Comparing Yarns for Hand Knit Toys
Finding the perfect yarns for hand knit toys can be challenging. In this post you will discover perfectly smooth yarns with beautiful stitch definition to gorgeous mohair blends for the perfect fuzzy toy. Check out this post for budget friendly to luxury recommendations and everything in between.
Could there be anything more fun than comparing yarns for knitted toys?
I didn’t think so.
These days all I want to do is learn about yarn. I want to know everything about it, from sheep to skein and everything in between.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with new yarns and it has led me down a rabbit-hole of discovery and I’m not complaining one bit. Rabbits are good folk.
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Before we dive into the details of each yarn I’ve tried, let me tell you about something that will change your life. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But if you want to obsess over the minutiae of wool production, you need to check out Clara Parkes latest book, Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool.
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It’s part memoir part wool manufacturing manual… sounds exciting, right? I’m not doing this book any justice. My words fail to adequately explain how fascinating this book is.
I happened upon Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool when I was online yarn browsing. I bought it on a whim because I was in a “book hole” (like a show-hole, but for books, lol) and I liked the cover. I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover, but #trueconfession, I always do.
“An account of the year Clara Parkes spent transforming a 676-pound bale of fleece into saleable yarn, and the people and vanishing industry she discovered along the way.”— Good Reads
Ever since I laid my eyes on the first sentence I’ve been thinking about yarn and wool in a whole new way. And of course, now I want my own sheep. I think my rescue dog Jersey-boy and our cat, Olive, would be great herders on our quarter acre suburban lot. There couldn’t possibly be any predictable issues or city ordinances to break, could there?
If you’re in need of a yarny tale or know someone who would enjoy the book, make sure to check out Vanishing Fleece. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Comparing Yarns for Hand Knit Toys
While I’ve used a handful of yarns for knitting toys, this is certainly not an exhaustive list. After I share what I’ve used and what my personal opinion is, I’ll some new yarns I’m eyeing, but haven’t yet used.
I’m splitting up each review into my personal experience and opinion about the yarn and then the second part is what projects I use this yarn for.
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Without further adieu, let us dive right into the latest yarn I’ve been experimenting with and that is… drumroll please….
[Personal Experience] This is the first time I’ve ever used Rowan wool. I have heard the name before but I had never personally experienced it for myself.
I happened upon it when I was looking at the yarn suggestions from Julie Williams from The Little Cotton Rabbits.
Most of the yarns I’ve used create a smooth toy with good stitch definition. I was interested in doing the exact opposite. I wanted something fuzzy, a little fuzzy bunny to be exact.
At Julie’s suggestion, I purchased the Rowan Kid Classic and Rowan Kidsilk Haze.
As soon as I opened the package for the yarns, I was in love. Julie suggested holding the two yarns together to combine the strength needed for knitting her patterns while also getting the delicate halo from a mohair silk blend.
It’s the loveliest combination and for the time being it’s what I want to knit with. There’s something magical about creating a toy that looks a little more realistic that’s appealing to me right now.
[Uses] – So far I’ve only used the Rowan yarns for the Little Cotton Rabbits patterns. It is ideal for those, but I don’t think it should be limited to just those patterns.
I’m super interested in trying one of the patterns from Claire Garland from Dot Pebbles Knits and I think this yarn would work really well for her realistic looking toys.
Eventually I will purchase her book Magical Woodland Knits because I NEED to make that fawn on the cover.
Natura Just Cotton
[Personal Experience] – DMC Natura Just Cotton is a 100% cotton yarn that comes in the most beautiful colors.
A stunning cotton yarn, DMC Natura Just Cotton is a fantastic combed cotton yarn with a matte finish that is perfect for knitting and crochet! Gorgeous to wear and so comfortable to knit – there are 50 fabulous shades to choose from, and all designed to work tonally with one another, so this is a yarn that is perfect for crocheted blankets, granny squares and ripple patterns as well as striped projects!— LoveCrafts
But I won’t lie to you, this yarn has a reputation for being very splitty. Don’t let that scare you off, just be aware of it before you purchase it.
I didn’t find that it split while knitting, it seems to be more of an issue with crocheting.
I ended up using a dab of Fray Check Liquid Seam Sealant after weaving in my ends to keep them from unraveling. It seemed to work well and I like that it gave me a little added confidence that those ends wouldn’t poke their little fibers into the right side of the work.
[Uses] – I have used Natura Just Cotton in the past to make a beautiful granny square blanket. The drape is wonderful and there is a wide range of colors to choose from.
I’ve also used it to make my Floral Granny Square Bookmark. It was perfect for that project because it has a natural stiffness from being a 100% cotton yarn.
Check out my FREE pattern: Floral Granny Square Bookmark
This time I used it to knit the clothes for my little Alex bunny. This is another one of Julie’s suggestions. I really enjoyed the juxtaposition between the fuzziness of the bunny from the Rowan yarn and the clean look of the cotton clothing.
