Which thick yarn is best?

Experienced knitters know the value of high-quality yarn. In fact, the yarn you use on your knitting projects can make or break the final piece. A high-quality thick yarn, for example, will produce a beautiful final project that feels lusciously soft and durable. 

AndeanSun 100% Baby Alpaca Yarn is a beautiful, soft natural-fiber thick yarn that is a great choice for luxuriously warm knitting projects.

What to know before you buy thick yarn

Weight category

Yarn comes in different weight categories. While weight categories zero to three are considered lightweight or very fine, yarn in categories four, five and six are considered medium, thick or bulky. These weights are the equivalent of eight- to 14-ply and work well for warm, chunky scarves and socks, and thick blankets or throws.

Type of fiber

The type of fiber you choose will affect the final feel of whatever you are knitting. Common fibers available in thick yarn weights include:

  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Mohair
  • Cashmere
  • Angora
  • Rayon
  • Nylon
  • Polyester

Certain types of fibers lend themselves to particular projects. For example, thick cotton yarn is best for summer weight socks, while wool and mohair are more appropriate for winter gear, including gloves and hats. 

Beginning knitters might start with more affordable fibers such as rayon, nylon or polyester while they learn the stitches. 

Type of knitting

The type of knitting you do also influences your choice of thick yarn. Whether you use traditional needles or a loom, or practice arm knitting, there is a thick yarn that will work for you.

What to look for in quality thick yarn


Most yarn comes in a wide variety of colors, but that won’t do you any good if the color runs. High-quality thick yarn is colorfast, with bright, vibrant hues. 

Resists pilling

Cheap yarn won’t last. Very quickly, tiny balls called pills will form, eventually causing thin spots in high-wear areas like the elbows of sweaters and the heels of socks. The best thick yarn resists shedding and pilling.

Quick working

One of the benefits of thick yarn is that beginning knitters can see the results of their work quickly. Look for quick-working yarn in the highest weights to see your finished product faster. 


Making a large blanket or sweater with bulky, thick yarn can be expensive. Look for affordable thick yarn in a blend (think 20% wool or cashmere to 80% acrylic or nylon). This gives you all the benefits of a high-end fiber with the performance of acrylic or polyester yarn. 

How much you can expect to spend on thick yarn

Thick yarn ranges in price depending on the type of fiber, weight category and size of the skein. Expect to spend between $6-$35 per skein of yarn.

Thick yarn FAQ

How do you learn to knit?

A. Knitting consists of three basic stitches: cast on, knit stitch and cast off. Within these stitches, there is tremendous variation in the size of the stitch, the weight of the yarn and the pattern you are knitting.

Look for beginner books, websites and video tutorials online to learn the basics of knitting. You may also find a knitting group in your community to help you get started. 

How many skeins of yarn do you need for a blanket?

A. This depends on the weight of the yarn and how many yards are in a skein. And because even that measure is hard, consider estimating the number of pounds of yarn you’ll need. For example, a small crib blanket will only need around 4 pounds of yarn, while a much larger king-size blanket will need 18 pounds.

The best thing is to consult the directions of the project you are attempting.  They can help you purchase the correct amount of yarn.

How do you care for hand-knit items?

A. Some can be tossed in the washer with your other clothes, while others require either hand washing or dry cleaning. This all boils down to the type of yarn you use. In general acrylic, rayon and nylon yarn can often be washed in a washing machine, while natural fibers require more specialized care. 

What’s the best thick yarn to buy?

Top thick yarn

AndeanSun 100 Baby Alpaca Yarn

AndeanSun 100% Baby Alpaca Yarn 

What you need to know: This is a luxuriously soft all-natural bulky yarn.

What you’ll love: These three balls of yarn equal just under 164 yards total. It is sustainably harvested from baby alpacas once a year in Peru. It’s available in 10 colors and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

What you should consider: This yarn is expensive, and you’ll need a lot for large projects.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top thick yarn for the money

Lion Brand Yarn Wanna Make a Blankie Yarn

Lion Brand Yarn Wanna Make a Blankie Yarn

What you need to know: Just one skein of this lush yarn is enough to make a 42-inch by 42-inch luxuriously soft blanket.

What you’ll love: Each skein of this super-bulky chenille yarn makes one small blanket or throw. It’s available in six colors (at different price points). This is lightweight polyester yarn, and the  projects you knit can be washed in a  washing machine. 

What you should consider: Some knitters report lots of yarn joints in each skein.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lion WoolEase Thick Quick Yarn

Lion Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn 

What you need to know: This yarn works great for many different projects.

What you’ll love: It’s a wool blend (82% acrylic, 10% wool and 8% rayon) for a soft feel and good performance. The oatmeal color makes a great neutral canvas for socks, blankets and scarves. It comes in 97-meter skeins (just over 318 feet, but you’ll use two for one pair of socks) and works for knitting or crocheting. 

What you should consider: Some users report shedding and excessive bits of fuzz when working with this yarn.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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