Yarn Substitutions: Bulky Yarn

Below I will be showing you some of my favorite bulky yarns at Joann’s Craft store, Michael’s Craft Store, and Hobby Lobby. I will also give you the information you need to determine how to substitute one bulky for another.

bulky yarn sample

What is bulky yarn?

Bulky yarn is a #5 weight yarn. It is twice the thickness as worsted weight yarn and works up really fast. It does not have as large of gaps between the stitches as super bulky yarn.

Other names for bulky yarn include chunky, rug yarn, craft yarn and 12 ply yarn.

Substituting Unavailable and Discontinued Yarn

A few years ago Lion Brand came out with a beautiful yarn called Color Made Easy. It was a soft bulky yarn and came in many wonderful colors. Then after several patterns were made using this yarn, this lovely yarn was discontinued leaving a lot of crocheters unsure of what yarn can be used for the pattern.

There are 3 things to consider when picking out a substitute yarn:

1: The Yarn Weight: Pick a yarn that is the same yarn weight as the yarn you are substituting. So for bulky yarn, you will pick another #5 weight yarn.

2: The Yarn Material: Some materials stretch better than others. Cotton does not stretch well, while wool and acrylic have a lot of stretch.

3: The Yarn Gauge: Before starting your project make sure to check your gauge. The gauge is the number of stitches and rows per a certain number of inches.

If your gauge doesn’t match the pattern’s gauge that is ok. You can often change your hook size to get the gauge to match. If you have more stitches per inch then the gauge recommends you will want to use a large hook. If you have fewer stitches per inch then the gauge recommends you will want to use a smaller hook to try and meet the gauge.

Get My Free Crochet Planner

Sign up to receive email newsletter from Winding Road Crochet to be notified of new free crochet patterns and to get access to my 17 page printable crochet planner.

My friend Donna from Naztazia made a great video on picking a substitution yarn.

12 Patterns Using Bulky Yarn

Left to Right
Row 1: Sweetheart Sweater | Double Pom Hat | Faux Knit Ear Warmer | Easy Hooded Cowl
Row 2: Woodland Hooded Scarf | Kids Mittens | Hygge Beanie | Quick Socks
Row 3: Dragon Hooded Scarf | Constellation Beanie | Quick Stocking | Harvest Pocket Shawl

Not Truly Bulky Yarns

There are a few yarn types out there that are labeled as bulky yarn but work up more like a worsted weight yarn. These yarns are typically specialty yarns including:
Furry Yarns like Bernat PipSqueak
Velvet Yarns like Bernat Velvet and Crushed Velvet
Tape Yarns like Lion Brand Rewind

The reason they are labeled as bulky is because they consider the fuzziness of the yarn when they look at thickness, but these types of yarns squish down and crochet more like a #4 weight yarn. So I would not use them to substitute a standard yarn in a pattern.

Bulky yarns at Joanns

Joann Craft store had 27 options for bulky (weight #5) yarn. I just picked my 16 favorite options to share with you. If you want more options check out Joann’s website and search for weight #5 yarn.

big twist yarn: winter, arcade, fleck, and classic
Photo Credit: Joanns.com

1. Big Twist Winter
Yarn Material: 98% Premium Acrylic 2% Metallic Fiber
Crochet – US K-10.5/6.5mm – 12sc and 13 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting – US 11/8 mm – 12 sts and 13 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This is a roving yarn that has many stripe combinations using red, white, green, and grey.

2. Big Twist Arcade
Yarn Material: 100% Premium Acrylic
Crochet – US K-10.5/6.5mm – 10sc and 10 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting – US 10/6mm – 12sts and 16rows for 4”x4”
Description: This is a pretty self-striping roving yarn. Roving yarn has great stitch definition but less stretch.

3. Big Twist Fleck
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet – US K-10.5/6.5mm – 9sc and 9 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting – US 11/8 mm – 11 sts and 15 rows for 4″x4″
Description: Very pretty heathered acrylic yarn that should have a good stretch.

