These yarn recommendations are intended to help beginning crocheters select their first yarn to use for making practice swatches when learning how to crochet.
- Yarn Texture: Choose a smooth yarn rather than a textured yarn; for your first several projects, avoid eyelash yarns, which can be frustrating to work with.
- Yarn Color: Choose light yarn rather than dark; it can be challenging to see your stitches when you work with yarns in dark colors.
- Yarn vs Crochet Thread: Yarn is easier to work with than crochet thread is. If you want to work projects like doilies and lace tablecloths, don't let that discourage you; I've known crocheters who've jumped right into working with thread from the beginning. If you don't have a strong preference, I do recommend starting with yarn.
- Yarn Weights: Yarn comes in a variety of weights. For your first practice swatches, I recommend using yarn that is at least a worsted weight; if you prefer to try a bulky weight yarn, that would be an equally good choice. To check the weight of the yarn you are buying, just read the label. Choose yarn that is labeled with "4" or higher as specified by the Craft Yarn Council's weight standards.
- Wool Yarn: Wool is an excellent choice for practicing your crochet stitches. It's a resilient fiber, and is forgiving of mistakes. If you do make a mistake, most wool yarns are easy to unravel and re-use. If wool is available to you, and within your price range, and you aren't allergic to it, I recommend using wool to start out with.
- Cotton Yarn: Cotton is an inelastic fiber, which makes it slightly more of a challenge to crochet with than wool is. However, cotton isn't so difficult to work with that I'd tell you to steer clear of it all together. If you're learning to crochet during the summer time, when the heat makes it unpleasant to work with wool, cotton yarn is a great choice.
- Acrylic Yarn: Acrylic yarn is an acceptable choice for beginners, although some of the cheapest acrylics can be especially challenging to crochet with. If you're on a super-tight budget, don't let that deter you; it's what most crocheters are using.
Overall, acrylic is a popular fiber with crochet enthusiasts; acrylic is widely available, it comes in a variety of colors, and it is usually one of the more affordable choices for yarn.
Acrylic yarn is what I learned to crochet with. I don't mind telling you that nowadays it isn't my favorite fiber. It has its place, but, in hindsight, I wish I had learned about natural fibers sooner; I really wish that I hadn't spent so much time crocheting with the cheapest of cheap acrylics.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you get started. In the future, if you are planning to crochet a project using a pattern, your pattern will often specify exactly which yarn you should use. In that case, I recommend that you go with the pattern designer's suggestion, at least until you have enough experience to understand how to successfully substitute yarns.