Lion Brand Homespun is a bulky, textured yarn that has become beloved by knitters and crocheters for its cozy, rustic aesthetic. In this in-depth guide, we will explore everything you need to know about this versatile yarn, from its history and properties to project ideas and care instructions.
The History of Lion Brand Homespun
Lion Brand Yarn Company introduced Homespun yarn in the 1980’s as part of their premium line of yarns. It quickly became popular for its chunky texture and the way colors blended together, creating a handspun look. The yarn took inspiration from Colonial American textiles and Appalachian crafts like quilts, giving finished projects a traditional, heirloom quality.
Over the decades, Lion Brand has released over 400 colors of Homespun yarn. It remains one of their most beloved offerings. Crafters appreciate the affordability, versatility, and nostalgic aesthetic of this bulky staple yarn.
Properties of Lion Brand Homespun
Now let’s explore the specific properties of Lion Brand Homespun yarn:
- Fiber Content: 100% acrylic
- Weight: Bulky weight; Category 5 yarn
- Yards per Skein: 185 yards (169 meters)
- Recommended Needle Size: US 10.5 – 13 knitting needles; J-10 to K crochet hooks
- Colors: Over 400 colors produced since the 1980’s
- Texture: Thick and lofty with a bumpy, textured spun look
- Care Instructions: Machine wash cool, tumble dry low
The acrylic fiber allows Homespun yarn to be very affordable and accessible to crafters. Acrylic also makes it machine washable and dryable. The colors are variegated with low-twist plying, giving it a handspun, marled effect.
While categorized as a bulky weight yarn, Homespun has a light loft that creates substantial projects without excessive bulk. The stranded ply construction gives it great stitch definition for crochet and textured knit fabrics.
Types of Lion Brand Homespun Yarn
Lion Brand produces Homespun yarn in several product lines:
- Regular Homespun: The classic Homespun yarn sold in 6 ounce/185 yard skeins
- Homespun Thick & Quick: A super-bulky version with 98 yards per 3 ounce skein
- Jumbo Homespun: Large 16 ounce bumper skeins with over 500 yards
- Homespun Big Ball: Giant compact 10 ounce balls containing over 800 yards
The different formats give crafters options for yardage needed. The Big Balls and Jumbo skeins allow knitters and crocheters to complete bigger projects without joining new balls of yarn.
Substitute Yarns for Lion Brand Homespun
Some good yarn substitutes to consider if Homespun is unavailable include:
- Bernat Softee Chunky: Acrylic bulky yarn with a similar soft, lofty hand
- Loops & Threads Cozy Wool: Acrylic and wool blend in a bulky gauge
- Red Heart Hygge: Chunky chenille-style acrylic yarn
- Yarn Bee Fleece Lite: Polyester and acrylic blend with a plush pile
When substituting yarns, match the gauge swatch as closely as possible to the original pattern. Consider fiber content and washability as well. Acrylic yarns will provide the closest properties to Lion Brand Homespun.
How to Use Lion Brand Homespun Yarn
Homespun’s lofty strands create visible texture in finished knit or crochet fabrics. Here are some tips for working with Homespun successfully:
- Use suitably large knitting needles, US 10.5 and above. Smaller needles won’t accommodate the yarn’s bulk.
- For crochet, stick to J, K, or larger hooks recommended for bulky yarn.
- Do not use Homespun for lace or intricate stitch patterns. The yarn’s heaviness obscures delicate details.
- Work in simple stitches like garter, stockinette, single, and double crochet to allow the yarn’s texture to shine.
- Avoid pulling too tightly when working stitches. Allow the fabric to retain some drape and loft.
Homespun’s bold colors and visible stitches make it ideal for chunky sweaters, coats, cowls, blankets, and other cozy statement pieces. The yarn’s affordability allows making large projects without breaking the bank.
Popular Patterns and Projects
Homespun yarn suits all kinds of accessories, home decor items, and garments. Here are some favorite patterns knitters and crocheters make with this bulky yarn:
- Hats: Beanies, slouchy hats, ear warmers
- Scarves: Chunky cowls and circle scarves
- Sweaters: Oversized pullovers and cardigans
- Blankets: Super bulky throw blankets
- Bags: Market totes and shoulder bags
- Home Decor: Pillows, poufs, rugs
Lion Brand’s website offers hundreds of free patterns for Homespun yarn across all categories. Ravelry, Lovecrafts, and Etsy also have patterns sized for Homespun’s gauge. With this yarn’s versatility, the possibilities are endless!
Caring for Lion Brand Homespun Projects
Homespun is conveniently machine washable and dryable thanks to its acrylic fiber. There are just a few care tips to keep projects looking their best:
- Wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. Hot water can damage the yarn and cause colors to bleed.
- Tumble dry on low. High heat can create excess pilling.
- Periodically pick off any surface pills to prevent buildup.
- Block knit pieces after washing to open the stitches back up.
- Store flat if possible to prevent stretching out of shape.
With proper care, Homespun projects can be enjoyed for many years. The yarn’s affordability also makes it easy to replace if items do wear out eventually.
For over 30 years, Lion Brand Homespun has been a cherished yarn for its versatility, affordability, and characteristic handspun look. Knitters and crocheters continue to use Homespun for all kinds of wearables and home goods. Its lofty texture and vibrant colors suit everything from rustic sweaters to cozy pillows.
Homespun is beginner-friendly but can work for any experience level. With the right needles and stitch patterns, it creates fabulously textured fabric. Simple care and the acrylic fiber also make Homespun projects very durable for everyday use. Give this bulky yarn classic a try for your next knitting or crochet project!