While writing the introduction for the Puck the Penguin crochet along, I kept adding and adding information to the yarn and crochet hook section. Apparently there is a lot to say about that. I think this topic deserves it’s own blog post. Lets discuss some yarns and their matching hooks shall we?
Different brands of cotton yarn. Red: Phildar coton 4, green: Phildar coton 3, pink: Catania Original, blue: Catania Grande, yellow: Drops Paris
You can make amigurumi with many different types of yarn, but some work better than others. I personally love to work with 100% cotton yarn. It’s easy to wash and it keeps it shape very well. I use brands like Phildar, Catania and Drops. Phildar is a very soft cotton, they worked Aloe vera into the yarn, best idea ever if you ask me.
Phildar has a coton 3 and coton 4 version which differ in the thickness of the thread. Phildar cotton 3 is the same thickness as Catania Originals and they can therefor be mixed together perfectly. Most of my amigurumi’s are made with Phildar cotton 3 and Catania. Catania also has a thicker version which is called Catania Grande.
Drops Paris is about the same thickness as Catania Grande. If you want to compare two cotton threads you can look at the weight/length which are both mentioned on the label of the yarn. For example Drops Paris weights 50g/75m, Catania Grande weights 50gr/63m, thats about the same.
I love the look of this thicker yarn. It will make amigurumi a bit bigger and bulkier. For thicker yarn I prefer Catania Grande over Drops Pars. Paris tends to split a little bit more than Catania, so your crochet hook will slipt in between the strands of the yarn sometimes.
The recommended crochet hook for Drops Paris is 5 mm. I like to use a 4 mm hook, the 3.5 mm is a bit to tight and with the 4.5 mm my stitches become to big.
I do use acrylic yarn sometimes. I like Stylecraft Special DK a lot, it is soft and very easy to work with. It gives a more cuddly feel to your amigurumi. The Mike the Monkeys below are crocheted with Stylecraft. Because acrylic yarn it is a bit more stretchy than cotton, the stuffing can show through the stitches more easily. For the monkeys this was something that happened in the arms. In the bodies and heads it didn’t show at all.
Mike the Monkey and friends, crocheted with Stylecraft Special DK and a 3mm hook
So, which yarn is best for a beginner? I’m not sure. I started my first project with Catania, but really any smooth pretty colored yarn will do. Find a yarn that comes in all the colors you like and that feels nice to you. You’ll be holding it a lot during your crochet project, so make sure it doesn’t feel itchy to you ;)
Yes a crochet hook. That’s the next thing you will need. So you picked a pretty yarn, now you need a hook that matches the yarn. On the label of the yarn there will be a mention of recommended hook/needle size for that type of yarn.
I usually take a slightly smaller hook than recommended. With a bigger hook the stitches will get bigger. For an amigurumi you want the stitches to be tightly stacked on top of each other so the filling won’t show through. Using a smaller hook than recommended on the label can help with that. For Stylecraft Special DK a 4 mm hook is recommended. However, I prefer to work with a 3 mm hook with that yarn for amigurumis. In the picture below you can see a slight difference in size between the 3.5 and 3 mm hook. Also you see some small holes with the 3.5mm piece.
Stylecraft recommends a 4 mm hook for the Special DK yarn. I prefer to use a 3 mm hook to get a tight finish.
These are the yarn and hook combinations that I usually use for amigurumi.
- Phildar cotton 3
Recommended: 2,5 – 3 mm
I use: 2.5 mm
- Phildar coton 4
Recommended: 3.5 – 4 mm
I use: 3.5 mm
Recommended: 2.5 – 3.5 mm
I use: 2.5 mm
- Paris Drops
Recommended: 5 mm
I use: 3.5 mm
- Stylecraft Special DK
Recommended: 4 mm
I use: 3 mm
These are all hook sizes in metric. To convert them to the US system you can check the conversion chart below. Note that not all metric sized are available in US sizes.
