Matching Yarns to Your Knitting Projects

Recently, I went through a chest of drawers full of my knitted scarves. All different. In sizes, colors, but particularly in knitting yarns. Looking at these, it’s hard to place when and where these were knitted. The versatility of all the scarves is so telling! Which just proves to me that there are MANY different yarns to use when knitting a particular item.

Remember when yarn seemed all the same.

Once upon a time it seemed that wool or cotton and then acrylic yarns were the ONLY ones to use. I can remember strolling into town after school was out, back in the ’60’s; my girlfriend Marlene and I would walk the fifteen minutes or so into Cranford’s pretty downtown and usually wind up in the yarn shop. yarn curio with yarns But, the yarns were all the same; and the variety was nothing like we see in today’s LYS. (local yarn shop)

It is VERY important to buy the correct yarn for your knitting projects. And that yarn doesn’t always have to be what’s recommended. Sometimes, a manufacturer just wants you to buy their yarn; which is usually high-priced. Only for a very special occasion am I going to buy that $89. / skein yarn. I like to keep my costs under ten dollars, if possible, because when you’re in need of 6 or 7 skeins, it can run into quite a bit of money. For one project, mind you.

But, back to matching yarns to your knitting projects. Just what yarn should you use for, say, a scarf? Or an afghan? How about a sweater? And does it matter if it’s for an adult or a child? What about kitchen items or even a rug?! Yes, you can knit a rug.

A few weeks back I wrote an article all about hand knitting yarn, which you can see by clicking through.

Matching yarns to your knitting projects

Let’s start with my favorite project, a scarf! There are MANY different types of yarn to use when knitting a scarf. You can knit with a soft acrylic, or a silk blend, or mohair yarn, or even those fun fur or ruffle “yarns”. (Some of these are difficult to knit with; and there’s not much going on stitch-wise, if you know what I mean.)

Another favorite to knit is the afghan. I love soft acrylics, again, for these; you can also use cotton yarn (yes you can!) or a wool yarn.

For sweaters knit for an adult, wool is great and there’s those acrylic yarns again! Mohair is another knitting favorite for sweaters.

For little ones or youngsters, sport yarn or baby yarn is perfect to knit with. These yarns are so soft to the skin and you’ll never encounter an issue with scratchy or itchy. Boy, did I hate that when I was growing up!

For kitchen items such as dishcloths or towels, cotton yarn is king. There are many varieties and some are scented and others are specifically made for dishcloths. Every day it seems there is a new yarn to see!

Rugs can be knit with a rug yarn (that’s exactly what the yarn will say). Or try a wool yarn, or alpaca is also perfect for a rug project. In fact, the Purl Bee has a cute pattern for a rug, which you can find at her website.

When in doubt about which type of yarn, always ask. That’s why yarn shoppes are so wonderful; the owner is usually well-versed in all things knitting and she will be able to guide you to the perfect yarn to use for your knitting project!  knitting yarn on a table

Other places to find your knitting yarn

My favorite place for knitting yarn is of course a local yarn shop. When I’m not traveling in that direction, my second choice are my fingers. They go straight to my computer and type in places like Mary Maxim, or Herrschner’s, Jimmy Beans Wool, or Amazon.

All G-R-E-A-T places to buy yarn from. Delivery is quick and easy.

So, always buy the recommended yarn and if you can’t find that then ask for a good substitution. Try something else. By that I mean, knit a rug or some dishcloths, try a sweater or even a skirt, and you may find that you’ve found a new knitting niche for yourself!

As always, take your knitting to heart! ♥



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  1. Julia Mason says:

    Here in Lakeland Florida, I do not have a local yarn store. The closest store that even carries yarn is Wal-Mart. My choice to buy yarn at is Knit Picks .com I love their yarns because they are very versatile and very budget friendly. Where else can I buy 100 percent wool superstars for under 5.00, or a yarn that is 30 percent silk and 70 percent wool for under 15.00 a skein or hank. Right now I am knitting a retirement gift for the custodian at the school where I am the crossing guard.He has done some things for me that wet e not required but helps me.

    • You might try; they do have yarns on sale and lots of variety. Also, I always check on Amazon, you never know what is being offered. Another nice site is They have a big variety of all types of yarns and their prices are very reasonable.
      Hope that helps!
      Back to my baby afghan! Alice