Which Yarn Should You Use?

Have you ever wondered what kind of yarn is best for crocheting loveys and amigurumis? With so many yarns available for purchase, what type is best for making special creations for babies and children? Let’s discuss the possibilities!!

When I create a new design, I always make the lovey and the amigurumi at the same time, so I always use the same yarn for both prototypes. I think it looks nice, and I like that people can see both designs in the same yarn. In my beginnings, I was working only with cotton. And while it is a kind of yarn that I love, sometimes the worsted weight yarn made the work very complicated and it became tedious to work with. However, I have started doing some projects with Scheepjes Catona, a fingering weight cotton, and I love the final result! I used it for my Sweet Dreams Teddy Bear Mobile and it looks great. The stitch definition is very good and the shape is incredible.

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So that brings us back to the Big Question – what type of yarn is best for crocheting amis and loveys? Every yarn has its own pros and cons – weight, colors, price, content, washability – that will help you determine which yarn is best for what you’re making.

One of the first things to consider is who is getting the creation. Most of my patterns are geared towards babies and small children. So the yarn needs to be soft and sturdy – and able to be laundered. I like to use super vivid and bright colors for my designs, so a wide variety of colors is also something I look for in a yarn. Yarn weight is also something I carefully think about. The only weight I would not recommend using is lace weight. It’s just too thin. But anything from a fingering weight all the way up to a super bulky yarn will work well!

One type of yarn I don’t like to use is wool. It’s pretty itchy, and not easy to wash. And if you’re making a project for a child, it will probably need to be washed on a regular basis! (Alpaca is a great alternative to wool, but it gets rather pricey.) Wool blends can be used instead of 100% wool. For example, Scheepjes Merino Soft would be a good yarn to use if you wanted a yarn with a mostly natural, wool content (DK weight, 50% Wool Superwash Merino/25% Microfiber/25% Acrylic). The Merino Soft can be machine washed, so it’s definitely more child-friendly than other wool yarns.

Cotton is a great choice for my designs. It’s soft, easily washed and dried, most brands carry a large line of colors, and it’s relatively cheap. However, it can get tedious to work with, and sometimes the stitch definition gets a little blocky. That being said, there are a number of brands and weights of cotton yarn that are perfect for crocheting amigurumis and loveys! A lot of my fans use Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton (which is a lighter worsted weight), Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton (worsted weight), or CotLin DK from Knitpicks (DK weight – pictured to the left). All 3 of these brands are soft, washable, come in amazing colors, and are very economical. One thing to keep in mind about cotton yarn is that it does tend to stretch. A crocheted friend made with this type of yarn may end up a little saggy and floppy after repeated washings.

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Acrylic yarn is a wonderful choice for crocheting amigurumis and loveys. It’s readily available, it’s often very cheap, the colors are almost endless, and it’s durable. Acrylic appears to be one of the most popular yarn types for making toys. Some of the most popular brands are Red Heart Super Saver (worsted weight), Caron Simply Soft (lighter worsted weight – pictured to the right), Knit Picks Brava Worsted or Sport (worsted or sport weight), Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (worsted weight), and Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn (worsted weight). Remember that acrylic is not a natural fiber, and it tends to sometimes be slippery or scratchy. Try rubbing the yarn on the inside of your wrist to see if the texture is something you think a baby or small child would like to cuddle closely with.

Changing the weight of your yarn and your hook size is a great way to alter an amigurumi. You can create such a different look for the same creation just by using a bigger hook and bulky yarn instead of worsted weight yarn. I love using my Big Hugs yarn (pictured to the left) for this! It’s very soft and velvety, and I think it’s perfect for cuddling. Other types of bulky yarn that are great for making amigurumis with are Knit Picks Brava Bulky (weight 5) or Bernat Blanket (weight 6 – though this also gets tedious to work with). Keep in mind that your finished project will be larger than the pattern measurements, and you will also need more yarn than the pattern calls for.

