What yarn do you use for amigurumi? You aren’t going to be wearing your amis; you may give them to kids, who aren’t always gentle with them; or they may just sit on your desk all day, keeping you company. The yarn you choose to make a garment is completely different from what you may choose to make your amigurumi. But at the same time, you also want to enjoy using the yarn when you are crocheting – you want it to feel good in your fingers, not split or fuzz up easily – or the experience of making the ami won’t be very enjoyable.
I think one of the most common fibers used to make amigurumi is acrylic – it is cheap, durable, washable, and comes in a wide variety of colours and textures. One of my go to acrylics is Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand.
When I first saw this yarn, I didn’t think there was an actual link between the Vanna White of the American game show Wheel of Fortune and this yarn. I thought it was just a coincidence, but no! This yarn actually is by THE Vanna White of Wheel of Fortune! Vanna loves to crochet and has been working with Lion Brand since 1985. You can watch her on YouTube talking about yarn and crochet, such as this one on how she learned to crochet. I don’t buy this yarn because it is her line, but I do find it interesting, and a little amusing!
What do I like about Vanna’s Choice yarn?
(1) Easy to find – You can find this yarn in most large retailers that have yarn, including Michael’s and Walmart, as well as multiple sites online. It is not exclusive to one store, so you can always get it when you need it.
(2) Good price – Though this yarn is more expensive than other acrylics, such as Red Heart Super Saver, it is still relatively cheap compared to other yarns, and I feel the higher price does give you a better quality yarn.
(3) Nice to crochet with – Compared to other, cheaper acrylics, I like the way Vanna’s Choice yarn feels in my hands when I am crocheting. It is soft and lofty with a bit of stretch – so it is enjoyable to work with. Compared to cotton (another popular fiber for amigurumi), which does not stretch, that slight give is nice when crocheting.
(4) Creates a good fabric for amigurumi – I really like the fabric that results when this yarn is crocheted into an ami, especially my large amis, because it is soft, squishy, and huggable. I find it doesn’t stretch as much as wool does, so keeps its shape better and results in smaller stitch holes. And while it is soft, it doesn’t pill or fuzz easily, so wears well with time.
(5) Not too much sheen – I sometimes go back and forth about whether I like my yarn to have a sheen, or shininess, to it or not, but Vanna’s Choice sheen is not over the top, so I don’t mind it! This also means it isn’t as slippy as other, more shiny acrylics, so knots and stitches stay put.
What don’t I like about Vanna’s Choice?
(1) Colour choices – Unless you can find the baby version of this yarn (which I can’t in stores here in Canada), there are not many bright and vibrant Vanna’s Choice colours. All the colours in the collection have been selected specifically to match each other really well, which is nice, but I find the tones limited. I love bright colours, and sometimes I find this yarn a little dull in that department – except the blue I use for Walden the narwhal! I could not find a nice bright, sunny yellow for Bobby the bee, or a nice Easter violet for Flora the bunny.
(2) Inconsistencies – You have to be very careful and purchase enough yarn in one lot for a project because there is a noticeable difference between dye lots. I had bought blue for Walden on two different occasions and I could not use up the old yarn and combine it with the new skein I had purchased later because they were too different. There was not only a difference in colour, but also a slight difference in texture and feel. Also, make sure you read the label of each colour and confirm how much yardage you are getting per skein – some colours have less yardage than others!
(3) It’s acrylic – Despite all the qualities that I like above, Vanna’s Choice is still an acrylic yarn and has all the negative aspects of acrylic fibre – it isn’t environmentally friendly and does not have the same feel that a natural fibre has, and can still feel a little “plasticy” in comparison.
Do you use Vanna’s choice? Is there another acrylic yarn you prefer more? Or do you stay clear of acrylic yarn all together? I would love to hear from you!