You’ve found it after browsing for hours on Pinterest. It’s the perfect project and you are itching to get started. What’s holding you back?
Choosing the PERFECT yarn for the job!
Today I want to talk a little bit about how I about choose what yarn to use when it comes to a new project. I am sure there are several methods and ways people do this, but I thought I would share you all my “creative” process.
Let’s start simple…
I really like to think about the yarn I use for making a custom baby blanket. I know some people go the regular, cheaper acrylic route. There isn’t anything wrong with this, but as a mom I know when I go to buy a baby blanket I am squeezing and feeling thoroughly the fibers which will be wrapping up my newborn.
Something else I consider too is how easily it is to clean. We all know babies are messy and can easily go through what feels like 20,000 clothes changes a day. The same can be true for their blankets.
There are simply some fibers which are easier to clean then others and again, this is another factor I consider when choosing a baby blanket yarn.
Here are a few of my favorite baby blanket yarns:
– Caron Simply Soft (look here at the blanket I created using this yarn for a customer CHEVRON BLANKET PATTERN)
– Lion Brand Homespun
– YarnBee Angel Fleece HOBBY LOBBY EXCLUSIVE (very similar to the Lion Brand Homespun if you don’t have a Hobby Lobby near you)
The Caron yarn has such an exquisite color palate and it’s hard not to find exactly what you’re looking for. The Homespun and Angel Fleece are just ridiculously soft! There are some fun multi-color/speckled colorways in these options too.
THROWS, BLANKETS & AFGHANS
I would tend to go with more chunkier yarns in this regard unless you’re creating some sort of a motif. There are some really great jumbo versions of traditional motifs like this RETRO CIRCLE BLANKET I created for my son.
The reason I tend to choose chunkier for the bigger blankets is simply because of time and money. Obviously if you’re using a thicker yarn then it’s going to work up a lot faster, plus you would be using less product.
This isn’t to say you wouldn’t love a large blanket made with a smaller yarn, this is just my preference.
TOYS, HOMEGOODS and other misc…
When it comes to toys, rags, baskets etc I will typically go with a cotton yarn or a t-shirt yarn. These tend to be more durable and also more kid/baby friendly.
For making amigirumi crochet items I like to work with cotton too. I have found my projects last a lot longer when they are made with 100% cotton.
T-shirt yarn is definitely my go-to for baskets, rugs and the like. We all know how well, tough t-shirts are so it makes sense (to me at least) for these items to be made with a more durable material I know could handle more intense usage.
CLOTHES, HATS, SCARVES and more…
This is where I believe there is more creative possibilities! There are some really great acrylics I like to use for beanies and scarves. Then there are some blends of wool and acrylic which I love for making shrugs, cowls etc.
This is also an area where I love to combine fibers, textures and more! For clothing like dresses I will tend to lean in the cotton direction. Like a dress pattern I’m working on right now is made with WeAreKnitters 100% cotton because we are getting ready to enter into Spring. Again, this is a preference and it might also be due to the fact of an allergy.
We learned last fall while I was making beanies like crazy, our family doesn’t do too well with alpaca. We have a slight allergy to a particular brand I was using and so I am slowly trying out other brands to see if we can find one we do well with before Fall hits this year.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT YARN…
1 – Really think about the item you are making and what fibers would best compliment it.
2 – Take in to consideration how often the item will be used.
3 – How easy is it to clean?
4 – How long will the materials last?
5 – Are there any allergies to the fibers you’re using?
Once you’ve answered these questions you should be well on your way to choosing exactly the right yarn for that project.
I understand though the impulsivity which comes when you’re standing there in those yarn aisles and all those beautiful skeins are starring back at you!
But don’t worry, you’ll have another project to do and another opportunity to try out a yarn you’ve been dying to get your hands on!