Dropping a hook size and yarn weight is also a lot of fun. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been working with a fingering weight cotton for some of my designs, and I love the way they are turning out. They are a bit smaller than my creations made with worsted weight, but the yarn is super soft and the detail is perfect.

Basically, when it comes to crocheting amigurumis and loveys, there is no perfect, right or wrong yarn. It’s a personal choice. I’ve told you what yarn I like best right now…what kind do you prefer? Drop a message in the comments and let me know!
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9 thoughts on “Which Yarn Should You Use?

  1. I like using acrylic (I LOVE Brava Worsted!!) or cotton (I use I Love This Cotton – I don’t necessarily love it, but I like the softness, that it’s easy to crochet with, and the wide variety of colors). I haven’t tried making my creations smaller yet (I won’t lie – thin yarns and smaller hooks intimidate me – and make my hands hurt a little), but I like to use bulky yarns to make them bigger. I don’t really like using Blanket yarn at all – it’s cumbersome. But now you’ve inspired me to want to try the Catona!!

  2. I love using “I love this yarn” and “ I love this cotton”. I love the colors and the softness of those yarns. I also frequently use red heart super saver for its sturdiness and ease of availability. Also, Bernat blanket tiny which is a #4 yarn and so so soft! For bulky yarn I love Bernat Softee Chunky and I love love love Premier Parfait but the closest place to buy it is an hour away from me. Like you said, about any yarn will work and it’s all about personal preference and who you’re making the project for, lots of mine are for craft shows so I love using what I want/ my favorites 🙂

  3. Some of my most popular One and Two Company projects have been made with James C Brett Flutterby Chunky yarn – 100% polyester chenille type yarn, 175m/100g. It’s super soft, a little less bulky than big hugs – I use a 5mm hook. (For those in the US, Premier Parfait yarn is very similar.) James C Brett also make a super chunky ‘animal prints’ yarn & Sirdar ‘Smudge’ is another lovely soft chenille type super chunky yarn. Unfortunately the colour range for most of these is a bit limited but new colours are being added.
    In the UK I’m quite limited on worsted weight yarns, aran weight is similar but I’ve still to find a brand I like with a good colour range, at an economical price and readily available.
    An economical alternative to blanket yarn is sometimes available in UK Aldi Stores as one of their ‘Special Buys’ – I now stock up when they have it in as they only have a few colours each time – this ‘So Crafty Baby Yarn’ is ideal for the ‘cuddlers’ like Bo Bunny & Dan Dino – it’s a super bulky (wt 6), 100% polyester, 95m/100g – I use a 6.5mm hook with this yarn 🙂

  4. Great article! I tend to use loops and threads impeccable for Ami’s because that’s what’s readily available here and I like the colour options. For loveys I use caron simply soft or red heart soft because they softer and have nice colours too.

  5. I do like to work with I love this yarn and I Love this cotton, but the options in color for me are often quite limited. My go to is Simply Soft because it comes in a variety of colors and is Super-soft. When it comes to the bulky weight yarn, I haven’t really found one I like. I Always touch the yarn before I buy, so I don’t go as much by fiber as feel. I have to be careful with that though do to washing concerns.

    1. I LOVE Patons Canadiana!! It’s very soft, and the colors are gorgeous! I can only find it in one store – a small craft store near my mother-in-law. Whenever she sees it on sale, she lets me know!

  6. I’m not too picky with my yarn – I create mostly for adults, so I look for colour first, and the rest second. But if you’re making something cuddly (especially for a kid, but it’s a big hit with adults too :D) and are experienced enough to work with fuzzy yarn, I highly recommend Bernat Pipsqueak. It’s super soft, very forgiving if you have to undo stitches (unusual in fuzzy yarns, Ive found) and washable and baby friendly. The results are great too – it looks like a sewn plushie!

    1. I like Pipsqueak, too. Some people think it’s hard to count, but it doesn’t bother me. And you’re right – it’s so squishy!!

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