My search for the perfect yarn

Hi folks 🙂

I have decided to embrace my inner yarn snob and find the one perfect yarn for me.


I live near a small town with one craft shop that is great, but doesn’t have the range of yarn in colours I would like.  There are a couple of large craft chain stores about an hours drive from here, but I have found their supplies to be unreliable and sometimes the quality is a bit ordinary.

So I thought I’d try online.  My rules for choosing a yarn to be part of my test were : 1) it had to have a good colour range – more than 15. 2)  It had to be reasonably priced (I did break this rule a couple of times). 3) A yarn I had heard good things about.  4) “ooh that looks good” a couple of times. There were a few I had in my stash too. What the yarn was made of didn’t matter.  I just want something that has a good colour range, works up well, feels soft and looks good.


Me being me, I had to be methodical and organised how I tested. So I made a test swatch in each yarn with the same hook, noted cost, weight and metreage, measured the end results, and made comments as I went. In the end, I tested 33 yarns.  Yikes!

yarn rolls3

So what are my conclusions?  I wont bore you with the detail of each yarn.  If you’re really keen to see every yarn and my rating click on this link to get a PDF of it all :  Yarn test By Shelley Husband September 2013

The number rating you’ll see in the PDF is a score out of 10 and is purely my subjective assessment. I marked down if the yarn split, stiffness, was shiny, slippery, stretchy, scratchy or fuzzy.  I marked up for stitch definition, softness, drapiness, centre pull, ease of use.  If you did it, I am sure you’d have different criteria and results. This is just me and my thoughts.

I narrowed my choices firstly by rejecting those with a score under 8. Then I took out those beyond my means price wise. That got me down to 10 yarns. I then looked at what I could easily source. My last choices were yarns I liked working with and the results were what I liked.

So now I’ve done all that, what will me yarn of choice be?  If money were no object then it would be Debbie Bliss Cotton DK hands down.  But unfortunately, its just too dear for me to use as an everyday yarn. It’s so lovely. It’s thick, soft and a dream to work with.  It was the only yarn I scored 10.  I’d love to try all the Debbie Bliss yarns.  *sigh*

debbie bliss

So my realistic choices were left. I choose 4 winners in the end, one from each yarn composition type as they’ll all be useful for different purposes.

The wool winner is Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Wool.  I have used it before in 10 ply & while the colour range for 10 ply isn’t huge, the 8 ply range is, with 37 to choose from 🙂  Happy days.


My bamboo choice is King Cole Bamboo Cotton.  It is a little bit splitty, but the colour range is good at 29 choices and it feels so lovely, so I can live with a little bit of splittiness.


My acrylic choice is Sidar Snuggly DK.  It’s a little like cotton to me in looks but with the feel of a soft acrylic.  The colour range is huge too – 49 colours!


My final winner is Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK.  The colour range is amazing at 44 vibrant choices and the stitch definition is lovely.


I know there are many,many more yarns out there.  I’ll be adding to my note book of swatches as I get access to more.

So there you go.  My obsessive organising skills in action hehe. Hope you’ve found it useful.  Now to use up my stash so I can go shopping! If you’d like to shop for some of these yarns, most can be found at Love Crochet/Love Knitting or Wool Warehouse.

UPDATE : 30 August 2014 – things have changed a bit as you can read about here.

UPDATE : 18 January 2017 – I have just tested 42 100% cotton yarns you can read about here.


This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a small commission that will help me continue to design and provide new patterns for you.


20 thoughts on “My search for the perfect yarn

  1. Melanie

    You don’t have a spotlight? I am neither a knitter or crocheter, by I drool! I knit things that require simple straight lines, but crochet still confounds me.

    1. Shelley Husband Post author

      An hour away Mel – and its never well stocked. Hard to drive 100km to find they don’t have what you need. I can only knit straight lines too LOL. Crochet is really a lot easier than knitting for me anyway.

  2. Deborah

    What a great post. I’m always interested to know why one chooses one yarn over another. Although I pretty much stick to what I know (100% cotton – mercerised or other), I like testing out other yarns, and I’m eager to try some of the ones you listed. Thank you for your well-prepared research.

  3. Jenni Baa-me Kniits

    Very comprehensive Shelley. Good to see Bendigo as your wool choice, I really like it too and it’s Australian :-). PS. Are you a Virgo 😉

  4. Michelle

    I keep forgetting you’re Australian! I was happily reading down and then saw Bendigo woollen mills and had a massive double-take 🙂

    This is really useful, I downloaded your pdf too. I live in Melbourne, so I have access to Spotlight/Lincraft/Morris and Sons (and a handful of little wool stores) but it’s still a) incredibly useful to be able to buy online as I’m so busy during the day, and b) invaluable to have recommendations by another Aussie!

    So thank you!

    1. Shelley Husband Post author

      I am always surprised by Aussies too Michelle LOL

      I am glad you’ve found my ramblings useful – had a peak at your blog – OH MY Goodness – love your needlework – amazing stuff 🙂

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  7. benu

    Wow … amazed at the meticulous approach … got to learn a lot …
    … looking forward to the CAL n i hope i am able to complete it as it would be my first big project !!!

    I am from India n would be looking/ shopping for yarn here at local market but am sure your pointers will help me …

    thanks again for the effort …

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  9. Emma

    Where do you buy your Rico Cotton, I like the look of it but can’t find any stockists here in New Zealand, so was hoping for an online recommendation! By the way I’m new to crochet ( have been knitting for a few years) and love your yarn and needle reviews!

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  11. Paula Zuehlke

    I love this PDF! Thank you so much for doing all the work, although I’m betting you had fun doing it.. I would! Definitely going to try some that are new to me.
    I see I’m late to this party.. Have you updated at all? FYI the Rico link isn’t working any longer..


    1. Shelley Husband Post author

      Thanks Paula! I did have fun 😉 Thanks for the link info – I will fix it now.

      As for an update, yes, there’s a link at the bottom of the post sharing what I had actually used about a year on 🙂

      1. Paula Zuehlke

        Why so there is a link at the bottom! How did I miss that.. Leads to a great post which makes sense with what you suggested earlier as far as yarn choice.. thanks 🙂


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