(This may be a handy post to bookmark.)
Please also feel free to comment if you have NEW suggestions to add to this list, either for colours not listed here of yarns already listed, yarns not already listed here, or online retailers not listed here, or general tips, etc.
Harry Potter Knittng - Yarn Options
Last Updated: August 26, 2006
Yarn retailers* Online:
Crafty Garden (US and Can): http://craftygarden.com
Elann (US, Can, and Int'l): http://www.elann.com
Hello Knitty (US, Can, and Int'l): http://www.helloknitty.com
KnitPicks (US and Can only): http://www.knitpicks.com
Patternworks (US, Can, Int'l): http://www.patternworks.com
Knit Witts: http://www.knitwitts.com/
The Knitting Garden: http://www.theknittinggarden.com
Yarn Forward (UK, Can, and US): http://www.yarnforward.com/
Yarnware (US, Can, Int'l): http://www.yarnware.com
Elann Yarns and KnitPicks Yarns can only be purchased through their websites. Other yarns listed below can likely be found either online or in various Local Yarn Stores. Big box retailers such as WalMart and Michael's usually have limited supplies and will not carry most of the yarns listed below, but stores that specifically supply yarn and knitting supplies will have more variety. For online purveyors of individual yarn brands, check some of the sites above or try a 'Google' search.
(*Please note: I am not personally endorsing any of these retailers, and nor is (I am guessing) the hp_knitting LJ community. Please purchase at your own discretion and to suit your own needs.)
A Note on Colours
House colours** are listed in this order: (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin)
(**Please keep in mind whether or not you are interested in colours from the first two films, or from Prizoner of Azkaban and beyond. Colours from PoA and beyond are darker than those used in the first two films. The colours listed below may only suit one of those two colour schemes. Viewing colour swatches online can help you decide.)
A Note on Fibre Content
(These are just general comments for anyone who is wondering what the differences are - your mileage may vary as far as price/comfort/personal tastes, from yarn to yarn, but a glance at a typical knitting reference book will obviously yield more detailed discussion on the differences between particular fibre types.)
ALL of these fibres have pros and cons. Choose what suits your needs and desires.
Acrylic/Polyester: Synthetic fibres. These are typically machine washable and often less expensive than other yarns, but also do not 'block' well and are less breathable than natural fibres.
Acrylic/Wool Blends: These are slightly more expensive than 100% acrylic, still machine washable, but also tend to be more comfortable to work with and to wear.
Wool: Wool yarns will 'block' when wet, and wool has some natural elasticity which makes it easy on your hands while you knit. It is very warm even when wet, breathable, and durable. It is often more expensive than synthetic fibres and must always be washed by hand with cold water (unless you want it to shrink up and become felted, in which case go ahead and wash it in hot water), with the exception of "superwash" wool, which may be machine washed.. Some wools are scratchier than others - merino, for example, is considered quite soft, but again, this is often a matter of personal preference. It is an ideal fibre for knitters in cooler climates.
Cotton: Cotton is a natural fibre and will "breathe" more than synthetics. It also tends to produce heavier garments than wool, and so is typically found in sport/DK weights or in a blend with other fibres. Cotton does not hold "stitch definition" as well as wool, and so is not recommended as often for projects involving complicated stitch patterns or cables. 100% cotton has less elasticity than wool, and so can be harder on the hands while you knit, which is why it is often found blended with other fibres. It not as warm as wool and so is a good alternative for knitters living in warmer climates.
Luxury Yarns: Typically, the luxury yarns listed below use some amount of wool in their blend, and also include more luxurious fibres such as alpaca, silk, or cashmere. These combinations tend to be softer and warmer than 100% wool, are more expensive, and must also be washed by hand.
A Note on Yarn Weights
Fingering Weight: 6.75-8 sts per inch. Very thin, typically used to work socks or lightweight sweaters, or baby garments.
Sport Weight: 5.75-6.5 sts per inch. Often used to produce the same kind of garments as worsted weight, but with a lighter fabric.
DK Weight: 5.25-6 sts per inch. DK yarn is very versatile and can be used to knit garments for a variety of seasons.
Worsted Weight: 4.5-5 sts per inch. The most common yarn weight listed below, this is used to knit anything from sweaters to scarves to hats to heavy socks and mittens. Usually used for fall or winter garments. Worsted weight yarn is readily available in a variety of colours and from a variety of retailers.
