How to Choose the Right Yarn: A Guide for Beginners

Buying yarn for knitting is one of the best things you can do because of the variety of styles and colors available. When entering a yarn store, choosing between all the woven options can be challenging. Choosing a color to use is the most enjoyable option. There is, however, the issue of what to knit with delicate-looking specialty yarns.

Choosing the Best Yarn for Beginners

Keep in mind that if you only knit with one of the many fun fur, boucle, super-bulky, suede, mohair, or fun-fetti yarns, the delicacy of the yarn may not always be enough to make the project appear sustainable.

Yarn Weight

One of the most challenging concepts for beginners to grasp is yarn weight. When choosing a project, the thickness of the strand, or yarn weight, is an excellent place to start. A finer yarn is appropriate for lightweight garments and accessories, whereas a thicker, bulkier yarn is appropriate for denser, bulkier projects. Understanding yarn weights will help you achieve your finished product’s desired density and drape.

If you’re looking to buy yarns ensure that the manufacturer or the seller is knowledgeable and can guide you on what to buy.

Lace Weight Yarn 

This fine yarn (any yarn thinner than fingering weight is acceptable) is ideal for delicate, web-like items such as shawls. Lace weight yarns have a more forgiving gauge because blocking techniques affect the size and structure of the finished piece significantly. When knitting a dense, opaque fabric, use large needles (US 6 or larger) to achieve an open gossamer effect.

Fingering Weight Yarn 

Fingering weight sock yarn is frequently used to knit socks, light sweaters, accessories, Fair Isle, and colorwork patterns. This yarn, also known as “baby yarn” or “sock yarn,” is roughly twice as heavy as lace yarn. Fingering weight yarns are typically knitted with US needle sizes 1-4.

Sport and DK Yarn

Sport weight and DK (double knitting) weight yarn are not interchangeable. Sports weight yarn is a little lighter or finer than DK weight yarn. These weights are appropriate for mid-weight sweaters, shawls, wraps, and socks. Sport weight yarns are typically knitted on US 3 – 5 needles, whereas DK weight yarns are knit on US 5-7 needles.

Worsted Yarn

Worsted is the most popular and widely available yarn weight. Knitters of all skill levels should use woven yarn, twice the weight of fingering yarn, and can be worked into almost any pattern. Worsted weight yarns are suitable for accessories like sweaters, hats, blankets, etc., with a moderate density and are typically knitted on US 6-9 needles.

Bulky Yarn

Worsted yarn is roughly twice the thickness of bulky yarn and four times the size of fingering yarn. Bulky yarns knit quickly on large needles and are ideal for quick knits that require structure and warmth, such as cozy sweaters, felted items, throws, and home decor. Knitting with bulky yarns typically necessitates using US 10- or US 11-size needles.

Very Bulky Yarn

This super bulky yarn is ideal for quick knits. In a matter of hours, you can finish accessories and other household projects knitted at less than three stitches per inch. The thicker strands of super bulky yarns produce densely knitted items with large stitches, resulting in a distinct effect and visual interest. US 15 needles are typically used to knit super bulky weight yarns.