Knitting is an industrial craft that has existed since time immemorial and this enduring tradition continues to be valued by enthusiastic artists and hobbyists. With a large number of knitters, including celebrities, it remains among the popular hobbies around the world with people constantly stocking up on an array of crocheting and knitting supplies.

Basic Guide to Yarn, Knitting and Crotchet

From knitting machines and needles to vintage yarn, there is something for everyone. Crocheting and knitting are hobbies that people can enjoy regardless of what their gender or age may be. Many people form knitting groups or circles that enable them to not only have a therapeutic hobby, but an opportunity to socialize as well. The range of popular crafts includes baby socks and beanies.


Knitting is a medium that involves looping yarn within a series of interlocking parallel rows that create a knit fabric. With some instructions, yarn and a set of knitting needles, you can easily get started. Knitting machines can also be used and although these offer a fast and modern knitting solution, many people still prefer the therapeutic relief that is associated with conventional knitting practices.


Crochet is comparable to knitting but it requires crochet hooks that are used to pass loops through slipknots. Multiple loops can be pulled through a knot while using fine thread to come up with delicate and highly intricate patterns. Broomstick lace, Tunisian and filet are some of the popular crochet patterns.

Knitting Machine

  • Knitting machines consist of hooks and sliders that are used to simulate the hand knitting technique that involves knitting and purling in a repetitive manner. While they do not constitute the relaxation and charm of traditional knitting, they make it easier to handle a large amount of knitting faster.
  • Different machines comprise of various features and the type of knitting you want will determine your ideal choice. Some machines are designed to create certain patterns and there are machines that can accommodate different yarn weights.
  • Knitting machines typically come with standardized needles to handle average-size yarn. It is important to make sure you pair yarn with the right needle to avoid disastrous results.


Yarn is the main material that is used in knitting. It refers to a narrow and long fiber that consists of different textiles. Yarn may be made from different types of material, including natural materials such as cotton yarn, or synthetics such as polyester yarn. The kind of yarn you use for your project depends on the look you aim to create along with your personal preference.

Yarn Materials

Natural yarn materials include wool, silk, cotton, mohair, cashmere and angora.  Synthetic fibers such as polyester, rayon, nylon and acrylic are strong, water and fire-resistant. Blended yarn is a combination of high quality synthetic and natural yarns. There are also different kinds of specialty yarn like hand-painted and handspun yarn.

Yarn Thickness

Along with selecting the yarn material, you also need to choose the right degree of thickness according to your project. The number of plys determines how thick yarn will be. One strand of yarn is a ply and the strands are twisted or plied together to create the yarn.