If you’re starting out with crocheting, you might be overwhelmed by the different types of yarn available. From seemingly obvious things like color to more complicated considerations like fiber, here are some simple tips that could ultimately save you time and frustration.
- Match the Yarn Color and Fiber with the Project. Yarn selection for your crochet projects is a much more complicated process than simply selecting a pretty color. While color clearly matters, consider the end result of your project and what it is the highest quality available in your price range. The product you end up with is a direct result of the yarn you choose; if you choose quality you will have a quality end product, if you choose a lesser yarn it will show in the quality of your finished work .Some of the highest quality yarns are made from natural fibers from animals and plants. These include cottons, alpaca, mohair, cashmere, and wools. Each yarn has a different feel and thickness that should be considered when you are deciding how you want your finished project to turn out.
- Size. If your crochet pattern calls for a very lightweight, smaller yarn and you use a larger, chunky yarn, then you can count on your end project being a very different size than the pattern states. If you are working on a scarf or blanket, this might not matter too much but you might have to do some adjusting when you are making things like socks, hats, and sweaters. It is important to keep this in mind when you are selecting yarn for your crochet projects. A small yarn will yield a smaller finished project and vice versa.
- Cleaning. Another consideration when you are choosing a yarn is how it can be cleaned. If you are crocheting a baby blanket or clothing, then you will want to make sure that it can be regularly machine washed and possibly dried in a machine dryer without unraveling.
- Match the Pattern. When you are looking at yarn for a particular pattern, make sure that you understand the fiber content and structure as well as the gauge of the suggested yarn. If you are going to substitute another yarn it is important to match the fiber content, structure and the gauge of the new yarn to the one suggested in the pattern. If you do not do this, then your end project will not come out as you expected. While no one particularly loves crocheting a swatch to check for gauge, it is vital when you are looking at substituting a different yarn for a pattern. This quick check will show you if your gauge is correct for the pattern or if you will need to switch hooks or adjust your yarn tension in one way or another.