4 Basic Knitting Yarns for Newbies

Yarn can be made from many different materials, and some of them can be quite expensive. There’s vicuna yarn, and it’s the most expensive material in the world. In fact, a sports jacket made from vicuna yarn can cost $21,000!

If you’re a newbie to the world of knitting, then perhaps you should lay off the exotic and pricey yarns. That’s especially because you’re going to make a lot of knitting mistakes, and you don’t really want to waste yarn that costs hundreds of dollars per yard.

For newbies, hand dyed yarn will do just fine. Here are some of your best options:


Most people think about wool when they picture yarn. It’s the classic choice, and it’s extremely popular especially for sweater projects. Wool yarn is great for sweaters because the material is nice and warm, and very cozy. It’s also extremely comfortable to wear, as it’s breathable and absorbent. Its stretch is quite reasonable, and it drapes on your body very nicely. It’s even very durable, so if you take care of it then it will last for a long time. It’s great to work with too.

You just need to keep in mind that wool can shrink if you aren’t careful. Sweaters made from wool are also distinctly fuzzy. Unlike cotton, you’re not going to get crisp lines from wool.

The most common type of wool is sheep wool, though yarns can be different depending on the kind of sheep it came from and how it was processed. There are other types such as Icelandic, merino, and lamb’s wool.


For summer cotton is a good choice. It’s breathable, cool, lightweight, and it has a nice drape. It’s also absorbent, which is why a lot of washcloths are made of cotton. It’s easy to rinse and it can last a while.

However, it’s not good for stretch items like hats, since cotton doesn’t really have that much stretchiness. You also may want to improve your knitting skills first, since any mistake or inconsistency will be harder to hide if you use cotton.


Unlike wool or cotton, acrylic is synthetic or manmade material. Some are completely 100% acrylic, but you can also find acrylic in plenty of blends. Acrylic is often blended with wool.

This is often very affordable, and it gives you a lot of bang for the buck. Newbies also don’t have much money to spare for their new hobby but this will fit any budget. It’s great because it’s nicely warm though it’s not as warm as wool. It’s also easy to wash and quite durable as well.

However, you need to be careful where you get your acrylic yarn. Some manufacturers offer soft acrylics but others can be quite rough. It’s this issue that makes buying acrylic online a problem, as you need to feel it first before you buy it.


Yarn can be from two or even more materials so that the resulting product can get the benefits of each. A common example of this is the wool and nylon blend that’s often used for socks. The wool provides warmth, and the nylon makes it more durable.

Acrylic and wool is also a popular combination, as it retains some of the benefits of wool while remaining affordable. The acrylic also makes the blend easier to wash, and it makes the blend more durable than just plain wool.

If you’re a newbie, try out any of these yarns first. They’re very popular, and you can find lots of projects online to keep you busy. Good luck and happy knitting!

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