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Crochet Yarn Fibers and How to Read Yarn Label

Crochet is one of the most fun, easy, and cheapest hobbies that you can start learning. You don’t need many supplies to get started with crochet. The key item is the crochet hook, yarn, scissors, and a needle. I’m going to go over a few others that can make things a little easier.

crochet yarn

Today let’s talk about yarn!

One of the very first steps to creating your beautiful crochet items is choosing the yarn.

When you shop for yarn, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer choice out there. Therefore, I have compiled a handy guide to the different types of yarn that should help to make choosing the right yarn for your project a little less stressful.

Yarn is produced from three major fibers; animal, plant, and synthetic.

Animal fibers include – wool, alpaca, mohair, and silk.

Plant fibers include – cotton, hemp, linen, and bamboo.

Synthetic fibers include – acrylic, polyester, micro-fiber, and nylon.

There are now seven weight classifications for yarn.

Lace (0), superfine (1), fine (2), DK/light (3), medium (4 – also known as worsted weight), bulky (5), super bulky (6), and jumbo (7).

Weight determines how thick or thin you want your project to be.

Often the project you are making naturally dictates your yarn choice. Some natural fibers are not only very expensive but require a lot of care. 

Many yarns on the market are blends of natural and synthetic fibers. These can be great, as they combine the luxurious qualities of natural fibers with the more practical benefits of a synthetic. So let’s quacky go through them!

crochet yarn

Synthetic Yarns (viscose, nylon, polyester, acrylic)
There’s a wide variety of textures in these yarns, with different properties according to the composition – the best way to know what you like is to go to a yarn shop and have a squeeze of a few!

Care: Machine washable.

Blended Yarns 
Again the property of the yarn depends on the split of fibers and materials, so you’ll need to try some different ones out.

Look at the label for the care instruction.

Pure Wool
The wool is crocheter’s favorite choice of yarn, and it is for a reason – made from sheep’s wool and easy to work with. Wools creates a warm and textured fabric.

Care: Gently hand washes in tepid water.

Cotton 
Natural
fiber from the cotton plant, cotton comes in a vast array of colors, including vivid brights.

crochet yarn

Linen
Originating from the flax plant, linen is usually blended to soften its natural rough texture. It usually comes in a muted color palette.

Care: Dry-clean or machine wash on gentle cycle.

Luxury Mohair
Mohair is delicate and light and spun from the coat of the Angora goat. Kid mohair is the softest.

Care: Dry-clean or machine wash on gentle cycle.

Cashmere
Very expensive in its pure form, cashmere blends are common and retain their glorious softness. They are sourced from the fleece of the Cashmere goat.

Care: Dry-clean.

Alpaca
Alpaca is the more affordable cousin of cashmere. Coming from the coat of the Alpaca, it is deliciously soft and luxurious.

Care: Dry-clean or gently hand wash.

crochet yarn

Angora
This extremely fluffy yarn is made from the coat of the Angora rabbit and is super-soft. So much so that it often is blended with other yarns to make it more user-friendly.

Care: Must be dry-cleaned or hand washed in cold water, then laid flat to dry.

Silk
Coming from the silkworm larvae, silk is soft with a natural sheen. Again, look for silk blends for a touch of luxe in your knitting.

Care: Dry-clean or gently hand wash.

yarn label

                                               Understanding the Label

Yarn labels will give you information like:

  • Fiber content (cashmere, cotton, etc.)
  • What size hook or knitting needled to use
  • Yarn weight (light, bulky, etc.)
  • Yarn length
  • Color and Dye lot number
  • Care instructions
  • Gauge

Let’s briefly go over them…

Fiber content: This is the material of yarn, often in percentages. (For example, 90 percent merino wool, 5 percent alpaca, and 5 percent cashmere.)

Weight: This is the total thickness of yarn, often measured in wraps per inch (WPI). The ply count also factors into it and ranges from the finest to the heaviest weights (usually between 1-ply and 14-ply).

Amount: This is the total length of yarn, measured in yards and ounces.

Care instructions: This provides the necessary information on how to wash and dry your handmade garment.

Suggested hook/needle size and gauge: The number of stitches and rows specifies the yarn gauge.

Dye-lot number: This refers to the color of yarn. When buying in multiples, be sure that the numbers match. Even when two yarn balls appear to be the same shade, the subtle difference can become apparent in the final crochet garment.

In the end, choose the yarn that is best suited to your project. Always stop to consider: Do you want this item to be machine washable? Is it meant to breathe in hot weather or keep you warm in the cold? What is the size and shape of the item?

A swimsuit, for example, is best made out of synthetic and acrylic yarns because they hold up well and do not hold water when wet. A baby blanket is best to make with cotton, and a shawl would be super soft with a luxurious material such as mohair.

It’s entirely up to you to craft the perfect crochet piece. When you’re first getting started, I recommend using a medium or sport weight yarn. It’s cheap and easy to work with!

Crochet is probably one of the cheapest hobbies to get started with and one of the most beneficial to learn!

Talking about appropriate yarn for a project, below is a merino wool scarf that I recently made; yarn is super soft and warm for a cozy winter scarf.

crochet merino scarf

1 Comment

  • 2021 filmler
    November 1, 2021 at 3:30 am

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Maighdiln Brandy Beach

    Reply

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