Whether you're new to knitting and crochet or have been at it for a while, you've probably come across various yarn weights and got a bit confused...after all, what is worsted weight yarn and what is aran yarn? Essentially, they're the same thing - 'worsted weight yarn' is the standard name in the US, whereas in the UK we would call it Aran weight yarn. But if only it were that simple - you will sometimes get yarns that describe themselves as 'light worsted' (normally somewhere between a DK yarn and worsted, but they can be the same as DK), and the term 'Aran' can also be used in the US for a yarn that is ever so slightly heavier than Worsted, although this does appear to be pretty rare. However, there are some tips for you to look out for.


As a rule, Aran or Worsted weight yarns will be heavier/thicker than a DK (double knitting) weight yarn, but thinner/lighter than a chunky weight yarn. You can look out for the Number 4 yarn council symbol which appears on most yarn ball bands, which might also include it describing it as a medium weight yarn.

Yarn weight 4 Medium Worsted Aran

You can also use hook and needle sizes as a guide too, for example, an aran/worsted weight yarn will often recommend you using a 4.5 - 5.5mm crochet hook (but could be anywhere form 4-6mm), so if a yarn is recommending a 3 - 4mm crochet hook then it's probably more likely to be a dk yarn. As always though, whether your yarn describes itself as aran or worsted, always check your tension to ensure it matches your pattern! And if you're ever getting confused, you can always check out our guide on choosing the best yarn for crochet.

Now that we've dealt with what is worsted weight yarn, let take a look at some of our favourites!

Best Worsted Yarns

Lion Brand 'Feels Like Butta' worsted yarn

Lion Brand Feels Like Butta Worsted Weight yarn

It may indeed be an odd name for a yarn, but the Lion Brand 'Feels Like Butta' is actually pretty accurate - it's soft and smooth like butter! It's a fabulous chenille yarn, giving it a lovely velvety feel that is perfect for both baby garments and snuggly adult accessories. Considering that 'Feels Like Butta' is a 100% Polyester yarn, it's quite surprising that as well as being super soft and silky, that fuzzy 'caterpillar' chenille effect also makes it almost blend together - slightly similar to felted fabrics. Add all of that to the fact that it's a chainette style yarn which not only helps to make it a plump worsted yarn but also means it's a nice easy weight to work with - which is handy with that slippery silky feel!

Buy Lion Brand feels like butta worsted yarn from Amazon

Lily Sugar 'n Cream worsted weight yarn

Lilys sugar n cream worsted weight yarn

The Lily Sugar 'n' Cream range of yarns are a great choice for those of you who are looking for a strong and sturdy worsted yarn. It's a 100% cotton yarn with a strongly defined and even twist, but it also has a soft and squishy feel to it making it a pleasure to work with. Being a cotton yarn that is absorbent and both machine washable and dry-able, it's a popular choice for making quick projects such as washcloths or pot holders, but would work well with a wide range of cotton crochet or knitting projects. It's available in plenty of different colours, from pretty pastels to bold tones - plus there's also some stripy variations available too!

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Buy the Lily sugar 'n cream worsted weight yarn on Amazon

Patons 'Baby Smiles' aran yarn

If you're after an aran yarn to use for crochet or knitting baby projects, then there is one yarn that is absolutely perfect - Patons Baby Smiles! The Fairytale Fab Aran range of the baby smiles yarns is a super-soft 100% acrylic yarn that has been specifically designed to be kind on baby soft skin. As well as being skin friendly, it's free of any nasty chemicals, easy to machine wash and exceptionally soft!

Buy Patons Baby Smiles Aran yarn on Amazon

Wool and the Gang 'Back for Good' Cashmere

Wool and the Gang Back for Good Cashmere Aran yarn

Fancy adding a whole extra level of luxury into your crochet or knitting projects? Then you've got to check out this 'Back for Good' Cashmere yarn from Wool and the Gang. Not only is it made from gorgeous and super-soft 100% Cashmere - but you may be surprised to learn that it's sustainable and eco-conscious too! This 100% recycled cashmere made in Italy, where preloved cashmere garments and production waste are ground down and respun into this incredible worsted yarn.

