Hey, I'm Andrea Lemire, the education coordinator here at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I'm going to show you some really cool techniques for beginning crochet, and hopefully, you'll have as much fun as I have with it. Okay, lets get started.
So I'm going to talk to you now about choosing a good crochet yarn. When you're choosing a yarn you want to be paying attention to the ball band, that's the piece of paper around the yarn here. There are seven things to remember when looking at your ball band. One is the name of the yarn. Two is the name of the yarn color. Now those are good to know in case, one you run out of yarn and you need to get the same one in the same color or two, if you like it and you want to get it again in the future.
The third thing you want to look for is the fiber content. So what is this yarn made from? There are wools, cottons, acrylics, blends and each one has different properties. So check with your local yarn store to find out more about what those fibers do.
The fourth thing you want to be looking at is the yardage. That's how much yarn you have in the ball in front of you. Each pattern will specify a certain number of balls, so particularly if you're substituting a yarn for the yarn that's in the pattern, check with the people in your local yarn store and they will help you figure how much yarn you need for that pattern.
The fifth thing you want to look out for is the care instructions. Different fibers have different care properties, some are hand wash only, some are machine washable. So, in particularly if you're crocheting a gift for someone who is just going to toss it into the machine, or especially for baby items, you want to make sure the yarn you're using is machine washable.
The sixth thing you want to pay attention to is what hook size should I use with this yarn. On the ball bound its written right there, the recommended hook size as given by the manufacturer. So you can always find a safe hook size to use right on that ball.
The last thing you want to be paying attention to on the ball band is the dye lot. The dye lot is the batch that they dyed that yarn in and so you want to make sure all those batch numbers match each other, otherwise you can get different shades in the project.
Good yarns for beginners, if you're just starting out, you want to make sure you can see your stitches well so I recommend something much thicker, your stitches are going to be larger, and that way you can see what you're doing easier. Lion Brand Thick & Quick is a great option and particularly in terms of what the yarn is made from. Wool and acrylic blend like this yarn, is nice because the acrylic in the wool gives it a stretchier feel so it's going to be easier to get in and out of those stitches with your hook.
Some other fun yarns to use if maybe you're moving on from that first project is color changing yarns because all you need to do is pick a basic stitch and let the color do the work for you. Some great yarns for that: Amazing is really interesting, it's got a lot of texture, really cool color patterns. Other great yarns are tweed stripes and you can choose them in a lot of different fibers. There are a lot of color changing yarns out there and use them to give that special thing to that project that you're making and you can let the yarn talk for you.
Another type of yarn you can use to add some interesting texture to your piece, just using a basic stitch for it, is a textured yarn itself. Nature's Choice Organic Cotton is a great option. It's got a lot of texture, there are solids, multicolors, so you can pick the combo that you like the best and all you need is that nice basic stitch and it's going to give your project a really, really interesting pop. Homespun is another great yarn for that, super textured, really cool color combinations and so it looks like you put a lot more work into that project than you actually did by letting a textured yarn or multicolored yarn do the work for you.
The last category of yarns that also really does the work for you in a project is novelty yarns. There are a lot of different types out there. Fun Fur is an example of a novelty yarn; it's a type of an eyelash yarn. So yarns like this really make your piece look extra special and all you need is that basic stitch and go with it and let that yarn do the work for you. So if you want to do a more textured stitch you generally want to stick with the smoother yarns. If you want to stick to the basics, try a textured yarn, a novelty yarn, a color changing yarn, the sky's the limit. You can use absolutely any yarn to crochet with. So go to your local yarn store, don't be afraid to ask questions and just have fun with it.