Best Yarn For Knitting – Top Yarns For Knit Projects Budget Guide

By Jodie Morgan

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Finding the right yarn to knit with is difficult. Especially when you’re a beginner. The variety of yarns is overwhelming! Here are eight quality yarns to help you decide.

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Above are links to Lion Brand and LoveCrafts.

I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on June 3, 2023.

Table Of Contents

Best Quality Yarn For Knitting

Caron Simply Soft – My Top Pick For Beginners

Caron Simply Soft Yarn in  Orchid

Knit and crochet garments, accessories, and home decor with some of this brand’s best yarns.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Warm water, gentle cycle, and tumble drying on low
  • Made Of – 100% Acrylic Fibers
  • Yardage – 315 yds (288 m)
  • Yarn Weight – Worsted Weight
  • Skein Weight – 6 oz (170 g)
  • Gauge – 18 sts and 24 rows = 4″
  • Suggested Needle – US 8 (5mm)


  • Easy to handle
  • Shiny and has great resilience
  • It’s suitable for baby projects and baby blankets
  • Colorful
  • Soft on the hands
  • One skein does a lot, as there’s a large amount
  • No dye lots


  • Expensive
  • Knots are a pain
  • A thinner medium yarn
  • Threads split

Patons Classic Wool Knitting Yarn

Classic Wool Worsted is a non-superwash wool that’s great for felting, knitting projects, and crocheting. 100% wool, standard plied. This is an affordable option to consider!

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Hand wash or dry clean, don’t iron
  • Made Of – 100% Wool Yarns
  • Yardage – 210 yds
  • Yarn Weight – Worsted
  • Skein Weight – 3.5oz (100 g)
  • Suggested Knitting Needle – US 7 (4.5mm)


  • This yarn type is cozy, you’re set for winter projects!
  • This company makes easy to knit with yarns
  • Best for beginners
  • Fits any size yarn winder
  • Various color options
  • Ships to the United States
  • Excellent for sweaters
  • Fits a US 7 crochet hook
  • Creates long-lasting garments


  • This yarn is dye lotted, so get enough from the beginning. Check the dye lot numbers
  • Some might find the textures itchy
  • A little difficult to clean
  • It feels like the fibers have residue. After washing, it disappears

Feels Like Butta Yarn

It has the velvety feel of chenille, but is easy to knit with. Colorways are lovely. They are suitable for baby knits. Bolder colors work well for adult garments like cowls, scarves, and shawls. Has a matte finish, a little drape, and is soft.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Washing machine and dryer
  • Made Of – 100% Polyester
  • Yardage – 218 yds (199 m)
  • Yarn Weight – #4 Medium
  • Skein Weight – 3.5 oz (100 g)
  • Gauge – 18 sts x 26 rows = 4″
  • Suggested Needle – U.S. 7 (4.5 mm)

Product Design: A larger version of this worsted yarn is also available, but in fewer, but still fun colors.


  • Worth it
  • Never splits
  • The staff provide great customer service
  • Gorgeous colors
  • Looks good
  • For knitting and crocheting
  • The strand is soft
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Ideal for baby clothes
  • Knit straight from the skein


  • Dozens of customers found knots
  • Purchases require an account and to access the free patterns

Lily Sugar ‘N Cream Super Size Solid – Good Choice For Crochet Too

Check Price On Amazon

100% cotton plant-based fiber. Makers love it. A versatile worsted weight yarn ideal for kitchen and home décor projects! 

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Machine wash and dry
  • Made Of – 100% cotton yarn
  • Yardage – 95 yds (86 m)
  • Weight – #4 – Med Worsted
  • Skein Weight – 2.5 oz (56.7 g)
  • Gauge – 20 sts and 26 rows = 4″
  • Suggested Needle – US 7 (4.5mm)

Product Design: Lily Sugar’’ N Cream also comes in a cone. Same yarn, just bigger.


  • Soft and squishy
  • Nice color combinations
  • A crochet pattern is included on the 2.5oz ball label
  • Knitting yarn isn’t fuzzy
  • Ideal for any project, including crochet projects
  • US shipping is fast
  • Produces great results and is fun to knit


  • The ends are sometimes tied together. Pulling too hard breaks it
  • Little stretch
  • Splits sometimes
  • It may run. If this happens, use vinegar diluted in cold water
  • Those who prefer wooden knitting needles may not like this

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Yarn

Lion Brand Wool Ease in Arrowwood colorway

A popular 4-ply worsted-weight yarn. This wool blend is valued for its versatility. It combines wool’s warmth and softness with acrylic’s ease of care. The perfect yarn to design with and use for every project. Make a shawl, mittens, wrap, or hat.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Machine washable and tumble dry
  • Made Of – 80% Acrylic 20% Wool
  • Yardage – 197 yds (180 m)
  • Weight – Medium
  • Skein Weight – 3 oz (85 g)
  • Gauge – 18 stitches x 24 rows = 4″
  • Suggested Needle – #8 (5mm)


  • It’s soft
  • Solids, glitters, prints, and frosts
  • Top quality
  • No pilling
  • Flexible
  • Nice drape
  • A great wool blend generally suited to jackets and all crafters
  • Stitches look good
  • Good for days with a colder temperature, think warm tops and wraps
  • Few knots


  • Splits
  • Sometimes pills and gets fluffy

Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran

Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran in Spearmint Green

You won’t be disappointed with this rainbow of colors. Make clothes for kids, adults, and home textiles with this vibrant, machine-washable yarn. Also available in dk.

