If you crochet a lot, you will definitely start to organize your yarn into categories from least expensive to most expensive. There are certain crochet projects that will require an inexpensive yarn, for example, a crochet water bottle holder. You aren’t going to use your expensive alpaca yarn to make it. Usually, you will be saving the expensive alpaca yarn for something special, for example, a crochet baby sweater gift.
It is a very good idea to organize your different yarns. I will try to tell you to keep your yarn stash to a minimum, but I know how difficult it actually is to do that.
When you have a crochet project in mind, you will have to decide what yarn to choose for your crochet project.
The majority of inexpensive yarns are 100% acrylic, or are mixed with acrylic. When I first started crocheting, I made decorative crochet hot pads using acrylic yarn. Someone pointed out to me that acrylic yarn is made from petroleum products and could melt when hot items are placed on it. I still have my crochet rooster hot pad that I made from acrylic yarn, and I have placed hot items on it. The crochet rooster hot pad has a sheen on the surface where the yarn melted slightly. I have since switched to 100% cotton for my crochet hot pads. You will notice a difference in texture between different 100% cotton yarns. My favorite 100% cotton yarn is “I Love This Cotton” yarn by Hobby Lobby because it is extremely soft and has a wide variety of different colors.
On your yarn label, you may see the terms shown in the picture above: Lace, sock, sport, light worsted, worsted, chunky, or bulky.
These different yarn styles work better with certain crochet projects and crochet hooks. On your yarn label, you will see a crochet hook size. This is a recommended crochet hook size. I will often use different crochet hook sizes from the recommended, depending on the crochet project I am working on. I point this out because some people seem to think that you can only use the recommended crochet hook size with a particular yarn. For me personally, I rarely look at the recommended crochet hook size for a yarn style, but for some, it may be helpful to know that it is there to help you.
Yarns come in different weights, or thicknesses. The thickness of your yarn (among other factors) has a huge impact on the look of your crochet work and the amount of time it takes to complete your crochet project. Yarn weight determines how many stitches it takes to crochet 1 inch.
Ply, (plural plies) plied, or folded, yarns are composed of two or more single yarns twisted together.
The thickness of a given yarn is determined by the individual thickness of the plies, not by the number of plies. If the plies are thin, a 4-ply yarn can be finer than a heavy, single-ply yarn.
What is WPI? If you use an inch gauge, or yarn gauge, (above) to check the number of times you can wrap the yarn in an inch. That is the Wraps Per Inch (WPI).
What does worsted mean in relation to yarn? Wise Geek said it best.
“Worsted weight yarn is a medium width, smooth yarn that is used for a wide range of crochet projects, especially sweaters, hats, and throws. This yarn is very popular with beginning crocheters since it is easy to work with, and crafters can follow their stitches and patterns very easily when using it. It also yields smooth, warm end products with a hefty feel to them. Most Yarn stores stock a range of these yarns, and people can also order a specifically desired yarn from a yarn company or spin their own.”
“The “weight” of yarn reflects how fine it is.”
“Worsted weight yarn falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, with a gauge of 16-20 stitches for every 4 inches (10 cm), depending on the size of the crochet hook used. ”
“The yarn is named after the village of Worstead in Norfolk, England. As far back as the 12th century, this town was producing smooth, even yarn. ”
If you know of any interesting facts about yarn that I may have left out, please leave a reply! Happy Crocheting!