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How to Choose the Right Yarn for a Knitting Project

Colors, lengths, girths: who doesn’t get overwhelmed at the yarn store?


  • Step 1: Consider fibers Consider the different fibers. Do you want the scratchy but warm embrace of wool, or the futuristic feel of acrylic? Do you want your baby booties made from something incredibly soft, like angora, or easy to care for, like cotton?
  • Step 2: Pick weight Pick a yarn weight. Thinner yarns require smaller needles and more stiches per inch. Thick yarns need fewer stitches but lack precision. Go for something in the middle of the range if you’re just beginning.
  • TIP: Many popular yarns have interesting textures--knotty, frizzy, and even lacy--that can be tempting, but a simple yarn that’s not too slippery will be easier for novice knitters to manipulate.
  • Step 3: Choose length Decide how you want to buy the yarn: it comes in balls, skeins, and hanks. Balls and skeins are naturally easy to work with. If you’re getting it in a hank, ask an employee to wind it into a ball for you--you don’t want accidental knots!
  • Step 4: Start your project Now go start your project. There’s no time like the present. You know what they say: 'A stitch in time…'
  • FACT: The phrase 'to spin a yarn' means to tell a story, and was first used by sailors as they told stories while engaged in tasks around the ship.

You Will Need

  • A yarn store
  • An idea of what you want to make

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