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Machine wash and dry flat
  • Made Of – 100% cotton
  • Yardage – 93 yds (85 m)
  • Weight – Aran
  • Skein Weight – 1.8 oz
  • Gauge – 20 stitches x 24 rows = 4″
  • Suggested Needle Size – US 7 (4.5mm)


  • Colorful range of vivid colors 
  • Feels incredibly soft
  • A great yarn alternative to sheep’s wool for hot weather
  • Errors are easy to spot in this kind
  • Beginners love this yarn wool
  • Value packs of 5 and 10 balls
  • Stitch definition is good on the finished product
  • Great for scrubbies, dishcloths, and dishtowels


  • Feels stiff when knitting or crocheting, like other natural fibers
  • Might be scratchy if you aren’t used to this fiber content

Red Heart Super Saver Yarn

Red Heart Super Saver Yarn Check Price On Amazon

The weight is 4/Medium/Aran. Certified OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 and made in the USA!

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Machine wash and dry
  • Made Of – Acrylic
  • Weight – Medium (Worsted)
  • Gauge – 17 stitches and 23 rows = 4″
  • Suggested Needle – US 8 (5mm)

This variegated yarn comes in several versions and sizes.


  • No-Dye-Lot Solids – 364 yds (333 m)
  • Prints & Multis – 236 yds (215 m)
  • Flecks – 260 yds (238 m)
  • Stripes – 236 yds (215 m)
  • Pooling – 236 yds (215 m)
  • Fair Isle – 236 yds (215 m)
  • Ombre – 482 yds (440 m)

Skein Weight

  • No-Dye-Lot Solids – 7 oz (198 g)
  • Prints & Multis – 5 oz (141 g)
  • Flecks & Heathers – 5 oz (141 g)
  • Stripes: 5 oz (141 g)
  • Pooling: 5 oz (141 g)
  • Fair Isle: 5 oz (141 g)
  • Ombre: 10 oz (283 g)

Product Design: It’s not too thick and is almost silky in texture.


  • Makes a sturdy knitted garment
  • These brands are US made
  • The strands have various variegated colors
  • These kinds have no dye lot number
  • These yarn labels are cheap
  • These artificial fibers look great
  • Don’t worry about dye lots if you run out


  • Tangles may result from pulling from the center – be careful when ripping back mistakes
  • Some colorways feel a bit rougher than others – needs washing to soften it

Lion Brand Baby Soft Yarn

One of the joys of the knitting experience is making for others. Soft acrylic blend in a generously sized ball of warm yarn for babies and children. Knit or crochet hats with Lion Brand’s medium sport weight yarn in classic pastels!

How Does It Compare?

  • Care Instructions – Machine wash on low and tumble dry
  • Made Of – Acrylic Fibers, Nylon, Rayon
  • Yardage – 459 yds (367 yds in prints/pomp)
  • Weight – Light
  • Skein Weight – 5 oz (4 oz in prints/pomp)
  • Gauge – 22 sts and 30 rows = 4″
  • Suggested Needle – US 6 (4mm)

Product Design: These weight categories are great for knitting. It has durability, breathability, is hypoallergenic. It also has a decent selection of colors and shades, from pink to green.


  • These wools are comfortable to knit with
  • Split-proof acrylic yarn
  • Great yardage for the price
  • The appearance has a nice sheen
  • Suitable for all types of crafts, including everything from weaving to crochet
  • These ones have no pilling
  • Experts love these balls of yarn
  • Easy cleaning (washing by machine)


  • Feels stiff when you touch it. Softens in the wash process
  • A factor to consider is the colors are limited
  • Lion Brand discontinues yarns in this line regularly
  • Isn’t center pull

What To Look For

Here are some key decision-making factors to consider when choosing the best knitting yarn.

What Care Does It Need?

Can you wash your knitted project? Can it be dried? Some animal fibers must be hand washed. Synthetic yarns are machine-washable. Knitted socks are small, so I don’t mind handwashing them. Hand-washing a sweater is time-consuming, but it lasts longer. Of course, everyone only has so much time to spare!

Superwash Merino yarn is easy to wash in a washing machine. Wool roving chunky yarns require hand washing. Always check the yarn label.

What’s It Made Of?

Animal fibers include wool (from sheep), alpaca yarn/alpaca wool, mohair, cashmere yarn (from the undercoat of goats), angora. (Merino wool yarn is popular, Vicuña wool is rare.) They’re more resilient and elastic. Cotton, hemp, linen, and bamboo yarn are a natural plant fiber suitable for lightweight garments.

