How to Choose the Best Yarn
Have you made up your mind to knit a hat? Before you start, you, first of all, need to select the best yarn for knitting hat. It’s rather easy if you know everything about what types of yarn exist and what each of them is used for. If you are a beginner, I will be happy to assist and tell you how to choose yarn for knitting.
So let’s get this show on the road and discover more about knitting yarn.
Different Kinds of Yarn Materials
By and large, knitting yarn can be either natural or synthetic. The both variants are used for knitting hats. Also, there are many variants of blend yarns, which consist of both natural and synthetic fibers.
Cotton: cotton yarn is made of cotton plants. It’s a light weight fiber, which is suitable for summer clothes. It’s breathable and comfortable. However, be careful with dyed cotton as it may bleed during washing. Also, the beginners may find it hard to knit with cotton yarn as it shows all the mistakes you may make.
Wool: needless to say, wool is the best yarn for knitting hats for the autumn and winter season. It’s very warm and can have different weights and textures. Many beautiful hat patterns can be knitted with it.
Mohair: mohair is considered to be a luxury yarn. It’s made from the hair of the Angora goat. Mohair is known for its high luster and sheen. It’s durable and wrinkle resistant. However, its main minus is that it doesn’t return to its original size if stretched out.
Cashmere: cashmere is made from the soft undercoats of cashmere goats. It’s very warm like the wool but looks smoother. Its main pluses are that it’s soft and stretchy. The cashmere hats look very elegant. As a rule, cashmere yarn is rather pricy. Its minus is that it’s not so durable as wool or alpaca.
Angora: angora yarn is made from the soft rabbit fur and is known for its fuzzy look. It’s an expensive type of yarn. It’s extremely warm and is the ideal variant for a winter knitted hat. But such a hat must be only hand-washed.
Alpaca: alpaca yarn is made from the wool of South American llamas or alpacas. It’s non-allergenic and sustainable. Alpaca fiber is very warm, soft, lightweight and, at the same time, strong. But the alpaca yarn is rather expensive.
Silk: silk yarn is made of silkworm larvae. It’s light and smooth. However, it’s not very stretchy and can’t be used for hats alone. However, it can be combined with a stretchier type of yarn. It’s not a cheap material for hat.
Rayon: rayon is breathable and very comfortable to wear. However, it’s easily wrinkled and weakens when wet. It’s inexpensive, but rather durable. There is a great selection of colors of rayon yarns as it’s easily dyed. But be careful, it’s heat sensitive.
Nylon: nylon is derived from petroleum. It has good elasticity. It’s often combined with wool or acrylic to make it stretchier for the hat knitting. It’s strong and inexpensive. But its minus is that it may melt in contact with heat.
Acrylic: acrylic yarn is often used as a substitution to wool. Among synthetic types of yarn, it’s the best yarn to knit with. It’s lightweight and strong. It’s rather cheap and is available in many colors. However, it’s not very elastic and isn’t breathable.
Polyester: just like nylon, polyester is derived from petroleum. It may have many variations from dull to satiny ones. It’s often used to add novelty elements to the yarn. It looks beautiful, but can be uncomfortable because it feels too synthetic.
Types of Yarn by Weight
While choosing the best knitting yarn for your project, you must pay attention not only to the material but also to its weight. We don’t talk about how heavy the ball of yarn is, but about how fine or bulky its strand is. Here are the basic types of yarn weight and the description of what they are used for.
1- Lace, 1-3 Ply: such knitting yarn is used for doilies and other lace items. It’s extremely fine and thin. It’s more often used for crochet projects not for knitted items.
2- Super Fine, Baby, Fingering Weight, 4 Ply: 4 Ply yarn is often used for kids’ garments. Also, socks and shawls can be knitted out of it.
4- Fine, Sport Weight, 5 Ply: this type of yarn is suitable for baby clothes as well as lightweight throws.
5- Light, Double Knitting Weight, Light Worsted, 8 Ply: light ones are the best yarns for thin jumpers and socks. In addition, it can be used for kids’ clothes.
6- Medium, Aran Weight, Worsted, 10 Ply: it’s the most popular type of yarn for hats, scarves, gloves and jumpers.
7- Bulky Weight, 12 Ply: it’s one more solution of the best yarn for hats. Also, heavy jumpers, warm and thick scarves and gloves are made of it. Moreover, blankets can be knitted of it as well.
8- Super Bulky: super bulky yarns are rarely used for clothes. They serve more for heavy blankets and carpets.
