What to look for when shopping for Red Heart yarn
Whether you're a beginning knitter or an advanced crochet master, yarn is an important part of your craft. Choosing the right yarn is the first step to making sure your project turns out just how you want it to. We're here to offer some guidance while you shop for Red Heart yarn.
The material the yarn is made from can have a big impact on how your finished projects feel and how warm they are. Fiber can also play a part in durability, though the quality of your stitches and the ways the finished product get used can also have an impact on how long your items last. Many of Red Heart's yarns are made from synthetic fibers such as acrylic and polyester. When you intend to work with natural fibers such as cotton or wool, be sure to check product listings for information about what the yarn is made from.
Yarn thickness affects how delicate or chunky your crocheting or knitting work will end up. Thickness is also known as weight in technical terms, and most yarn labels will include information about weight. Sometimes weight is classified in numbers, while other times it's classified on a scale from superfine to super bulky or super chunky. Superfine yarns are generally used for delicate, lightweight things like baby booties and lace, while super bulky yarns are used to make thick, chunky-knit blankets and sweaters. When working with a pattern, chances are that it'll include a weight recommendation that you can use as guidance. Beginning knitters who aren't yet working with patterns may want to choose a medium-weight yarn to avoid difficulties posed by either extreme end of the spectrum.
Skeins are the bundles that are sold as individual pieces or sets under the Red Heart brand name. Some brands may sell their yarn on spools or in balls, but Red Heart generally uses a skein shape. The actual shape of the bundle doesn't matter too much for selection as many knitters ball their own yarn once they unwrap it. What is important is knowing how much yarn is contained in the bundle. Red Heart sells some economy-sized skeins that are quite large, but not all of their yarn is sold this way. You can determine relative skein size by looking for the skein weight measurement on the label. Patterns may give recommendations for yarn quantity based on skein size, so try to find out how much you need before you start your project. It's often a good idea to buy all the yarn you need for a given project at once so you don't run into issues with your yarn being sold out or discontinued.
The color you choose for your project is generally a matter of personal preference, but it's important to carefully inspect product photos before buying a yarn so you can make sure you understand what you're getting. Many of Red Heart's yarns are available in color gradients that allow you to get multiple different colors in a single strand of yarn. These gradients may be ombre shades of the same color that progresses from dark to light, or they may be multiple different colors in bright or muted shades. Some yarns have colorful flecks that add extra color detail but may be difficult to see in product photos.
When knitting or crocheting clothing items, baby blankets or other items that should be cleaned with some frequency, make sure to check out any information about proper care. Synthetic yarns are often machine washable, but some may require air rather than machine drying.
While many yarns are smooth without any distinctive texture, others have crinkles, loops or crimps that make them more unique. The texture of a yarn in the skein may not exactly reflect the way it will look once it's stitched, but it comes pretty close in most instances. When you plan to create something with a lot of extra fluffiness and texture, look for a yarn style that has some looping of its fibers for extra bulk. Beginners may want to work with classic smooth-textured yarn for the first stitches and perhaps even for their first complete project to reduce the chances of confusion brought on by a more unusual yarn texture.