I started crocheting about ten years ago, and I began my pattern shop Little Bear Crochets in 2015. In those years since my very first amigurumi I have tried to work with a lot of different types of materials. Some I liked and some I didn’t. In today’s post I will give you a rundown of all the materials that I consistently use at this moment for my everyday projects and for pattern designing. These materials are in no way a ‘must’ if you want to crochet or design amigurumi, these are simply my preferences! However, for those of you who have messaged me with questions about materials, I hope this will give you some insight or inspiration! 🙂
There are so many fantastic yarns in the world, I wish I could try every one that peaks my interest! Unfortunately I only have two arms, a certain amount of time and a limited budget. I’m also a vegan, which means that I avoid using animal products, so I don’t use any yarn made from wool and predominantly rely on cotton and synthetic yarns. However, I have tried to work with about 20-25 types and brands, and these are the ones I stuck with.
For my TALL and SIT series I use Stylecraft Special DK. This is an acrylic yarn of 8 ply (DK weight). I’ve used this yarn for many projects because I think it’s really easy to use: it doesn’t unravel and it glides easily on a crochet hook. There are dozens of colors to choose from, so I’m never out of options if I’d like to use a very specific tone of green, for example. Above all, for such big skeins I think the price is really reasonable! Since I live in the Europe, I purchase this yarn from an online British store called Lovecrafts. You can find the link to Stylecraft Special DK here* . It’s also available from many other retailers.
For my MINI series I’ve always used DMC Natura Just Cotton. This is a fingering weight (4 ply) yarn made from really soft high quality cotton with an Oeko-Tex label. There are currently 60 colors available and more are still being added. I wouldn’t recommend this yarn for absolute beginners, because it’s very thin and unravels easily, so it might be difficult to work with if you’re not used to handling yarn. However, if that’s no bother to you, it’s a really nice yarn to work with. In the past, I have received this yarn directly from the DMC company itself, and I’ve purchased it from a British online store called Lovecrafts. You can find the link to DMC Natura Just Cotton here*. It’s also available from many other retailers.
For my COSTUME series I use Paintbox Yarns’ Cotton DK*. It’s a little thin for a DK weight, but I love working with it. It slides easily through the fingers without irritating and it’s available in many bright colors. Unfortunately it’s exclusively available through the British Lovecrafts store*.
For my MONSTER series I’ve used DROPS Paris yarn. This is an aran weight (10 ply) cotton yarn that feels really nice. Some of their blue colors (from the denim range) are made with recycled cotton. If I need a thicker yarn than I usually use, this is the one I go to. I purchase this yarn from a local store, but you can find an online retailer that ships to you here.
For my free patterns I use a variety of the yarns mentioned above.
I have joint hypermobility, which has given me many issues with my wrists over the years. This unfortunately means that crocheting isn’t an easy activity for me anymore. I have tried a variety of crochet hooks to see which one is most comfortable for my wrists, and only one brand has remained in my crochet drawer: Clover. I particularly love their ‘soft touch’ series, which you can recognize by their golden looks. I always crochet with the same sizes: 2.25 mm for small projects, 2.75mm for bigger projects and sometimes a 3.25 mm when I use a thicker type of yarn. That’s it! You can find these crochet hooks here*.
I’ve always used polyester stuffing. It’s available from many places, but I purchase it from a Dutch store called Hema. Polyester filling is cheap and very easy to handle. However, I’m aware that it isn’t the best stuff for the environment. At the moment I’m still looking around for alternatives, preferably a plant fiber of some sorts that isn’t as harmful. If I ever become smitten with a new type of filling, I’ll update this blog post to let you know. Until then, if you work with any good alternatives, let me know!
There’s only one type of safety eyes that I like: plastic black eyes with a metal washer. I find that glass eyes make me nervous to break them. Plastic washers are fine, but I find the metal ones easier to push onto the back of the eyes. I pretty much always use the same sizes for certain series: The TALL and COSTUME series use 6 mm eyes, the MINI series 4.5 mm and the SIT series 9 mm. All of my free and other various patterns also use one of these three sizes as well.
I always buy my safety eyes from one place: 6060 on etsy. You can find them here. They’re a decent prices if you buy in quantities of 10+ or 20+ sets of eyes and they ship really quickly.
Above I’ve told you about all the things I’m very specific about. I feel like with everything else that can be related to crochet, I don’t mind either way. I’ll use any sewing needle I find the house, I’ll use anything as a stitch marker and every ribbon that looks cute will end up in an Instagram picture.
However, if I left out any type of material that you wish to receive more information about, do let me know and I’ll look into it.
Now you have every piece of knowledge that I have about the materials used for Little Bear Crochets. You are never allowed to ask me about them ever again! Just kidding. 🙂 Feel free to tell me about your experience with these brands, or tell me what kind of products you have come to love and why.
* Links with an asterisk are affiliate links. This means I make a small commission if you buy through these links, which will help me dedicate more time to designing even more patterns.