Best Yarn For Knitting – My Review Of 8 Quality Yarns For Knitting

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

Knitting is great, but it’s hard to find the best yarn. There are so many types of yarns out there! I have eight quality yarns for knitting to make your decision easier.

The Best Yarn For Knitting

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My Quick Recommendations

The links above take you to LoveCrafts and Lion Brand.

Wondering what kinds of yarn are best? Read my guide for more information.

I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on Mar 7, 2024.

Table Of Contents

What Makes The Best Yarn To Start Knitting With

Here are some key decision-making factors to consider when choosing the best brand of yarn for knitting.

What Kind Of Care Does It Need?

Can you put your knitted project in the washing machine? Can it be placed in the dryer? Some animal fiber yarns are only washed by hand.

I don’t mind handwashing my knitted socks because they’re small. Washing a sweater or blanket by hand is sort of time-consuming, but it’ll last longer.

Superwash Merino is excellent for washing your garment in a washing machine. However, wool roving, (used in chunky yarn for arm knitting) usually needs handwashing. When in doubt, read the yarn labels.

What’s It Made Out Of?

Animal fibers are wool and fur from sheep, alpacas, mohair, cashmere, angora, and goats. (A popular one is merino wool yarn, a rare one is vicuña wool.) These fibers have more resilience and elasticity.

Plant fibers such as cotton, hemp, linen, and bamboo are suitable for lightweight garments. However, not all plant-based natural fibers are moisture wicking, and some don’t hold their shape well. Man-made fibers (synthetic fibers) are soft and come in many variants. Test how it feels in your hands.

How Much Yardage?

The knitting or crochet project determines the yardage, and a bigger project takes more yarn. Get the right amount of yardage before you start.

What Yarn Weight Is Best?

#4 worsted are excellent yarn weights for beginners. Other weight categories are too fiddly (like super fine yarn/crochet thread) lace or cumbersome (like super bulky yarn). Want something different? Use sport weight.

What’s Your Budget?

Animal yarns are more expensive. Yarns from plants like cotton and artificial fibers like acrylic yarn are cheaper. Many people donate yarns and these yarns are often free or for very little cost.

Best Yarns To Knit With

Feels Like Butta Yarn

The velvety feel of chenille but is easy to create stitches with, unlike other chenille yarns. The colorways are delightful. The pastels suit baby projects and baby knitwear. The bolder shades are great for adult garments like cowls, scarves, shawls, or tops.

It has a matt finish, a little drape, and is soft.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care – Washing machine and dryer
  • Fiber Content – 100% Polyester
  • Yardage – 218 yds (199m)
  • #4 Medium
  • Skein Weight – 3.5 oz (100g)
  • Gauge – 18 sts x 26 rows
  • Suggested Knitting Needles – U.S. 7 (4.5 mm)

Product Evolution: It also comes in a larger put-up but in fewer colors (Big ball – 9.7oz, 590yds.)

Pros

  • Good value
  • Doesn’t spilt
  • The company has great shipping and customer service, and it’s easy to add items to your cart.
  • Beautiful shades
  • Creates a nice look
  • Slides over a knitting needle or crochet hook
  • Lovely against the skin
  • Excellent for people sensitive to wool
  • Great for baby clothes and other things
  • Easy to use straight from the skeins

Cons

  • Some customers found the sign of knots
  • You need an account to purchase things

Lily Sugar’s Cream Super Size Solid

A plant-based fiber from 100% U.S. cotton. Crafters love it. A versatile worsted weight yarn perfect for a variety of kitchen and home décor projects

How Does It Compare?

  • Care – Machine wash and dry
  • Yarn Type – 100% cotton yarn
  • Yardage – 95 yds (86 m)
  • Weight – #4 – Med Worsted
  • Skein Weighs – 2.5 oz (56.7 g)
  • Gauge – 4×4 Inches – 20 sts and 26 rows with a 4.5 mm (U.S. 7) knitting needle
  • Suggested Knitting Needles – U.S. 7 (4.5mm)

Product Evolution: Lily Sugar’s Cream also comes in a cone size. The same yarn, just more: cone weight 14 oz/400g, and a yardage of 706 yards/645 meters.

Pros

  • These ones are soft and squishy
  • Great color combinations
  • The 2.5oz ball label includes a crochet pattern in two languages
  • Knitting yarn doesn’t become fuzzy
  • Suitable for any knitting project needs
  • Fast shipping in the United States
  • Makes great results and a fun knitting process

Cons

  • It sometimes has the ends tied together. If you pull too hard on the fiber, it breaks
  • Not much stretch
  • Splits occasionally
  • The dye may run. Set in a small amount of vinegar diluted in cold water if this happens
  • Those who prefer wooden needles may find this catches

Caron Simply Soft Acrylic

Knit and crochet garments, accessories, and home decor projects with some of the best knitting yarns from this popular brand.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care – Warm water, gentle cycle, and tumble drying on low heat.
  • Type Of Yarn – 100% acrylic fibers
  • Yardage – 315 yards (288 meters)
  • Yarn Weight – 6 oz (170g)
  • Skein Weight – # medium Worsted Weight
  • Gauge – 4×4 Inches – 18 sts and 24 rows
  • Suggested Needle – U.S. 8 (5mm)

