Knitters and crocheters, here are the best yarns you can buy

If you knit or crochet, you know that the type and quality of the yarn is a huge determining factor in how your finished project will come out. You'll need yarns of different materials, color patterns, gauge, and weight, depending on what sort of project you're doing. Here are some of the best yarns you can buy for various projects.

Best for most

Bernat Bulk Buy Softee Chunky Ombre Yarn 6-Pack

Staff Favorite

This thick, soft 100% acrylic chunky yarn lends itself to many kinds of projects. Choose from a variety of variegated colors, each offered in a convenient six-pack. An L/11 crochet hook or US11 needles will be the perfect size.

From $20 at Amazon

For babies

Lion Brand Babysoft Yarn

Most patterns for baby items call for a finer yarn. This lightweight acrylic-polyamide yarn comes in tons of colors to coordinate with any nursery. Choose from dozens of solids and variegated colors.

From $5 at Amazon

Faux fur

NICEEC 2 Skeins Super Soft Fur Yarn

Now, this is just plain fun. Hop on the faux fur trend by knitting or crocheting something with this chunky faux fur yarn! The two-pack comes in dozens of colors, and once your project is complete, it will look more like fur than yarn.

From $15 at Amazon

Velvet touch

Bernat Velvet Yarn

This velvet-style yarn drapes beautifully and is perfect for home dcor projects. Imagine a beautiful throw or pillow you've made from this yarn gracefully adorning your sofa or bed. Choose from over a dozen colors.

From $11 at Amazon

100% Cotton

Lily Sugar'n Cream Cotton Cone Yarn

If only natural fibers will do, consider the classic Lily Sugar'n Cream Cotton Cone Yarn. This 100% cotton medium worsted-weight yarn lends itself to all kinds of projects. An H/8 crochet hook or US7 knitting needles will be perfect. Choose from over a dozen colors, including many that are variegated.

From $11 at Amazon

One-skein project

Lion Brand Yarn Shawl in a Cake

This single skein is like a kit for crocheting or knitting a beautiful shawl. Crochet this worsted weight acrylic-cotton blend yarn on a J/10 hook or knit on US8 needles. Choose from over a dozen gorgeous variegated colorways.

From $11 at Amazon

Real wool

La Mia 100% Merino Wool Yarn

If you love wool, only the real deal will do. This gorgeous and economically-priced 100% Turkish Merino wool five-ball pack of sport weight yarn is sure to please. Choose from over a dozen colors.

$25 at Amazon

Comfy cozy

Red Heart Hygge Yarn

This bulky, furry, ultra-soft yarn was inspired by the Danish concept of hygge, which translates roughly to coziness, comfort, and well-being. Choose from over a dozen soothing, homey colors.

$6 at Amazon

Which one should you choose?

When you're planning a knit or crochet project, it's generally best to start with the pattern rather than the yarn. The pattern will tell you what kind of yarn you need and how much. Be sure to buy at least the required amount of yarn to start, since you're bound to end up with yarn from a different dye lot if you have to go back and buy another skein later. Different dye lots may be slightly different in color, possible enough to show in your finished project.

Yarn weights are categorized by the thickness of the yarn. Generally, you'll want to use lighter or sport weights for delicate baby clothes, lace, and other fine projects. The mid-range medium or worsted weights are great for many projects, such as scarves and sweaters. The heavier bulky or chunky weights are perfect for blankets and other big items. These aren't hard and fast rules, of course. If you want a big, chunky scarf, as is fashionable now, go for a yarn in a higher weight category! The heavier weight yarn you use, the faster the work goes because you use larger hooks/needle, and there are fewer stitches in an inch. Just be sure to check your pattern before you buy yarn because it may specify a specific yarn weight you'll need to get the correct sizing.

I like crocheting (I'm not much of a knitter) with chunkier yarns because I don't have the patience for finer yarns and skinny hooks. I can knock out a scarf in a day or two with a yarn like Bernat Bulk Buy Softee Chunky Ombre Yarn 6-Pack. I prefer variegated yarn like this because you get a beautiful pattern in your project without having to do any fancy needlework or extra tedious yarn changes. Of course I can't get over this NICEEC 2 Skeins Super Soft Fur Yarn, the faux fur possibilities are endless.