Worsted… Weight…?

When you walk into a yarn store or the craft section of a department store you may become overwhelmed with the amazing selection of different yarn types. As you browse you can clearly see the different textures. Suddenly you realize your pattern mentions a certain weight… and you panic. What yarn do you get?

Are you working on a pattern? Check your pattern. Most patterns will tell you which type and weight your yarn should be. Since you’ll be following me to the end of this whole thing let’s use my free owl pattern available at the end of the lesson. Under materials at the top, it states Worsted Weight yarn, followed by colors used.

Worsted Weight yarn is the most commonly used weight for amigurumi. It’s a good thickness, it’s very common, and it comes in several colors that make it very easy to find exactly what you need. Below is a table of the other types of weight, their symbols, and the suggested hook sizes for each.

Label Symbols for Each Weight
Type of Yarns in each weight.Crochet Thread, Lace, FingeringFingering, Sock, BabyBaby, SportLight Worsted, DKWorsted, Afghan, AranChunky, Craft, RugSuper Bulky, RovingJumbo, RovingLoop yarns, hand/arm yarns.
Crochet Hook in Metric Sizes2.25mm
(Steel: 1.6 to 1.4mm)
2.25 to 3mm 3 to 4.5mm4.5 to 5.5mm5.5 to 6.5mm6.5 to 9mm9 to 15mm15mm +Your hands!
Crochet Hook in US Sizes.B-1
(Steel: 6,7,8)
B-1, C-2, D, D-3, E-4E-4, F-5, G-6, G, 77, H-8, I, I-9I-9, J, J-10, K-10.5K-10.5, L-11, M-13M-13, N-15, P-16, QQ, S, T, U, X

*Suggested hook sizes are just that, suggestions. Most patterns will tell you what size hook they are using. Trust your pattern!

Acrylic, Wool, Cotton… or?

Alpaca, Cashmere, Silk, Bamboo, Polyester… the list goes on. This isn’t typically listed in patterns because it’s all about your personal choice. I’m just going to cover the 3 most popular because they’re widely available and most likely what you’ll choose from.


Cotton is available in all yarn weights which is great. It absorbs water too and dries quickly, which makes it great for hand towels. It’s very durable and gets softer with use. It’s inelastic; it’ll hold its shape which means it’s great for totes and purses. If you’re allergic to acrylic or wool, cotton is your best bet. The downside is it’s more expensive. Your department store may not carry it and it may be hard to find the colors you’d like.


While you may think of itchy, scratchy, old sweaters when you think of wool it’s much softer now. Which is a very big selling point for it: the touch. Unfortunately, wool tends to felt when it gets wet. It also takes a while to dry. There are blended wools that solve this problem, but finding them can be difficult. And of course, if you are allergic to wool… probably shouldn’t use it.


This is my yarn of choice at the moment. It’s what I use for all of my amigurumi. Acrylic yarn comes in a variety of colors that may seem endless at times. It’s widely available and cheap; found in department stores and the bigger craft stores even have their own brands of acrylic yarn they sell. Because of this, it’s best for beginners. Acrylic has also become much softer over the years!

Skeins, Balls, and Hanks

You can purchase yarn wound in several different ways.

When yarn is wrapped loosely into a large ring shape and then twisted it’s called a Hank. You can’t crochet directly from a hank. Instead, you untwist and use a ball-winder to wind into a cake or ball.

A Skein is an oblong center-pull bundle that you can crochet immediately with. Most of the available yarn in department stores are wound in skeins. Often times skein refers merely to your bundle of yarn, regardless of how it is wound.

The ever classic Ball of yarn. Balls of yarn typically can’t be pulled from the center. You won’t see many of these sold in stores as they are hand-wound most of the time. This is where those really cool yarn bowls that you see come in handy!

A Cake is center pull and comes off of a ball-winder. It’s a cylinder, with a flat top and bottom. I wind all my skeins into cakes once they start to lose their shape. It makes everything so nice and tidy!



Next time you go to the department store or craft store take a good look at the yarn. Feel the different textures. Take a look at the prices and see which ones fit in with your budget best. I highly suggest purchasing a light-colored, worsted weight, acrylic yarn for practice. It’s super cheap and typically available everywhere so it’s an easy choice! You don’t want to ruin that expensive gorgeous yarn you saw and just had to buy while you’re still learning.


What type of yarn does this graduation owl pattern say to use?

A – Lace

B – Worsted

C – Light Worsted

D – Jumbo

Using the table above what number is Worsted Weight assigned to?

A – 2

B – 6

C – 7

D – 4

Of the 3 different types of yarn discussed above, which would be best to use if the item you’re creating will be getting wet often?

A – Wool

B – Acrylic

C – Cotton