4. Big Twist Classic
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Knitting – US 9 – 14 sts for 4″
Description: Nice acrylic yarn that comes in both striped and solid colors.

big twist comfy and tanquil yarn, Red heart yarn hygge and gemstone
Photo Credit: Joanns.com

5. Big Twist Comfy
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Description: This is a pretty acrylic yarn in lots of solid colors.

6. Big Twist Tranquil
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Description: This pretty acrylic yarn comes in solid colors and has a nice sheen to the yarn.

7. Red Heart Hygge
Yarn Material: 70% Acrylic / 30% Nylon
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10 – 13 sts and 15 rows for 4″x4″
Description: Pretty solid color yarn that has a slight fuzziness to it.

8. Red Heart Gemstone
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10/6.5mm – 11 sc and 13 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10 – 14 sts and 19 rows for 4″x4″
Description: Beautiful acrylic yarn that has rich gemstone-colored stripes.

caron colorama and bernat symphony yarn, patons inspired yarn and lion brand hue + me
Photo Credit: Joanns.com

9. Caron O’Go Colorama
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet Gauge: U.S. J-10/6mm – 10 sc and 11 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10 – 13 sts and 18 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This pretty yarn comes in stripes and a few solid colors. This yarn uses the no-tangle O’go design for having trangle free crocheting.

10. Bernat Symphony
Yarn Material: 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10/6.5mm – 11 sc and 12 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 8/6.5mm – 13 sts and 18 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This roving yarn has soft stripes.

11. Patons Inspired
Yarn Material: 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool
Crochet Gauge: U.S. J/6mm – 11 sc and 12 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 14 sts and 19 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This acrylic wool blend comes in many solid colors.

12. Lion Brand Hue + Me
Yarn Material: 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 10 sc and 11 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This is an acrylic wool blend yarn that comes in many slightly muted colors.

lion brand feels like bliss, little bit of everything and homespun yarn. K+C Angel Hair yarn
Photo Credit: Joanns.com

13. Lion Brand Feels Like Bliss
Yarn Material: 100% Nylon
Crochet Gauge: U.S. N-13/9mm – 10 sc and 12 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 11/8mm – 14 sts and 18 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This is a slightly fuzzy nylon yarn that comes in a lot of pretty solid colors.

14. Lion Brand Little Bit of Everything
Yarn Material: 45% Acrylic, 26% Cotton, 19%Wool, 10% Alpaca
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 10 sc and 12 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 12 sts and 18 rows for 4″x4″
Description: The name says it all. This yarn is made of many different fibers. This yarn has a tweed-like effect when crocheted.

15. Lion Brand Homespun
Yarn Material: 98% acrylic, 2% polyester
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 10 sc and 10 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 14 sts and 20 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This is yarn has an unique wavy texture that helps make your stitches blend together.

16. K+C Luxe Craft Angel Hair
Yarn Material: 50% Acrylic, 28% Nylon & 22% Wool
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 10 sc and 11 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10.5 – 13 sts for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn has a slightly fuzzy look and comes in many solid colors.

Bulky Yarns at Michaels

The first 4 yarns are yarns I found at the Michael’s store and the second 4 are yarns found online at Michael’s Craft Store website.

Photo Credit: Michaels.com

1. Bernat Softee Chunky (Size #6 Weight Yarn)
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet Gauge: U.S. L-11/8mm – 7 sc and 8 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 11/8mm – 11 sts and 14 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This is a super bulky yarn but I can often use a smaller hook to make the gauge match the gauge of a bulky yarn pattern. Using a smaller hook does make the final fabric more dense and ridge.

2. Lion Brand Homespun
Yarn Material: 98% acrylic, 2% polyester
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 10 sc and 10 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 14 sts and 20 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This is yarn has an unique wavy texture that helps make your stitches blend together.

3. Loops and Threads Charisma
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 13/9mm – 11 sts and 16 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn comes in solid colors, stripes, and heathered.