Pros

  • Great choice for easy handling
  • Lustrous sheen
  • Suitable for baby projects and baby blankets
  • Colorful
  • Get a lot out of one skein
  • No dye lots
  • Great for fiber art projects when you are on a budget

Cons

  • More expensive than some brands
  • Knots are a hassle
  • Thinner than other medium #4 yarns
  • Tends to split threads

Baby Soft

Soft acrylic blend in a generously-sized ball, suited for babies and children. (Why not make some knit or crochet hats?) The medium sportweight yarn comes in classic pastel colors and prints.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care – Machine wash on low temperature and tumble dry.
  • Made Of – Acrylic Fibers, Nylon, Rayon
  • Yardage – 459yds (367 in prints/pomp) / 420m (335 in prints/pomp)
  • Weight – #3 Light
  • Skein Weighs – 5oz (4 in prints/pomp) / 140g (113 in prints/pomp)
  • Gauge – 4×4 Inches – 22 sts x 30 rows
  • Suggested Needle – US6 (4mm)

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable
  • An acrylic yarn that doesn’t split
  • Excellent yardage for the price
  • No pilling
  • Knitter experts love using it
  • Easy machine washing

Cons

  • The fabric may feel stiff. Softens with washing.
  • Limited palette choice
  • Lion Brand seems to discontinue yarns in this line regularly
  • Isn’t center pull

Red Heart Super Saver

This yarn is available in 4/Medium/Aran weight. OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified and made in America! Almost all are 100% acrylic.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care – Machine wash and dry
  • Material – Acrylic (Flecks are 96% acrylic & 4% other)
  • Yardage – No-Dye-Lot Solids: 364 yds (333 m) | Prints & Multis: 236 yds (215m) | Flecks: 260 yds (238m) | Stripes: 236 yds (215 m) | Pooling: 236 yds (215 m) | Fair Isle: 236 yds (215m) | Ombre: 482 yds (440 m)
  • Weight – #4 Medium Worsted
  • Skein Weight – No-Dye-Lot Solids: 7 oz (198g) | Prints & Multis: 5 oz (141g) | Flecks & Heathers: 5 oz (141g) | Stripes: 5 oz (141 g) | Pooling: 5 oz (141 g) | Fair Isle: 5 oz (141 g) | Ombre: 10 oz (283 g)
  • Gauge – 4×4 inches – 17 stitches x 23 rows
  • Suggested Needle – 5mm

Pros

  • Durable
  • Made in the USA
  • Various colorways
  • Affordable
  • Looks lovely
  • Great for scarves
  • Order more if you run out and don’t worry about dye lots

Cons

  • Pulling from the center of the skein might incur tangles
  • Certain colorways feel rougher than others

Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran

You won’t be disappointed with this wide variety of rainbow colors. Create clothes for kids, adults, and home textiles with this bold, machine-washable Aran weight yarn. Also comes in a dk weight. Excellent for summer knitting and light blankets.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Machine wash and dry flat
  • Made Of – 100% cotton
  • Yardage – 93yds (85m)
  • Weight – Aran
  • Skein Weighs (Ball Size) – 1.8oz
  • Gauge – 4×4 Inches – 20 stitches, 24 rows
  • Suggested Needle – U.S. 7 (4.5mm)

Pros

  • Gorgeous range of bright colors
  • Soft to touch
  • You can spot mistakes effortlessly
  • Great for beginning knitters
  • Available in 5 and 10 ball value packs
  • Good looking stitch definition
  • Great for knits for scrubbies, dishcloths and dish towels.

Cons

  • May feel stiff when knitting or crocheting

Wool-Ease Worsted Weight

A 4-ply worsted-weight yarn popular with knitters. The versatility and value of this blend are appreciated. It combines the warmth, softness of wool with acrylic’s easy care. An easy yarn to design with and suitable for every project. Try a shawl, mittens, wraps and hats.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Machine washable and tumble dry
  • Made Of – 80% Acrylic 20% Wool.
  • Yardage – 197yds (180m)
  • Weight – 4 Medium Worsted
  • Skein Weighs – 3oz (85g)
  • Gauge – 4×4 Inches – 18 stitches x 24 rows
  • Suggested Needle Size – #8 (5mm)

Pros

  • Soft texture
  • Available in solids, glitter, multi colors, prints, and frosts
  • High quality
  • Doesn’t pill
  • Versatile
  • Lovely drape
  • One of the best wool blends
  • Stitches show up well
  • Knots are rare

Cons

  • Can split, so just be mindful of this when entering each stitch. Choose a sharper needle tip to combat this problem.

Alpaca Cloud DK

Knitting with baby alpaca yarn is delightful. It is so soft on your hands. It does take practice to have uniform looking stitches using this fiber. It is an excellent choice for baby items and sweaters that you will wear next to your skin. It is more expensive than fibers from sheep but oh so worth it.

Alpaca has drape so the garment will stretch overtime. Also the fibers have fine hairs which will show up in the finished fabric but this doesn’t detract at all.


