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5 of the Best Yarns for Knitting for Beginners; the Right Yarn for Your Needs or Try Something New

Updated on April 27, 2018
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Michele is a published author from Oklahoma who loves to write on a plethora of topics including business, crafts, cleaning, and management.

What to Consider When Choosing Yarn

  • The Project You are Making
  • Your Budget for Knitting Supplies
  • Your Skill Level
  • Your Current Knitting Stash of Supplies

What project are you planning to work on? What are you knitting?

If you are making a thick throw or bedspread you most likely want a big knitting set of needles and a bulky yarn like Bernat’s Softee Chunky yarn. That is my absolute favorite yarn. It is easy to work with and it slides through my fingers and my needles fast and smooth. I just love knitting with it. I have made almost 10 afghans so far with that yarn. I find it very enjoyable to work with.

If you were making baby items like booties or socks, you would most likely use small needles and thin sock yarn. The nice thing that yarn companies does for knitters is labeling their yarn with the correct needle size to use.

What is your yarn budget? How much money do you have to spend on the supplies for the project you are working on?

If you are just starting out, you don’t want to spend too much money on knitting supplies. What if you don’t like it? It is so easy to walk in Michael’s and walk out with a much lighter wallet, especially when you walk down a 70% off clearance isle not to mention the extra 20% off coupon they let you use!

You can buy yarn usually cheaper online. Even just shopping at Michael’s online can often save you a lot of money over shopping at the store. You can play around with coupons to find the best deal.

Have you heard of Wikibuy? It’s so awesome! It gives you a ton of coupons to use on any website that sells goods for FREE!

The last time I shopped at Michael’s online (uh, this week, lol), I was able to find yarn on clearance. I was able to use 2 coupon codes from wikibuy, and I did the “ship for FREE to the store” to avoid any shipping charges. Needless to say, I got a major deal!

There are also outlet stores you can shop at online. Even Walmart has a decent supply of yarn that they will ship with you upon purchase. Yarn doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s easy to go wild when you want to build your first yarn stash. Just buy a little bit of yarn to start out with. You don’t need to be knitting 10 projects at the same time. Having 3 WIP’s at a time is plenty!

What is your skill level?

If you are just starting out, it is best to choose a beginner yarn – a worsted, acrylic yarn that is easy to work with. Almost all craft stores that carry yarn have their own generic brand that is comparable to Red Heart’s Super Saver yarn. For someone who is just starting out, having a yarn that is easy to work with is critical for success.

Of course, if you are an experienced knitter you probably already know what yarns are best for your knitting style and level. If you want my opinion though, well, you are reading the right article!

The 5 yarns recommended in this article are my opinion based on my years of experience, but I like to think of myself as still a beginner. I enjoy doing the same things I did when I was new to the knitting world. However, I do think the yarns I recommend are easy to use for any skill level of a knitter.

What supplies do you currently have?

There are several supplies you may want to invest in to ensure you have everything you need for a successful knitting experience. Besides this list of supplies you will of course want to purchase the right kind of yarn for the project you are planning to do.

  • Needlepoint/craft tote
  • Copy of the pattern
  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Scissors
  • Point protectors
  • Calculator
  • T-Pins
  • Yarn Ball Winder
  • Blocking Mats
  • Craft books
  • Tapestry needles
  • Stitch holders
  • Needle gauge
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch markers
  • Point protectors
  • Cable needles
  • Correction tape (white out)
  • Sticky notes
  • Notebooks
  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters

Many of these supplies are optional, but I think you may like to have them on hand. They can prove to be very useful when you are in the middle of knitting a pattern.

3 F’s to Avoid When Choosing Yarn (especially for beginners)

  • Fuzzy yarns
  • Yarns that Fray
  • Furry yarns

Some examples of yarns that fall in the three F’s category include:

  • Lion Brand Fun Fur Yarn
  • Red Heart Boutique Fur Yarn
  • Flamme-Rustique Fur Yarn
  • Stylecraft Eskimo DK Yarn

Example of a fraying yarn
Example of a fraying yarn

Avoid Investing in Too Much Yarn: Purchasing Yarn or Building Your Yarn Stash

Caution: Do not purchase a lot of yarn until you have decided what yarn is best for you! You may end up with too large of a stash of yarn for your knitting or crocheting needs.

