. Other people may only want wool in neutral colors. Just check out the shopping options available to you and work from there.
Yarn is traditionally spun into a really thin thread called a single ply, which is then twisted with other singles to make bigger yarns. This used to be more universal and a 4-ply yarn meant a certain weight of yarn and a 3 ply was thinner and so on. However, now single plies could be thick or thin so yarn is categorized by overall thickness. The standard yarn weight system is now categorized by a series of numbers 0-6 shown in the chart below.
This is a sample of the yarns from each of these categories
If this seems confusing now, don’t worry, the more time you spend with yarn the more you’ll get it. Also, every pattern book and crochet magazine you read will have all of this information in it in some way so It will eventually get ingrained into your brain.
I was going to draw the chart of laundry symbols for you but there are just too many of them, so I'll direct you to a website where you can see all of them and bookmark it for further use.
The Characteristics of Wool Fiber by Emily Chauviere
So you might be asking, what's up Dana? This was supposed to go up on the 4th, not the 5th! If you follow me on twitter you'll know I got sick Monday night and have been having issues with vimeo and slow internet. I've been hit with a sinus infection and have absolutely no energy right now. The next two lessons are ready, but the videos aren't uploaded yet, which is apparently taking forever (the three for this post took close to 8 hours). Bear with my sickly self. I know you all are anxious to get started with stitches! If I have to double up some posts over the weekend I will.