How to Choose Yarn For Knitting

Struggling to decide which yarn is the ideal choice for your next knitting adventure? No need to worry! Here's an insider guide on how to pick the perfect skein of yarn from a rainbow-hued selection. Just skim this article and you'll be armed with all the facts necessary for making the best decision.

It's fundamental to understand what yarn is, so let’s start there. Yarn is a textile comprised of animal-based fibers (wool, mohair, angora), plant-based strands (cotton, hemp silk), or synthetic materials (polyester, nylon rayon). All these intertwined plies are twisted together into thicker threads and the number of said plies; single ply or two ply for example affects how it drapes as well as its overall texture and feel. Thus considering this information can affect:

Weight Categories


This yarn is the lightest weight used for creating delicate doilies and other intricate lace patterns, so handle it with care to prevent snags or breakage.


This knitting technique is perfect for crafting small items such as socks, hats, gloves and baby garments. To ensure a soft finish to the piece cast on and off using loose stitches. Specifically fine yarns are usually categorised under "sport weight".


By knitters of any ability level, the popular Aran weight yarn, also known as "worsted," is beloved for its superior stitch definition in accessories such as mittens, scarves and sweaters. Plus thickly knitted stitches provide optimal warmth with this type of fiber!


Whether you are a novice or experienced knitter, this lightweight yarn will help you create chunky scarves, blankets and throws fast! With its large needles and loose stitches that give it optimum loftiness, the unevenly spun boucled, chenille or slubby yarns provides an added touch of uniqueness to your project while still maintaining excellent stitch definition.

Common Fibers


Wool is an exceptional fiber that can be used to create a diverse array of garments, from winter outwear for its insulation and water-resistant properties to summertime wear because it's lightweight and breathable. Not only is wool highly-priced, but it also comes in many colors as the fibers are renowned for their ability to take dyes easily. As beautiful as wool may be, longterm use of this fabric can lead to pilling over time - thus making gentle hand washing with warm water a must!


Mohair is an exceptionally soft and lightweight animal fiber, renowned for its delicate luster. Despite being one of the warmest available fibers, it is more expensive than wool. Additionally, this fluffy material offers excellent elasticity that prevents sagging or wrinkling; however due to its lightness you might struggle with knitting defined stitches. For a better grip while knitting or crocheting it can be blended with silk or wool to add weight as well as minimize issues like skin-irritation and allergenic risk. To care for mohair fabric simply dry clean or gentle wash in your washing machine!


Show off your intricate stitches in this smooth, natural plant fiber fabric that is both cost-effective and has a great drape. However, due to its low elasticity it can be prone to splitting during knitting. Plus, you don't have to worry about tedious handwashing as it's machine washable!


This luxurious yarn offers incomparable quality and softness, actually feeling softer with more wear. Its superior insulation makes it ideal for creating winterwear such as cardigans and accessories - all while exhibiting a beautiful cloud-like halo. To make the price point more approachable, this yarn is often blended with other materials; though it may not breathe quite like some of its natural counterparts, you can simply stitch loosely to adjust accordingly. It should be noted that pilling may occur but can easily be remedied through dry-cleaning care!


The luxurious and lightweight fibers of the angora rabbit's fur make it one of the most coveted animal-based yarns, with its softness and heat retention qualities surpassing that of sheep's wool. When using this sumptuous material for knitting projects, opt for textured needles to ensure a more secure grip as they prevent ornate stitches from slipping off. Although not well resistant to stains or odors, blending in an acrylic fiber helps counteract any elasticity issues associated with angora. To maintain its quality over time, take extra care when washing by either dry cleaning or handwashing it in cold water before laying flat out to dry afterwards.


Crafted from the soft alpaca fleece, this plush fiber is hypoallergenic – perfect for those with sensitive skin, especially when it comes to babywear. Its delicate texture has a tendency of draping too much; thus, it's usually blended with other fibers to provide additional durability and strength in tension. To keep its quality intact, make sure you either dry-clean or wash gently by hand!


Enjoy the smooth and shiny texture of this fiber - available in high-quality plies as it is on the pricier side. Despite its beauty, silk can easily create static cling and snag so we recommend opting for a tightly spun higher ply type when knitting lace. To add an extra layer of extravagance to other fibers, blending with silk has become very popular too. Taking care of your garment? Dry-clean or delicately hand wash it!


Featuring a silky smooth texture and intense color saturation, man-made fibers like boucle and ribbon provide the perfect yarn for creating lightweight knitwear ideal for summer weather. However, it is important to note that this fabric does not offer natural warmth retention or elasticity - but with proper care (hand wash as per label instructions) you can enjoy your garment's vibrancy season after season.


This is a synthetic fiber designed to imitate silk, with the same soft, luminous feel and easy laundering as rayon. Yet it's even more durable against wear-and-tear! To keep it looking its best for longer, simply machine wash when needed.


Polyester yarns are effortless to care for and feature excellent draping capabilities as well as breathability. Despite their comfort, they feel scratchy against the skin and do not show stitch definition in a clear manner. Washing them is straightforward since machine washable - perfect for any season of the year!