Yarn vs Thread – What’s the difference
But what is crochet thread? How is it different from yarn, and, what can you use it for?
Well, crochet thread is a specially formulated thread, usually made from mercerized cotton, that is used for crafting decorative crochet items such as doilies or, in the case of Lyn’s crochet patterns, flowers and fine home décor. Crochet thread produces fabric of finer gauge that may be stiffened with starch or, when used with wires, shaped to make petals, leaves, etc.
Typically, crochet thread is thinner than yarn, meaning, it is of a smaller gauge, thus yielding finer details. This makes it especially well suited for flowers and other home décor projects. For example, if you compare examples of our popular Long Stem Roses made from Monaco size 8 to our Poinsettia made from DK weight BCY yarn you can see that the thinner thread yields a finer, more detailed result in the rose than the DK weight yarn used in the Poinsettia.
Working with Thread
Is working with thread different than working with yarn? No, not really. For the most part you work with crochet thread just like you work with yarn. The main difference is in the hook size. When working with thread you will use a smaller hook (hook with a larger number) than is typical for yarn. With thread the higher the thread size number, the thinner the thread. This is the opposite of how yarn is sized. With yarn, the higher the number the thicker the strand. For example, size 20 thread is thinner than size 8 thread. However, size 3 yarn is smaller than size 5 yarn.
Size 3 and 5 thread is about the same size as a light weight yarn, so if you are having trouble working with the smaller size (larger number) threads you can start with these. The most common sizes, and ones we stock, are size 3, 8, 10, 20 and some 30. Monaco is size 8, and is typically used in our crochet flower patterns such as the Long Stem Rose, Chinese Lantern and Fuchsia flower patterns. While Lizbeth comes in many sizes, we currently only stock size 20 and small number of size 10. Our thinnest thread, at size 30, is our Omega crochet thread.
Mercerized Crochet Thread
Another thing that make thread different from yarns is that many threads are mercerized. We did a blog a while back called, “What does 100% mercerized cotton mean”. You can follow the link to learn more about the mercerization process and what it means for your crochet.
Choosing the Right Crochet Hook
Typically, when working with threads a steel hook, sometimes called a thread hook is used. If you are working with thicker threads (size 3 to 5) you can probably use a small sized aluminum or a plastic crochet hook. As was mentioned previously, when working with steel hooks the smaller the number the larger the hook. So a size 10 hook is smaller than a size 11 and so on. Steel hooks also typically have a metric size in mm associated with them. So a size 9 hook is usually 1.25 mm while a size 10 is 1.15 mm.
So when choosing a hook to work with choose the higher number (smaller hook) to work with the higher number (smaller thread).
When working with a crochet pattern you should use the hook size recommended by the author of the pattern. For example, when working with our size 8 Monaco, I recommend using a B 2.25 mm hook. Why? Because this is the size I used when creating the pattern, so using this hook and following the pattern will give you the same results I achieved.
When working with the size 20 Lizbeth I typically use a No 0 1.75 mm or a No 2 1.50. These hooks are very small and perfectly suited for detailed work using the thinner threads.
Easy Beginner Project
Want an easy beginner project using crochet thread? Check our our Eye Glass Cozy Crochet pattern using size 8 Monaco 100% Cotton mercerized cotton crochet thread. The pattern is affordable, fun and easy to make and will yield results like the example below.
I hope this article help you to under stand the differences between crochet yarn and thread. Yarns are thicker and require a larger hook, threads are thinner requiring smaller hooks. And remember that the larger the number the thinner the thread.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Good luck on your next project and happy crocheting.