Picking Your Yarn
First, I want to say that there is no right or wrong yarn choice. It is mostly about personal preference.
There are several things that I personally consider when I’m choosing a yarn. I figured that I’d share that process with you guys. I’d love to know how you go about choosing a yarn for your own projects.
I always want to touch the yarn. If I’m going to be handling the yarn, I want it to feel nice in my hands. I don’t want something that is going to make my fingers itch or just makes my skin crawl.
I consider who I am making the project for. That will direct me towards what fiber I choose. I like using cotton for children because it makes a sturdy toy and is very washable. Both features are nice for children. If I’m making something for an adult, I consider what the finished project will be and the texture that it should have. Clothing and blankets are going to be next to the skin and should feel soft. Stuffed critters gain a lot of character when you use scruffy looking yarn.
I love multi colored yarns. It’s a great way to add color to a project without the hassle of switching yarns. However, I find it useful to make a test swatch to get a sense of how the pattern looks when I stitch it.
The patterns that present themselves are not always obvious. When you make the swatch it will give you a sense of the yarn’s pattern, but it’s important to know that the stitch and whether you’re making rows or rounds will effect the final pattern.
Not all multi colored yarns produce the same results. These 4 critters were made with rounds of single crochet, but they ended up with different color patterns. Some work out into bands while others work out into splotches. Others get a speckled effect.
The above are both acrylic yarn, but they have very different properties. This is why I really like to touch the yarn before I buy it. Some yarns are spun tighter then others and the number of strands spun together will make a difference too.
The above yarns are both cottons. The one on the left was easier to work with because it had a tighter weave, but the one on the right had a softer feel when the project was done.
The one on the left is wool and the one on the right is cotton. Wool tends to have a fluffy and loose fiber feeling to it, while cotton tends to have a smoother and tighter fiber feeling. Both are wonderful fibers that give your final project a different feeling.
In the end, there is no magical way to choose a yarn. But I consider the size of the yarn, the way it feels, the fiber it’s made from, the cost (seriously, I’m not rich), the color(s) and how fuzzy the yarn is.
There are a ton of specialty yarns out there. There are those designed to make a fur effect and those that produce a lumpy look. These can all be used to create creatures with character!