4. Caron Latte Cakes
Yarn Material: 58% Acrylic / 42% Nylon
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 12 sc and 13 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 6.5mm – 15 sts and 20 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn has a slightly fuzzy look and comes in many subtle striped color combinations.

loops and threads barcelona big yarn
lion brand scarfie yarn
red heart soft essentials yarn
loops and threads eco cozy yarn
Photo Credit: Michaels.com

5. Loops and Threads Barcelona Big
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10.5 – 15 sts and 20 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This acrylic yarn comes in many striped color combinations.

6. Lion Brand Scarfie
Yarn Material: 78% acrylic, 22% wool
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 14 sc and 20 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 9/4.5mm – 11 sts and 14 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn is slightly fuzzy and has two colors striped in interesting ways.

7. Red Heart Soft Essentials
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 11 sc and 13 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 15 sts and 19 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This acrylic yarn is soft and comes in many solid colors and a few striped color combinations.

8. Loops and Threads Eco Cozy
Yarn Material: 100% recycled polyester
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 11/8mm – 12 sts and 17 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn is. roving style yarn and comes in many solid colors.

Bulky Yarns at Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby had a total of 13 bulky yarns in store and another 3 types online. I picked 8 to share with you below. You can see the others at the Hobby Lobby website.

Photo Credit: HobbyLobby.com

1. Premier Bloom Chunky
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet Gauge: U.S. L-11/8mm – 9 sc and 12 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 11/8mm – 11 sts and 15 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn has pretty flecks of colors throughout.

2. Baby Bee Lots of Dots
Yarn Material: 60% Acrylic & 40% Polyamide
Crochet Gauge: U.S. L-11/8mm – 10 sc and 11 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6.5mm – 14 sts and 18 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn is a solid color with flecks of other colors spread throughout.

3. Yarn Bee Tender Touch
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet Gauge: U.S. L-11/9mm – 10 sc and 12 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 14 sts and 18 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This chunky yarn comes in a lot of solid colors.

4. Yarn Bee My Sweet Love
Yarn Material: 92% Acrylic & 8% Polyamide
Crochet Gauge: U.S. L-11/9mm – 9 sc and 9 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 11/8mm – 12 sts and 15 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This chunky yarn has a subtle stripe of varying shade of the same color.

Photo Credit: HobbyLobby.com

5. Yarn Bee XXL Cotton
Yarn Material: 100% Cotton
Crochet Gauge: U.S. M-13/9mm – 11 sc and 14 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 13/9mm – 15 sts and 21 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This is a beautiful and thick cotton yarn. Cotton yarn has less stretch than other yarns.

6. Yarn Bee Fireside
Yarn Material: 97% Acrylic & 3% Polyester
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 10 sc and 10 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 14 sts and 20 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn has pretty wavy texture and comes in many multishaded tones.

7. I Love this Yarn Chunky
Yarn Material: 100% Acrylic
Crochet Gauge: U.S. K-10.5/6.5mm – 9 sc and 11 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 10/6mm – 12 sts and 16 rows for 4″x4″
Description: This yarn comes in a lot of solid colors and striped combinations.

8. Yarn Bee Dream Spun
Yarn Material: 80% Acrylic & 20% Superwash Wool
Crochet Gauge: U.S. M-13/9mm – 8 sc and 11 rows for 4″x4″
Knitting Gauge: U.S. 11/8mm – 12 sts and 15 rows for 4″x4″
Description: Each colorway includes a lot of rainbow colors and variation.

All written material for the Yarn Substitution: Bulky Yarn post are copyright Windingroadcrochet.com. Please do not reprint or repost this content as your own, but please feel free to share this link with others. You can find more information on sharing my work with others on the Terms and Conditions Page.

Please follow and like us:

8 thoughts on “Yarn Substitutions: Bulky Yarn”

  1. Thank you for the chart on the bulky yarns, extremely helpful. I am teaching my granddaughter, age 23 and left-handed, and she likes the bulky yarns. Some more great info to help her from her Grandma.

    Reply
    • I do not. This post was a huge labor of love and took a very long time to complete. My suggestion is to copy and paste the information you want into a word document.

      Reply
  2. Lindsey, thank you so much for this information. I appreciate all your research and I’ll be saving this for future reference. Now I know why the fuzzy yarns are classified as 5!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy