At some events, I have offered a Yarn Tasting, it's the opportunity for participants to see and touch different types of yarn. I started this because I realized that not everyone is aware of the variety of fibers, yarns and threads that are available for yarn crafts.
In addition to the different fiber content (cotton, acrylic, wool, Alpaca, silk, mohair, cashmere, etc.), yarn also comes in different sizes. The size of the yarn will determine which size needles or hooks to be used. The bigger the yarn and needle or hook, the bigger the stitches and the faster the project will be completed.
One of the things that I share with students in my knit and crochet classes is that when choosing yarn, be sure to look at the yarn in the same way they'll see it while working with it. While it may look pretty wound in the skein or ball, it will look different when it's opened and stretched out.
I recently crocheted a puppy and it called for a fur yarn. I wasn't able to find the type that was suggested so I substituted a similar yarn that would still give it a fluffy look.
I failed to heed my own advice and didn't look at how the yarn would look as I was working with it. I made all of the puppy parts (head, body, legs, ears and tail) and realized that it wasn't very fluffy at all. Then I realized that I was using the yarn the wrong way! I was crocheting it like a 'normal' yarn, working around the yarn, but was supposed to be crocheting through the top track. Look closely in the picture above to see how this yarn is different from the previously pictured yarns.
Fortunately I had plenty of yarn and was able to start over. Taking out the stitches from the first parts was nearly impossible.
As you can see in this picture, the puppy is light and fluffy as it was intended to be. And my granddaughter loves it!
Four years ago when I began teaching knit and crochet classes at Michaels, we had the opportunity to purchase and wear t-shirts that said Yarn Expert on the back. I may not be an 'expert' yet, but I sure know a LOT more about yarn and other fibers now than I did then!