Handdyed yarns

I'll start with the most magical yarns. Sometimes it can be tricky to work with them, but once you figure out their specific features you'll fall in love for a life long. Unusual color combinations, luxury fibers, gentle undertones make such yarn a real masterpiece. The thread is painted by hands in small bundles, so colors can differ from skein to skein. It's easier to pick similar ones in your local offline store.

 Malabrigo yarn review

MALABRIGO

As for today, Malabrigo offers 16 types of yarn, mostly merino (plus, Nube - unspun wool). Having such an assortment, you should thoughtfully pick the yarn for your specific needs. Single plies better go for hats and scarves, as such wool can pill (this is normal for any natural yarn). As I prefer more stable and wearable knitting, I usually pick plied yarn. My favorites are:
- Rios (superwash merino, 210yds/192m, 3.5oz/100g), ideal for scarves and cozy sweaters;
- Arroyo (superwash merino, 335yds/306m, 3.5oz/100g), "little sister" of Rios
- Silkpaca (70% baby alpaca, 30% silk, 420yds/384m, 1.75oz/50g), my absolute love for shawls.

Two things besides the ones stated above: knowing your gauge is an essential when working with this yarn, so don't skip knitting and washing the swatch! And whatever you make with Malabrigo, it has to be washed in cold water and laid flat to dry. You'll get the water colored during first several washes, which is totally normal.

 

Acrylic Yarns

I'm not a big fan of acrylic yarns, but sometimes they just do the job! 
I know, this point of view was not that popular in online (especially Instagram) knitting circles lately. But hypoallergenic, machine washable, non-peeling yarn can be a good choice in a lot of situations. Modern synthetic yarns are not alike with the ones our grannies had to use! These threads can be extremely soft and look like wool, or silk, or cotton. And yes, the price!  I often choose acrylic for the items that are not just decorative, but also heavily used: sofa pillows, blankets, baskets, throws, etc. It is also my default option for charity knits

 Vanna's choice yarn review

Lion brand

Vanna's choice

This brand offers a huge variation of acrylic yarns. I only worked with Vanna's choice so far and was rather pleased. Things to keep in mind:
- this yarn has pretty nice selection of colors, also available in prints. The color differs slightly between dye lots, so be sure to get enough yarn for your project at once (don't make my mistake!)
- solids and prints have different weight and yardage: solids: 171yds/156m, 3.5 oz/100g; prints: 121 yds/111m, 2.5 oz/71g;
- a finished item definitely has a bit of sheen, which you may like or not. I didn't expect that from the overall look of the yarn in skeins. For the garment I was knitting (a huge gradient throw) that was okay though.

 Caron One Pound yarn review

Caron

One Pound

This is my favorite acrylic yarn so far! It's rather thick (826yds/755m in 16oz/454g), which makes it a great choice for home decor items. I have already made a blanket and several pillow covers with One Pound and I'm pretty happy with the result! It highlights the textured knits nicely, making cables and twisted stitches pop.
The fabric made of this yarn is very durable, almost doesn't peel, and can even be washed in machine. I haven't found a single knot in 8 huge skeins! 
I noticed that there is a slight difference in the thread thickness depending on the color (white seems to be the thinnest). 
P.S. And can you beat this price?