Buy Wool and the Gang Back for Good Cashmere from WoolandtheGang.com

Lion Brand 'Ferris Wheel' aran yarn cake

Lion Brand Ferris Wheel acrylic yarn

We have to confess to having a bit of a soft spot for yarn cakes, and the fantastic colours in the Ferris Wheel yarn cakes from Lion Brand just makes us love them even more! This 100% acrylic yarn has a few surprises up it's sleeve - it's not only super-soft but also has a texture and appearance that mimics both hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns. It has a fluffy felted feel, and those fabulous deep colours have long transitions and blends that will create stripes with a ton of charm and character!

Buy Lion Brand Ferris Wheel Aran yarn cake from Lovecrafts

Stylecraft Special with Wool Nepp aran yarn

Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool yarn

If you're after an aran yarn that is both consistent and full of character, then you'll love the Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool. This yarn is a blend of 77% Acrylic, 20% Wool and 3% Viscose - giving you a strong but natural feeling yarn. But it's all about those charming neps - those little fibre bobbles of colour running through your yarn to give you a lovely tweedy style effect. Plus, it comes as a 400g ball giving you a huge 816m of yarn to play with!

Buy Stylecraft Special with Wool Nepp Aran yarn from KnittingNetwork.co.uk

West Yorkshire Spinners 'The Croft' aran yarn

West Yorkshire Spinners The Croft Shetland Colours

So far we've shown you mostly synthetic or blended yarns, but we know how much you all love pure wool yarns too! When it comes to 100% wool yarns, then we've just got to recommend one of our favourite producers - West Yorkshire Spinners! This fantastic aran yarn is made from 100% Shetland Island wool and comes in 14 gorgeous shades, but can also be mixed and matched with their 'The Croft Shetland Tweed' yarn too. If you've not tried West Yorkshire Spinners yarn before, then you're in for a real treat with this one!

Buy West Yorkshire Spinners The Croft from Lovecrafts.com

Hayfield Bonus Aran with Wool yarn

Hayfield Bonus Aran yarn

We do love a big ball of yarn, and the Hayfield Bonus Aran yarn comes in a satisfying 400g ball (giving you over 800m of yarn to play with). It's not only a great choice for projects where you're going to be using a lot of the same shade, but this fab yarn also comes with an extra 20% wool content to compliment the main acrylic fibres, creating a strong yet soft yarn. Available in 30 striking solid colours, it's a great way of getting plenty of yarn for a bargain price.

Buy Hayfield Bonus Aran with Wool yarn from Lovecrafts

Wool and the Gang 'Feeling Good' yarn

Wool and the Gang Feeling Good Aran yarn

There's no arguing that for some particular projects, softness is key! After all, if you've got sensitive skin then you don't want your crochet or knitted items to scratch and irritate you. So why not try the 'Feeling Good Yarn' from Wool and the Gang - the name says it all really! This worsted yarn is a beautiful blend of baby alpaca, merino and nylon fibres, producing a yarn the has strength from the nylon, super-softness from the alpaca and a fluffy brushed texture from the merino! It's available in 23 shades which include a couple of self-striping options, perfect for super-soft snuggly winter mitts and hats!

Buy Wool and the Gang Feeling Good yarn from WoolandtheGang.com

Rico Design 'Luxury Alpaca Superfine' aran yarn

Rico Designs Luxury Alpaca Superfine Aran yarn

Here's another alpaca fibre yarn that is brilliant for adding a touch of luxury to your knitting or crochet projects. It's a blend of alpaca and polyamide fibres, creating an incredibly soft and durable yarn. It also features a braided chainette-style structure, which helps to give you that worsted weight whilst keeping it super-lightweight! Available in a range of neutral and pastel shades, it's the perfect yarn to treat yourself with!