[Personal Experience] I have written and talked about Berroco Vintage extensively, so I won’t go into too much detail here. This yarn is a workhorse that performs over and over again.
Whether I’m knitting a bunny or crocheting a doll, this yarn comes through time and time again.
It is a wool, acrylic and nylon blend and is an affordable option of toy knitting.
The colors are some of my all time favorites and I use the Buttercream and Oats color time and time again.
The yarn has a slight halo to it, but it is more clean than it is fuzzy.
[Uses] I use Berroco Vintage in so many of the projects I knit. I’ve made bunnies and foxes, piggies and elephants. It never disappoints. It is ideal for the Little Cotton Rabbits toys.
It’s an incredibly soft yarn while at the same time it is strong enough to handle the rigors of seaming.
Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
[Personal Experience] When comparing yarns for hand knit toys, this one comes to the top of my list time and time again.
Like the name suggests, the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is a wool, cashmere blend. And just like cashmere, this yarn is so incredibly soft.
It comes in forty-nine different shades and each one is truly gorgeous.
[Uses] I use this wool blend for knitting the clothing for the Little Cotton Rabbits. It perfectly pairs with the Berroco Vintage for the bodies.
It is a dream to work with. There is no splitting. It is incredibly soft and it has beautiful stitch defintion.
I also used the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for the FREE Floral Granny Square Bookmark pattern.
Paintbox Wool Mix Aran
[Personal Experience] Paintbox Wool Mix Aran is a fantastic and affordable yarn for toy knitting.
When comparing yarns for hand knit toys, the Paintbox brand is one I’ve used many times.
It is one of the most budget friendly yarns and comes in fifty-one beautiful shades.
[Uses] – Although I’ve used this yarn more for crocheting amigurumi, I have knit toys with it as well.
Aran weight yarns are typically considered a “heavy worsted” but I’ve used it interchangeably with Berroco Vintage, which is a standard worsted weight yarn.
Cascade 220 Superwash Sport
[Personal Experience] I have only used this yarn for one project. And thank goodness it was the perfect wool for it as well.
Read more about the Jetkat Knitted Bunny Pattern Review here.
Cascade 220 Superwash Sport is a 100% Merino yarn and it comes in forty-six gorgeous colors. It is an incredibly soft yarn with nice stitch definition.
[Uses] I only used this yarn for the Jetkat bunnies. That pattern requires the use of double point needles and I really likes how this yarn performed.
“This yarn is consistently voted as a favorite on Ravelry for good reason! “— LoveCrafts
One of my favorite projects of all time is the Owl from Knitted Animal Friends . I used both of the Cascade Yarns to knit him. The colors are beautiful and he is as soft as he looks.
[Personal Experience] Cascade Heritage may be the last yarn on my list numerically, but it certainly isn’t last in my opinion.
This beautiful fingering weight yarn comes in sixty-one shades. Can you even believe that? I think the Mustard color may be my favorite version of this popular hue of all time.
[Uses] Typically used as a sock yarn, I tried Cascade Heritage for the clothing for the Jetkat bunnies.
It was perfect for knitting the cowls I made for my little bunnies.
I had never worked with fingering weight yarn before and I found it challenging in the beginning. But once I got used to such a fine weight, I had no issues.
Yarns for Hand Knit Toys
Finding the perfect yarns for hand knit toys can be a daunting task. It can be an investment in time and money and who wants to waste either of those?
Thank you thank you!! It is a source of consternation when the designers either don’t specify which yarn they use or you can’t find the yarn they suggest or the colors are not in stock so this helps so much!! Lovecrafts has also become my “go to” for my knitted toys and amigurumi because of your suggestions! Your creations are inspiring and adorable👍🏻👏🏻😊
I’m so glad it’s helpful! I also like knowing specifics! LoveCrafts really is such a fantastic resource!! 🧶🧶🧶
Thank you so much for the guide! It is really helpful, as picking out the correct yarns can sometimes be confusing, overwhelming and frustrating. This will certainly help!
I’m so glad you like it, Kathy! It can be confusing and frustrating! 🧶🧶🧶
Always a wealth of information!!
Thank you so very much, Regina! 🧶🧶🧶
Thanks for this helpful info. I agree the rowan looks so good 🧶😊
The Rowan is a dream!!!
What would you suggest if you were thinking of experimenting on tiny knitted toys, such as dolls? Yarn wise that is. I dont have a pattern yet, but I intend to work on one.
Hmm, I’ve never made something tiny before. But I would probably look at something with cotton. Good luck! 🧶
Are any of the yarns washable?
Hello! I haven’t ever tried washing them before but I know that many of the yarns I use are superwash wool and can be spot cleaned. Hope that helps!