Color and Pattern Variations of Knitting Yarn
One more thing, which you need to consider to get a cool hat design , is the pattern and color of the yarn.
Solid: it’s the simplest kind of the best wool for knitting. It’s just of one simple color. However, it’s amazing if you want to make the accent on the pattern, for instance, cables or bobbles.
Semi-solid: at first sight, it seems that the yarn is of one color, but when you have a closer look at it, you will see that some sections of the yarn are darker or lighter. In such a way, different shades of one color are shown.
Gradient/Ombre: this yarn has long sections of different colors or the shades of one color. They gradually blend into one another. The hat knitted of such yarn doesn’t need any additional decorations.
Tweed: tweed yarn is mostly one-colored, but it has some flecks of another color in it. It looks both simple and sophisticated.
Heathered: heathered yarns feature fibers of several colors, which intertwine into a single yarn and create the random color pattern.
Colorway: it consists of two or more colors. As a rule, colorway yarns have some intricate names like “Afternoon Delight”, “Blackberry Birthday” or “Sherbet”.
Marled: in the marled yarn, the plies of various colors are twisted together. The result is a single strand of yarn, in which different colors are mixed.
Self-patterning: This kind of yarn is cool as it gives an opportunity to create patterns within your hat without changing yarns. One of the examples is a self-striping yarn, which makes stripes on your hat without any extra efforts.
Best Knitting Yarn Brands
While choosing the best yarn for knitting hat, you will definitely come across the following brands.
This brand is often called “America’s Favorite Yarn”. The items of this brand are sold throughout the country at both brick-and-mortar and online stores. Moreover, you are free to make purchases directly on the company’s site.
The choice of yarn is huge in both types and color variations. The best-selling yarns are Super Saver, Soft, With Love and Scrubby collections. But Red Heart doesn’t sell yarn only. You can also buy hooks, needles and other accessories for knitting and crochet projects. In addition, you may find some free knitting patterns on the company’s site.
When you seek for the best quality yarn, you will definitely come across the Lion Brand. It’s a family owned business, which was established in 1878. It sells a great number of all possible yarns of good quality. Their most popular yarn lines are Vanna’s Choice, Vanna’s Choice Baby and Vanna’s Glamour.
Besides yarn, Lion brand deals with all possible knitting accessories. Some cute knit and crochet kits are also for sale. Free knitting and crochet patterns can be found on their site as well.
Yarnspirations unites several well-known yarn brands. They are Bernat, Caron, Patons and Lily Sugar ’n Cream. Like the previous companies, Yarnspirations also offers a great choice of accessories, patterns, knitting and crochet kits.
Patons yarn is known for its timeless patterns and a great number of variants from natural to synthetic fibers. Bernat offers yarns for all types of projects from baby socks to blankets. Caron brand sells premium acrylic yarns in all the possible shades. Lily Sugar ’n Cream is known for its cotton yarn available in many colors.
Premier is an international yarn brand. It’s most known for its luxury yarns and such popular yarn brands as Deborah Norville Collection and Isaac Mizrahi CRAFT. Patterns and accessories are also sold at their site.
Among the most popular products of the company are such yarn collections as Sweet Roll, Premier Couture Jazz, Candy Shop and Premier Flowers. Premier offers an amazing selection of beautiful yarn patterns for various projects.
Darn Good Yarn
Remarkably, Darn Good Yarn is made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. They state that much of their yarn is made from the remnants of the production of silk saris in Nepal and India. In addition, they sell clothes, accessories and home goods as well as various items for crafts such as sewing, jewelry making and kid’s crafts.
Darn Good Yarn has some special offers among their products. Thus, you can buy vegan and handspun yarns. Also, they sell dyeable yarns, which you can color any way you want.
If you seek for something special, pay attention to the Ancient Arts company. It specializes in unusual fibers and exotic yarns. It’s also known for its Ancient Arts Hand Dyed Yarns. Knitting accessories, kits, patterns and books are sold as well.
Meow and Woof yarn collections are the most recognizable. The company states that a portion of the profit from selling the Meow yarns will be donated to benefit stray and abandoned cats. Simultaneously, the portion of the profit from selling the Woof collection will be donated to abandoned dogs.
So, what is the best yarn? There is no universal answer to this question. Everything depends on what result you want to get. We think that natural yarns of 10 and 12 plies are the best option for autumn and winter seasons. However, you may have a different opinion. As to the possible coloring and patterns, it’s just the case of your personal taste.