Pros

  • Super soft
  • Great depth of color
  • Subtle halo effect
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Excellent choice if you are sensitive to woolly yarns
  • Doesn’t split

Cons

  • Can leave fluff on other clothes when you are knitting
  • Harder to get even stitches
  • To launder only wash by hand

Stroll Tonal Superwash Merino

Superwash Merino and nylon are blended together to create a fiber that is machine washable. The nylon adds strength. The color range is delightful. This yarn is excellent for shawls or socks or children’s garments. Also suits patterns from the lifestyle category such as throws, blankets and cushion covers.

Pros

  • Soft and squishy
  • Variegation adds interest
  • Great stitch definition

Cons

  • Pricier

Which Is Best For You?

  • Feels Like Butta Yarn – Super soft, perfect for projects worn close to the skin
  • Lily Sugar’s Cream Super Size Solid Yarn – Great for cotton projects
  • Caron Simply Soft – Affordable with various colors
  • Patons Classic Wool Yarn – Great for 100% wool projects
  • Baby Soft Yarn – Excellent for baby items and blankets
  • Red Heart Super Saver Yarn – Wonderful range of colors
  • Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran – Bright colors and great for knitting dishcloths
  • Wool-Ease Yarn – Wool feel with the easy-care of acrylic
  • Alpaca Cloud DK – Lovely and soft and a great alternative if you have sensitivity to animal fiber from sheep.

Comparable Products To Consider

  • A great beginner-friendly yarn for blankets is Bernat blanket yarn.
  • Lion Brand wool ease cranberry or Lion Brand wool ease fisherman for easy care and warmth
  • An excellent, affordable bamboo/cotton blend is King Cole DK
  • For lightweight, summer projects, try Rowan Creative Linen
  • Red Heart Latte Stripe Yarn
  • Michaels yarn for something cheap, and they sell excellent chunky yarn for big projects
  • Red Heart Super Saver Painted Desert, Red Heart Jumbo Stripes, or Red Heart Jumbo Super Saver Yarn

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FAQS About Best Yarn For Knitting

What Is The Most Popular Brand Of Yarn?

Red Heart Yarn. They offer many affordable yarns of good quality in a fantastic range of colors. Available online and in craft stores.

Which Knitting Yarn Is Best For Beginners?

If you’re a beginner, use medium worsted weight yarn (#4). Choose light colors as they’re easier to see when creating your stitches. It’s easier to learn with wool.

This thickness is comfortable to work with. The advantage of a thicker yarn is your project will finish more quickly. Some experts recommend acrylic yarn for knitting beginners because it is cheaper and machine washable.

I’d test out how acrylic yarns feels to you before making a garment with it. A blanket would be a good option. Skeins are also easier to work with.

Ways-Yarns-Come

How Do You Choose Top Yarn For Knitting?

It varies depending on the project you choose. Most knitting patterns have suggestions. Also, consider your budget. Cashmere yarn or alpaca yarn is more expensive. Cotton yarns are affordable and an excellent choice for warm weather garments, accessories, baby items and blankets.

Patterns almost always include the brand, weight, and color of yarn, as well as the size of knitting needle used. It’s important to choose the same type of fiber and weight of yarn used in the pattern. If you choose to use a different type of fiber, the result may look and feel different than the pattern.

Always buy more yarn than a pattern suggests in case of mistakes, knots, or gauge issues.

What Are Fibers That Doesn’t Fuzz?

Anti-pill yarns have been developed by yarn companies, specially treated acrylic yarns. Plant fibers (cotton and bamboo) are less likely to pill. If you love yarn and it pills, remove the fuzz from the item.

How Do You Read A Yarn Label?

Each ball of yarn has a ball band (the label), which states everything you need to know: Fiber content, Weight, Amount, Care instructions, Suggested needle size, Gauge, Dye-lot number.

Fiber Content

The material used is often in percentages. (For example, 90% merino wool, 5% silk, and 5% cashmere.)

Yarn Weights

The total thickness of yarn, measured in wraps per inch (WPI). The ply count also factors and ranges from the finest to the heaviest weights (usually between 1-ply and 14-ply).

Amount

The total length of yarn in yards/ounces or meters/grams.

Care Instructions

Information on how to wash (by hand/machine, temperature settings), how to dry your knitted garment (air dried/tumble dried), and if it’s suitable to dry clean/iron.

Gauge

Yarn gauge is the number of stitches and rows within a 4×4 inch or 10cmx10cm swatch. (Always check your yarn gauge.) This determines whether you go up or down a needle size.

Dye-Lot Number

When buying more than one ball, ensure the numbers match. Even when balls of yarn appear to be the same shade, the color differences show up in the final knitted fabric.

Conclusion

Hope this article helped. your yarn choice depends on the project, but hopefully, you found one to suit. What are your favorites? Tell me in the comments.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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Comments

  1. Great list! And I agree with many of your picks. however I feel like your list is only missing 1 thing… an Indie Dyed yarn!

    I would love to submit one of our bases for your review, we offer some of the Highest Quality Merino – Merino/Nylon bases available on the market including a 80/20 base that was designed specifically with Arcane Fibre Works Inc in mind!

    Reply

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