Buy Rico design Luxury Alpaca Superfine Aran yarn from Lovecrafts

Scheepjes 'Chunky Monkey' aran yarn

Scheepjes Chunky Monkey Worsted Weight yarn

Want a worsted weight yarn in a mind-blowing array of colours? Then there's one company that always makes the biggest range of colours - Scheepjes! Not content with producing a quality 100% acrylic yarn that is both strong and soft, Scheepjes have made this Chunky Monkey Aran yarn in 90 solid shades - so whether you're looking for a precise colour or want to make an amazing gradient from multiple shades, you're spoilt for choice! Plus it's also anti-pilling, which means you won't get those annoying bobbles on your fabric after washing it a few times!

Buy Scheepjes Chunky Monkey Aran yarn from theknittingnetwork.co.uk

Novita '7 Veljesta' (7 Brothers) aran yarn

Novita 7 Brothers Worsted Weight Yarn

added 25% Polyamide. 7 Veljesta is made by legendary Finnish family owned yarn brand Novita (7 Veljesta translates as 7 brothers), and is available is a wide range of solid and multicoloured shades.

Buy Novita 7 Veljesta (7 Brothers) Aran yarn on JohnLewis.com

Sirdar 'Jewelspun' worsted weight yarn

Sirdar Jewelspun Aran weight yarn

You may have noticed that we've put quite a few synthetic yarns in this roundup of the best worsted yarns, but that's not a coincidence - synthetic fibres have come on a long way since the days of cheap and nasty scratchy acrylics. Take this Sirdar Jewelspun yarn for example - it's 100% acrylic, but it is truly a gorgeous yarn that you would swear contains natural wooly fibres. From it's fluffy felted texture with a soft-to-the-touch feel, to it's clever colour dyes which mimic hand-spun yarns, even the most ardent of yarn-snob would be hard-pushed not to be impressed with this yarn! It's available in 10 fabulous colour combinations, all with fab gradients of colour that are full of character!

Buy Sirdar Jewelspun Worsted Weight yarn from KnittingNetwork.co.uk

Rowan 'felted tweed aran' yarn

Rowan felted tweed aran yarn

If you've enjoyed Rowans Felted Tweed yarn previously, then when it comes to aran yarns you're obviously going to want to try the Rowan felted tweed aran yarn! This fabulous yarn is a perfect blend of wool, alpaca and viscose fibres that come together to create a beautifully soft yarn that makes a brilliant choice for a range of projects. It also features that lovely tweed style with flecks and neps of complimentary colours, plus that large halo, all helping to give your knit or crochet fabrics a real timeless quality.

Buy Rowan felted tweed Aran yarn from JohnLewis.com

Wool and the Gang 'Tina Tape' yarn

Wool and the Gang Tina Tape Aran yarn

For our last choice, we thought we'd show you something a little bit different. Once you enter the world of slightly larger yarns, you'll start to find less traditional yarns that also work up as roughly the same weight as worsted yarns. Take this Tina Tape yarn from Wool and the Gang - it's a woven ribbon style yarn (a bit like shoelaces), and while it may look larger that your traditional worsted yarn, the nature of the construction and fibres means that the end result will be pretty similar in size (although obviously will look different). It's constructed of Lyocell made from eucalyptus tree fibre using renewable energy, meaning it's silky, durable and suitable for vegans too! Why not give one of the 17 colours available a try!

Buy Wool and the Gang Tina Tape yarn from WoolandtheGang.com


We hope you’ve enjoyed our pick of the best novelty yarns, don’t forget if you need any help with your crochet stitches you can always check out our crochet for beginners guide. And if you’re looking to treat yourself, check out our list of the best crochet hooks and the best crochet kits for beginners.


Matt SpiersDigital Assistant, Gathered

Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.

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