Plant-based natural fibers aren’t all moisture wicking, and some plant fibers don’t keep their shape. Synthetic fibers are soft and have many variants. One popular synthetic fiber is acrylic sport yarn. Don’t start knitting with something like faux fur, or other fibers in the novelty yarn categories. You won’t be able to see the individual stitches! A great choice for beginner knitters is two balls of regular wool.

If you’re stuck on what to use for your creating, a good option is asking the people at craft stores. They’ll know what an inexpensive, nice choice is for whatever you need.

How Much Yardage?

Yardage (total length needed) is determined by how much yarn is used by the knitting or crochet project. Things like baby knitwear use less, and larger projects like scarves and sweaters use more yarn. Calculating how much yardage you need for your next project is key to success.

What Yarn Weight Is Best?

A suitable yarn weight for beginners is #4 worsted or sport weight. Weights in other categories like superfine yarn, lace weight, fingering weight and crochet thread (a delicate material used in doilies) are too fiddly. Super bulky yarn/super bulky weight yarn (chunky yarn) is too cumbersome.

What’s Your Budget?

Animal yarns cost more, but they’re always of good quality. Cheaper are plant-based yarns like cotton and different materials like acrylic yarn. Here are some videos to watch to deepen your knowledge before you purchase. The advice might help you make a yarn better choice!

Which Is Best For You?

  • Caron Simply Soft – Colorful, easy to launder, and incredibly affordable
  • Patons Classic Wool Yarn – For 100% wool projects
  • Feels Like Butta Yarn – Perfect for close-to-the-skin projects
  • Lily Sugar ‘N Cream Super Size Solid Yarn – Good for cotton projects
  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease Yarn – Easy-care acrylic with a wool feel
  • Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran – Colorful and great for dishcloths
  • Red Heart Super Saver Yarn – Beautiful range of colors
  • Lion Brand Baby Soft Yarn – Good for blankets and baby items

Comparable Products To Consider

Beginner-friendly yarn for blankets is Bernat blanket yarn. Also consider Mira Handcrafts yarn. You can find many fine yarns on Etsy, often hand-spun and hand-dyed if you’re a knitter who wants something truly special and luxurious. Like silk or fleece from alpacas (which has good elasticity and is five times warmer than sheep’s wool.)

FAQs About Yarn For Knitting

What Is The Best Yarn For Knitted Toys?

Yarn for knitted toys is a smooth, lightweight yarn like Caron Simply Soft. It’s durable and can be machine-washed.

What Is The Best Yarn For Blankets?

Best yarn for blankets is a soft, worsted weight yarn like Lion Brand Baby Soft. It’s machine-washable and comes in many colors.

What Is The Best Yarn For Scarves?

A good yarn choice for scarves is Scarfie yarn by Lion Brand. It’s made in fine yarn weights perfect for scarf making, and the gradient makes a lovely pattern.

What Is The Best Yarn For Socks?

The best yarn for sock knitting is Paintbox Yarns Sock Yarns. I have a post on sock yarn here.

What Is The Best Yarn For Sweaters?

The best yarn for sweaters is a wool or wool-blend yarn. The properties of the natural fiber keep you warm and insulated, something essential for winter!

Which Yarn Isn’t Itchy?

Usually natural fibers are hypoallergenic, and also acrylic yarn skeins. Companies have developed special acrylic yarns that prevent pilling and maximize comfort. Cotton and bamboo fibers are less likely to pill. It’s worth removing the fuzz from each item if you love it.

What Is The Best Yarn For Beginners?

If you’re a beginner, use #4 worsted weight or light worsted. Light colors make it easier to see your stitches. Use wool or wool blends for learning. This thickness is comfortable. Try single ply yarn on slightly big needles so it’s easy to knit with. Wool-Ease stretches and the acrylic is easy to maintain. It’s also affordable. Avoid novelty fibers like boucle yarn, as it’s fiddly to knit with. Avoid bulky weight yarn.

What Is The Most Popular Brand Of Yarn?

Red Heart Yarn offers affordable yarns in a great variety of colors online and in stores.

How Do You Choose Yarn For Knitting?

It depends on the project you choose. Many knitting patterns include suggestions. Budget is also important. Cashmere and alpaca yarn are more expensive.

What Is The Most Absorbent Yarn?

Cotton is the most absorbent fiber. It’s great for summer garments, hand towels, and dishcloths.

Which Type Of Yarn Is The Warmest?

Wool is the warmest fiber. It has scales that trap heat and air, making it great for winter garments.


From beginner-friendly yarns to mid-range animal fibers, I hope you picked the perfect type of yarn for your project and budget. Happy Knitting! Got questions? Leave them in the comments on this site.

Read Next – My guide to cheap yarn is here.

Frustrated Teacher Quits In Disgust, Sells The Farm, Moves The Family Halfway Across The World And… Starts Knitting

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