Bulky Weight: 3-3.75 sts per inch. chunkier yarn, quicker to work up, but also produces larger stitches.
Unless otherwise stated, the yarns listed here are worsted weight.
Caron Simply Soft
(jonquil/black; dk country blue/toasted almond or grey heather; dark sage/grey heathter)
(cranberry or cardinal/gold; gold/black; navy/silver grey mix; dark green/silver grey mix)
Red Heart SuperSaver
(claret/gold; gold/black; Windsor blue/lt grey; dk sage/lt grey)
Red Heart Classic
(cardinal/honey gold; honey gold/black; soft navy/nickel or copper; dark sage/nickel)
(maroon/maize; sunflower/black; navy or air force blue/soft grey;forest green/soft grey)
(maroon or pomegranate/maize; maize or sunflower; black; air force blue/soft grey or cognac; forest green/soft grey)
Lion Brand Wool-Ease
(cranberry/gold or butterscotch, buttercup or butterscotch/black; navy or blue heather/caramel or grey heather; forest green heather/grey heather or oxford grey)
(no complete Gryffindor; no complete Hufflepuff; navy/grey heather; rich sage green/grey heather)
(pomegranate/burnt sienna or butternut; butternut or bright yellow/black; delft blue or navy/frost or cognac)
Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted (wool/mohair blend)
Brown Sheep Nature Spun (available in worsted weight or sport weight)
(Bordeaux/sunburst gold; pepper black/impasse yellow; china blue or blue knight/silver sage or bev’s bear; enchanted forest/silver sage)
(Goldenrod/Dark Red; Yellow #7828/Black; Blue #8339/Silver #8509 or Bronze #2414; Dark Green #8629/Silver #8509)
(12(burgundy)/1130(gold); 1130(gold)/09(black); 10 (navy)/95 (bronze); no complete Slytherin)
Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Wool
Colour discussion here: http://community.livejournal.com/hp_kni
Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Chunky (bulky weight)
Elann Devon (sport weight wool)
(Claret or Ruby/Aztec Gold; Aztec Gold/Ebony; Midnight blue or Royal Navy/Charcoal; Evergreen/Charcoal)
Karabella Aurora 8
(015 Blue/704 Pumpkin)
King Cole Merino Blend DK (superwash wool, DK weight)
(wine or scarlet/amber; amber/black; French nav;y/silver or mid grey or copper; bottle green/silver or mid grey)
Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes
(new heathers - Amber Heather (R) and Lake Ice Heather (R or S) )
Knit Picks’ Merino Style (DK weight)
(fuller KnitPicks Colour discussion here (for WoTA, Merino Style, cotton and luxury yarns): http://community.livejournal.com/hp_kni
Knit Picks’ Telemark (sport weight)
(no complete Griffyndor or Hufflepuff colours; alpine frost or deep navy/snow leapord or curry; rosemary and snow leapord)
Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes Bulky (bulky weight)
Knit Picks Swish Superwash (machine washable wool)
(no full Gryffindor; sunshine or sand dune/black; dark navy or deep ocean/copper; no full Slytherin)
Mission Falls 1824 wool
(russet or poppy/no gold; no hufflepuff yellow; 22 blue/13 bronze; no slytherin green)
Patons Classic Merino Wool
(burgundy or rich red/old gold; old gold/black; navy/grey mix or paprika; bottle green/grey mix)
Cotton or Cotton Blend
Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (cotton/wool blend; DK weight)
Elann Endless Summer Collection Sonata (DK weight)
Knit Picks’ Shine Sport (cotton/modal, sport weight)
Knit Picks’ Shine Worsted (cotton/modal)
Mission Falls 1824 Cotton (machine washable 100% cotton)
(merlot/goldenrod; goldenrod/ebony; indigo/sand or pebble; no Slytherin green )
Rowan Wool Cotton (cotton/wool blend; DK weight)
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino (wool/microfibre/cashmere)
Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Silk (dk weight, wool/silk blend)
Knit Picks’ Andean Treasure (alpaca)
Knit Picks’ Ambrosia (alpaca/cashmere)
Knit Picks’ Panache (alpaca/cashmere/silk/merino)
Luxury Collection Baby Silk (sport weight, wool/silk blend)
Lion Brand Glitterspun
As always, happy knitting!