When you start out knitting or crocheting, buy only 1 or 2 skeins of yarn, or when you find a yarn you like, a yarn that’s on clearance, or one that you are anxious to try, again, only buy 1 or 2 balls or skeins at a time. You don’t want to over invest in a yarn you don’t like, can’t use, or one that is just beyond your skill level.

Uh, Oh! What if you inherit a huge lot of yarn (or happen to find a crazy deal on yarn online at eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or at a yarn/garage sale)?

I must confess. I fall into this category! I have always been a bit “crafty” but knitting wasn’t my favorite thing to do in my free time. When my dear great aunt passed away and I was stuck in bed for several months with mono, I had a lot of free time on my hands!

I was able to fill an entire closet with yarn and fabric. It wasn’t just a little bit here and there; it was enough to fulfill a lifetime of crafting needs. I had several yarns that weren’t something I could use and I investing in bulk yarn batches on eBay where there were many yarns that just didn’t fit with my style of knitting.

So, what did I do with my extra yarn?

I was able to sell it on Facebook’s Marketplace or on Craigslist. Surprisingly, it only took me a couple days to sell them and I had a huge amount of interest. Soon I was able to sell yarn for more than what I paid for it! Look into what is right for you if you inherit a huge yarn stash or something like I did!

The 5 Recommended Yarns for Beginners or Fast Knitters

  1. Red Heart’s Super Saver

This is the best yarn to work with as a beginner especially. It is easy on the hands and simple to move through the needles. If you wish to really speed things up, try knitting with a size US 15 needle doing only the garter stitch. You should be able to whip out a scarf in just a few hours!

2. Red Heart’s Grande

I only recently have tried this yarn. It is very fancy and nice. It’s super thick and a bit expensive for my taste, but it so gorgeous. I can’t wait to use the lapghan I am currently knitting!

3. Lion Brand’s Thick and Quick

What’s nice about this bulky yarn is the number of free knitting (or crochet) patterns you can find on the internet. Sign up for free at Ravelry or check out freeknittingpatterns online for a wide variety of patterns aimed just for this yarn in particular! That sure does make it easy and as the name implies it is quite quick to work with!

4. Hobby Lobby’s/Michael’s (or other local craft store) generic brand of worsted, acrylic yarn

This is the perfect yarn for beginners or fast knitters for the same reasons as Red Heart’s super saver. However, this yarn is typically cheaper at the store you are shopping at because they want you to buy from them!

5. Bernat Softee Chunky yarn (my absolute favorite)

When I somewhat outgrew the worsted weight basic yarn, I was working with this yarn. I bought a great deal of this online for only $2.00 a skein! I know! That is a crazy cheap price since the bare minimum you can find it for now is $4.00. I have built up quite a collection of it now!

I find it very easy to work with and it’s the fastest yarn I’ve ever worked with except maybe the Red Heart Grande yarn. I can now design and knit a pattern with this yarn in 3 days or less! I love knitting fast, because, well, I must have ADD or something – lol – I get sidetracked very easy, and I am always anxious to try out a new pattern!

Michael’s typically has a couple colors of this yarn for $4.00/skein. I usually use a US 13 or US 15 when knitting with this yarn. You can even find it on occasion at Walmart. Walmart does carry it online. Ravelry or Bernat’s website has several free knitting patterns online!

I hope you found this useful (and a tad funny!) and I would love to hear from you in the comments below. I don’t get a commission from these yarn companies or recommended websites! Let me know which yarns you find to be the best or which yarn you used to use as a beginner; I’m sure my knitting newbies would love more advice!

Which of these yarns have you tried?

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Do you plan to try one of these yarns?

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