Tuesday, March 5, 2013

choosing your`yarn {crochet basics}

It is a pretty good time in Australia to buy yarn right now. So many new seasonal colours to choose from, shops that only stock it during the cold months are filling their shelves, and discontinued lines are on sale! Definitely a lot more options than in Spring or Summer.

But it can be overwhelming, especially if you are starting out. 

My personal opinion is to start out with an acrylic 8ply yarn, and practice the stitches. Any kind will do but a nice one to get you started is Panda brand's Magnum Soft. I picked this one up from my local Kmart, but I have seen it readily available in major craft stores in Australia, and it appears to be available online and overseas. It is soft, smooth and a little silky. perfect for a beginner, but also really nice for anyone to work with. 

Panda brand's Magnum soft, a great yarn to start with

8ply is not too thick and not too thin. However different brands will differ in thickness, this is because the ply refers to how it is made rather than the resulting thickness. It is often recommended that you stick to the same brand if you are using different colours, but I think it is up to you, if there is an obvious difference between the thickness, then don't combine them.

Yarn overseas may not be called 8ply. In the US it would be called DK, it can also be called light or size 3. 

Now you have some yarn, you will also need a hook, or maybe even knitting needles!

Time to check out the label:

This brand recommends 4mm knitting needles (Size 8 UK or size 6 US) This is the same size crochet hook recommended. I tend to stick to 4mm, but I have found anything between 3.5-5.5 will be fine. 
As you can see, these different sized hooks, with the same yarn all have different results.

Hook/needle recommendation is also based on the gauge chart. if you knit a square, 22 stitches x 30 rows should make a 10 x 10cm square, according to the label.

I hope this has helped answer some questions. You of course don't have to start with this brand of yarn, or even this thickness, but do check the label for the recommended hook size.



  1. I actually squeed when I saw all those pretty pink colors!

    I just starting taking a crochet class. I'm failing miserably. I never thought it would be so hard to wrap my brain around!

    1. in no time you'll get it! I promise :)