All About Crochet Yarn

Yarns are made up of a number of plies, each ply being a single spun yarn. These single plies of yarn are twisted in the opposite direction (plied) together to make a thicker yarn. The thread will also actually distinguish what should be the hook to use so you can generate the best stitches. If the yarn is thick, the hook you choose should also be large.

One well known manufacturer of yarns is Lion Brand Yarn.  Throughout its history, Lion Brand Yarn has been at the forefront of yarn trends while consistently providing its customers with the highest quality product, service and inspiration. Founded in 1878, this company began operation in New York and has been a leading supplier of quality hand knitting and crochet yarns ever since.

There are many types of yarn available today.  They each have a different characteristic that makes them suitable or unsuitable, as the case may be, for the particular project you are contemplating.

Cotton yarn, for instance, has minimal elasticity unless blended with other fibers. Pure cotton is useful for projects that require structure such as purses and tote bags, placemats, and other utilitarian items.

One unusual product that is used to make rope but can also be made into yarn is hemp.  Like rope, hemp yarn is very strong but softens with every wash. 

One very popular type of yarn is made from animal fur, specifically the alpaca.  Alpaca yarn is the most commonly available animal fiber yarn and probably the most popular type, and it comes in every yarn weight from very fine fingering or lace weight to bulky.  But animal fiber yarns can also be itchy and allergenic, making them unusable for items worn directly on the skin and for people with allergies or sensitive skin, such as newborn babies. Unless specially treated, animal fiber yarns must be washed with great care or dry cleaned.

Yarns come in a multitude of sizes and types.  Some of the names for the various weights of yarn from finest to thickest are called lace, fingering, sock, sport, double-knit (or DK), worsted,  bulky, and super-bulky. This naming convention is more descriptive than precise; fiber artists disagree about where on the continuum each lies, and the precise relationships between the sizes.

One very good and inexpensive way to keep skeins and balls from getting tangled, is to keep you yarn in an empty plastic coffee container that you easily prepare by cutting a hole in the top and then melting the edges of the hole with a lighter or match to keep the wool from snagging.  This is especially helpful if you have several projects going at the same time. Be sure to use labels or tape on the tops or sides of each container to write the project name and other important information.

Often times, crotchetier feel unappreciated by yarn stores that seem to only cater to people who knit. These yarn stores don’t typically carry crochet supplies including crochet needles or have staff that are familiar with the craft (and art) of crochet.