The yarn you choose has a lot to do with the look of your finished project. I played with a bunch of yarns, using my one-piece bunny pattern, so demonstrate some of the differences.
With critters/amigurumi, I find it is best to use a yarn with little or no stretch and a smaller than recommended hook so your stuffing doesn’t peek out between stitches. The drape, texture, and color of the yarn can also make a big difference.
A softer drape means the critter’s shape will be less defined and may not hold its shape as well over time.
If you use a textured yarn, you won’t have good stitch definition. That can look nice, but it can also make it more challenging to find the stitches while you are working on your project.
A patterned yarn can make the project spectacular, like if you use a black/grey/white self striping yarn to make a tabby cat without having to do color changes. Or it can be distracting and detract from the final result.
I made all of the following bunnies following the exact same pattern. All of the variations are due to the natures of the different yarns. You can judge the various outcomes for yourself.
Bernat Baby Blanket (super bulky, chenille) with a J (6 mm) hook
Bernat Softee Chunky (super bulky, plied) with an I (5.5 mm) hook
Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky Sprinkles (bulky, tufted) with an H (5 mm) hook
Lion Brand Homespun (bulky, boucle) with a G (4 mm) hook
Lily Sugar and Cream (worsted, 100% cotton, plied) with a G (4 mm) hook
Red Heart Supersaver with an F (3.75 mm, plied) hook
Lion Brand BonBons (fine, 100% cotton, plied) with a D (3.25 mm) hook and Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable (light, single ply) with a B (2.25 mm) hook (note, this last one was done with a slightly older version of pattern.)
These two are pretty small. I am sure you could go even smaller if that’s your thing.
My favorite yarns for critters are:
- Lily Sugar and Cream: worsted 100% cotton plied yarn. I usually use a G hook because I tend to crochet very tightly with it. It has good stitch definition, and holds its shape well. There are many fun colors and pattern available. Being 100% cotton, you can dye it to get exactly the color you want. In the past I dyed some white yarn to get the patterns I needed to make tiny zebras, giraffes, leopards, tigers, etc without having to mess with color changes. It is my go-to choice for developing patterns.
- Bernat Softee Chunky: super bulky plied yarn. I use an I hook with it. It works up like a thicker Sugar and Cream and is fun for sizing up a pattern without having to change anything. There is a great color range available.
- Bernat Baby Blanket: a super bulky chenille yarn, I use a J (6 mm) hook with it. This has a softer drape than the others and is great for cuddly baby toys which don’t need clear stitch definition.
Taking just the Lily Sugar and Cream yarn, you can see what a difference color and pattern can make. I used solids, short color changes (ombres,) long color changes, twists, and speckles.
long color changes