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[av_one_third av_uid=’av-fh5ihg9′][av_table purpose=’tabular’ pricing_table_design=’avia_pricing_default’ pricing_hidden_cells=” caption=” responsive_styling=’avia_responsive_table’ av_uid=’av-f1wp40p’] [av_row row_style=’avia-heading-row’ av_uid=’av-efogdtl’][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-e3ihx89′]Metric[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-1cybigp’]US[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-d0cplw9′][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-cparh5l’]2 mm[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-ce9ncnt’]- [/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-brudpix’][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-bbsidrt’]2.25 mm[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-awxkeqh’]1 / B[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-a6yj56h’][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-9uy40ih’]2.5 mm[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-9bydteh’]- [/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-91igq1l’][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-8htyw61′]2.75[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-8374eyh’]2 / C[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-7luvf6h’][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-7bubb89′]3 mm [/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-opbm55′]-[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-268sqh’][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-5x3af5l’]3.25[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-55nqq1l’]3 / D[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-4q6la55′][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-47q5j15′]3.5 mm[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-3uppo9l’]24 / E[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-3agm8ux’][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-a9uwu1′]3.75 mm[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-2iptgex’]5 / F[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-26nhqm1′][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-1grbcrd’]4 mm[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=” av_uid=’av-16lp261′]6 / G[/av_cell][/av_row] [/av_table][/av_one_third]
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Type of crochet hook
So now you have an idea of what size hook you need. But there are still many many options of hooks you can buy. Plastic, aluminium, wood, bamboo. It’s really a personal preference what type of hook you like te work with.
I started with the one in the bottom, a simple aluminium hook. That one is fine to work with, but can give you cramp in your hand when you crochet for too long. The black one in the bottom, a Prym hook, has a rubber handle and is much better already. But since it is completely round it’s not my favorite. The hooks I like best are the Clover crochet hooks (the four in the top). The once I use most are the special clover hook, called Clover Amour. Those are the yellow and red one, in that series each hook size has it own color. I’m pretty hooked to those ;)
A thing to keep in mind is that two people with the same yarn and same hook will make different sized stitches. One person will crochet tighter than the other. Nothing to worry about yet. First thing is to get used to making stitches and making consistent sized stitched. After that you can try out using a smaller or bigger hook with to see if that improves your work or not.
Tony the Turtle crocheted with Catania and Phildar Coton 3 and a 2.25 mm hook
When I just started I used to crochet with Catania and a 2.25 mm crochet hook, I thought that would give a very neat and tight look. The stitches were indeed very neat and tight, but when I tried the 2.5 mm hook and released my yarn tension a bit, my amigurumis got a much softer while the stitches were still tight enough to not show any stuffing.
Do you wan to know more about a specific yarn or want to check you yarn/hook combination, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you soon!
Wow, you did some serious research there. Awesome and interesting.
I’m no fan of drops for my knitting, so probably not going there for my first crochet trials. I love phildar coton 3 and I have a store right around the corner. I don’t know the last, but may be worth a try, especially when seeing the prize difference. ?
It was indeed very detailed and useful :) One question tough: which size of needle would you recommend for Catania Grande? 3,5 or 4,0? (4,0 or 5,0 are recommended to this kind of yarn)
Thanks in advance for your help,
Thanks for this info. I’m busy with a giraffe project similar to your monkeys and also using 100% 4ply cotton.
I can’t seem to work the cotton though without unraveling the twist in the yarn. It’s very slow work and the yarn keeps splitting.
Anything I can do to avoid this?
thank you so much
it is just what i wanted to know
i like to do amigrumi, i never know what hook or yarn to use
Thank you for sharing all of this information!
I love your work. I would love to have the pattern for the amigurumi monkey, if possible.
Thank you for sharing! Good learning from you. :)
Extremely helpful and useful information as I am starting amigurumi after many years of crocheting. Which yarn would you recommend for baby toys? Which yarn is soft, safe, durable, and yet still easy to work with? Thanks again!
Your hook conversion chart has not come through. It has come through in some strange computer language. Would love to receive it again if possible. Thanks so much