Worsted weight acrylic yarn is what I use and recommend for my amigurumi designs. That’s 100% acrylic yarn, marked as worsted weight, medium weight, or number 4. (Outside North America, it may also be called 10 ply or aran weight.)
That makes it sound pretty locked down, and that any yarn you choose that fits those requirements will be exactly the same. Of course, if you’ve ever touched, let alone used, two brands of worsted weight acrylic, you’ll know that’s not the case. Thickness, loft (bounciness), stretchiness, softness, shininess – all these properties vary wildly between different yarns all marked as worsted weight acrylic, and that’s why I usually recommend that you don’t mix yarns within an amigurumi.
The same pattern, worked in different worsted weight acrylic yarns with the same hook, can produce a different-sized result. I crocheted these samples for my original worsted weight yarn comparison in 2012 – click through to see the detailed results of that experiment.
But buying all new yarn for every project isn’t practical, is it? Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was a way to know which yarns are similar enough to get away with mixing? That’s my goal with this ongoing project! The results are a living document; as I receive new samples, I’ll categorize them and add them to this list.
This resource is a comparison of yarns used for amigurumi (and to make afghans etc), to give you a better idea of which yarns may be mix-and-matchable in the same project, if you need a colour that you can’t find, or if you have yarns in your stash already and are hoping to avoid buying the same colour from a different brand.
For this comparison, all the yarns I’ve used are:
I’ve split the yarns by two measures:
Appearance and Texture:
Here’s an example from each of the categories (I’ve chosen samples for this photo that vary in both weight and appearance/texture):
|Left:||light worsted weight||soft and shiny|
|Middle:||worsted weight||slightly soft/shiny|
|Right:||heavy worsted weight||sturdy and matte|
Hopefully you can see the differences! Between the left and right samples there’s a huge difference in both thickness and appearance, and the middle sample lies somewhere between the two in both measures.
I’m listing the results of all my samples below, but it’s a very long list and not the most useful format to use. Note: the list below is sorted first by weight, then by texture, then by yarn brand and finally by yarn name.
The more helpful way to view the results is to have them visually split into the separate weight/appearance categories. So, I’ve also compiled the results as a 3×3 table in a free downloadable PDF file, with weight across the top and appearance/texture down the side, so all the yarns in each category are clearly grouped together, and you can jump across or down to get to the next category.
This is a free download that you can grab here from my shop, for no charge 🙂
I’ll keep the downloadable version updated as well as the list below, as and when I receive new yarns to include.
Last modified: May 2022
|Yarn Brand||Yarn name||Weight||Appearance/Texture|
|Bernat||Satin||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Big Twist||Soft Touch||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Caron||Simply Soft||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|KnitPicks||Brava Worsted1||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Lion Brand||Heartland||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Loops & Threads||Colorwheel||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Loops & Threads||Soft & Shiny||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Patons||Canadiana||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Premier Yarns||Ever Soft||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Red Heart||Soft||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Red Heart||Soft Baby Steps||light worsted||soft and shiny|
|Lion Brand||Jeans||light worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Lion Brand||Basic Stitch Premium||light worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Sirdar||Hayfield Bonus Aran||light worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Sirdar||Snuggly Supersoft Aran||light worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Willow Yarns||Wash||worsted||soft and shiny|
|Lion Brand||Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling||worsted||soft and shiny|
|Yarn Bee||Soft & Sleek||worsted||soft and shiny|
|Baby Bee||Soft & Sleek Baby||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Crafter’s Square||Acrylic Yarn||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Hobby Lobby||I Love This Yarn!||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|James C Brett||Super Soft Baby Aran||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|KnitPicks||Brava Worsted2||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Lion Brand||Mandala Ombre||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Master Knit||Victoria||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Paintbox Yarns||Simply Aran||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Premier Yarns||Everyday||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Stylecraft||Special Aran||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Stylecraft||Special for Babies Aran||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Yarn Bee||Soft Secret||worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Caron||Big Cakes||worsted||sturdy and matte|
|King Cole||Big Value Aran||worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Mainstays||Basic Yarn||worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Red Heart||Super Saver||worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Scheepjes||Chunky Monkey||heavy worsted||soft and shiny|
|Big Twist||Soft||heavy worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Craft Smart||Craft Yarn||heavy worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Craft Smart||Value||heavy worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Lion Brand||Vanna’s Choice||heavy worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Premier Yarns||Just Yarn Worsted||heavy worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Red Heart||Roll With It Tweed||heavy worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Red Heart||With Love||heavy worsted||slightly soft/shiny|
|Big Twist||Value||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Caron||Jumbo||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Caron||One Pound||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Caron||United||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Herrschners||Aran||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Lion Brand||Pound of Love||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Loops & Threads||Impeccable||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
|Premier Yarns||Deborah Norville Serenity||heavy worsted||sturdy and matte|
1 Labelled as Made in China or Made in Serbia
2 Labelled as Made in Turkey
How to Use This Table
This table is intended for guidance, to give you a good starting point as to how similar or different two specific worsted weight acrylic yarns may be. These results are somewhat subjective – based on the samples I’ve collected, I’ve evaluated the thickness, appearance and texture of the yarns to see which are close matches and which are completely different.
I’ve only analysed one sample of each yarn, in one colour. Some yarns have slight but noticeable differences in weight, texture or sheen between different colours of the same yarn, or over time, as the manufacturers make unannounced changes. All this to say, my analysis is not 100% guaranteed! Yarns can change over time, and slight differences in weight, softness, etc are likely between colours, even if you stick to one brand of yarn and buy all the colours at the same time.
Please don’t get too obsessed with trying to match yarns exactly – it’s not necessary, and perhaps not even possible! Provided you don’t mix very thick and very thin yarns, or very soft and very sturdy yarns, or very shiny and very matte yarns, you should be fine for most projects 🙂
Tip: Although I’ve only included yarns marked as worsted weight/medium/#4), some yarns labelled as DK/light/#3 are the same weight as the light worsted yarns, and some labelled as aran, or chunky/bulky/#5 are the same weight as the heavy worsted yarns, so you may also have further options for mix-and-matching if you look at nominally lighter or heavier yarns.
In my samples, at least, there seems to be a correlation between the thickness of the yarn and how soft and shiny it is: the lighter yarns tend to be smoother and shinier, while the heavier yarns tend to be sturdier and more matte. So this may help you decide which end of the scale is more suitable for your project: for a wearable project or decorative piece, a softer, shinier yarn may be more appealing, whereas for a sculptural piece or something that will see a lot of wear, you may prefer the sturdiness of a heavier, less shiny yarn. (Or vice versa – make the choice that seems best for you!)
About the Yarn Brands
This comparison will be most useful if I can keep it up to date with the yarns that you like to use. And here’s where you can help with that! Do you have some worsted weight acrylic yarn samples you’d like me to add to the list?
Please send me about 1 yard (or 1 metre) of your yarn (preferably not white, black, or very dark colours), with a note identifying the brand and name of the yarn, and your name and email address so I can thank you! If you’re sending more than one sample, please send a different colour of each, or label each strand of yarn individually, so I can identify which is which. You can find my PO Box address on my contact page.
I’d recommend you don’t tie the yarn into bundles – try to keep it flat by laying it inside a folded piece of paper/card so you can hopefully save on shipping and send it as lettermail. Don’t worry about the yarn tangling – I can fix that if necessary!
Thanks for helping me maintain this resource for all of us.🙂
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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June