Apr 29, 2024

14 Best Fiber Craft Kits for Adults of 2023

There’s a common joke among people who do crafts: One hobby is the craft itself, the other is buying supplies.

Stepping into a craft store can be overwhelming, and it’s often the beginning of a slippery slope toward gear and material overload. It can feel like there’s too much stuff to get and too many skills to learn before you even make a single stitch on that embroidery, knitting, or crochet pattern you have your eye on.

An all-in-one craft kit can help you escape the temptation. Whether you want to learn a new skill, give a one-of-a-kind gift, or scroll a little less on your phone during evening TV time, there’s a fiber-arts craft kit that’s ideal for you.

I spent more than 100 hours researching and testing kits for cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, and crochet to find favorite all-inclusive fiber-arts craft kits designed for adults. (No cheesy cartoon characters here.) I visited shops, polled fellow hobbyists, and searched the web for the latest and greatest all-in-one kits, and then I put them to the test.

Exhaustive step-by-step videos and a head start on the first stitches make it simple to start crocheting with zero previous experience. The kit does not come with printed patterns, but they are downloadable.

Who it’s for: Beginner crocheters and up.

What’s included: Each kit from The Woobles comes with a crochet hook, a project that’s already been cast on and marked with stitch markers, any safety eyes or extra yarn colors necessary for the project, a tapestry needle for finishing, and a card with a scannable QR code to navigate to the pattern’s instructions.

Why it’s great: I completed Pierre the Penguin—one of the company’s best sellers—without having ever crocheted a stitch previously.

These projects are virtually idiot-proof: The instructional videos go over everything from how to hold the yarn and hook to casting off the final stitch of the project, and they are segmented to give you time to complete each step before you click forward.

I made my palm-size penguin over a weekend, feeling an immense sense of achievement (and screeching “My son!” at anyone who would listen while thrusting him in their faces). I already have my eye on some of The Woobles’s other kits, such as a little pink dinosaur that I think would make a lovely addition to my fiber flock.

These kits don’t come with a printed pattern, though you can obtain the written-out pattern via scanning a QR code. And as useful as the tutorial videos are, they may not be great for people who aren’t visual learners.

Finally, these kits are definitely for beginners: To a person who already knows how to crochet, the instructions are overkill, and the price is likely to seem high for the materials included.

High-end yarn, beautifully designed instructions with online tutorials, and three dozen color choices make this an especially giftable (though pricey) beginner knitting experience.

Who it’s for: Beginner knitters and up.

What’s included: This kit teaches you to knit with a large, detailed instruction book that includes color photos and links to video tutorials. It comes with two skeins of yarn, wooden knitting needles, and a tapestry needle.

Why it’s great: New York City’s Purl Soho is a fancy, crafty wonderland—as if the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic were a yarn store. So it’s no wonder that the shop’s Learn To Knit Kit feels especially luxurious.

The included yarn is 100% merino wool, bucatini-fat and squishy, the kind that makes you insist that people touch it for themselves. The instructions take would-be knitters through knitting a basic scarf from the very beginning (as in “here’s how you wind a ball of yarn on your hands”) to weaving in the ends of the yarn and blocking.

Purl Soho’s kit currently offers 36 shades of yarn to choose from, and the instructions give detailed steps and examples of three different patterns—including garter, rib, and seed stitches—to use for the scarf. The store also offers oodles of free patterns and informative blog posts, a fantastic resource for future projects and troubleshooting.

There’s no denying that this kit comes at a premium price, but the materials are obviously high-quality.

Thorough instructions, an interesting pattern, and a generous amount of well-presented supplies should help you feel accomplished, even if this is your first project.

Who it’s for: Beginner stitchers and up.

What’s included: Each kit contains fabric with a preprinted pattern, plain backing fabric, an embroidery needle, a wooden embroidery hoop, a labeled thread card with lengths of every color used in the project, color pattern-specific instructions with photos, and a beginner embroidery guide.

Why it’s great: At first glance, this pattern looks like a tangle of florals and vines, but as it comes together it reveals a cheeky “This took forever” message in the middle. But in spite of the name, it’s less daunting than it may initially appear.

The instructions are so thorough that they recommend a specific order for stitching the different elements and come complete with a key pointing out exactly which stitches and colors to use where. As a result, finishing the complex-looking pattern is very approachable for stitchers of any level.

The pattern, as in all of Jessica Long’s kits, comes preprinted on fabric, making the embroidery experience akin to painting by numbers. The kit also includes a labeled thread card with appropriate but not skimpy lengths of each of the necessary shades threaded through. It makes the project that much more compact, so you can slip it into a gallon-size zip-top bag and take it on the go.

This kit was thoughtfully designed and had everything I needed to complete the project, both physically and instructionally. It was a pleasure to stitch, and I have no notes about drawbacks.

This artfully messy sampler allows stitchers to practice and try new techniques while creating an art piece that feels totally personal and customized.

Who it’s for: Beginner/intermediate stitchers and up (recommended alongside another project).

What’s included: In this complete kit you’ll find fabric with a preprinted pattern, an embroidery needle, a wooden hoop, three random skeins of embroidery floss, a Dropcloth pin, a bonus mini sampler, a free Creativebug class trial card, and a starter guide to some of the stitches used.

Why it’s great: If you do any kind of fiber-based craft long enough, you’ll learn that scraps are unavoidable. And if you’re anything like me, you won’t dare to throw out that random strand of embroidery floss—what if it’s exactly what you need for something someday, and you tossed it without thinking? A tragedy.

Dropcloth’s samplers solve that dilemma, providing sketchbook-style starting points for artfully messy samplers that let stitchers practice any number of offbeat techniques while using up those precious scraps.

The company offers many sampler designs, but this one focuses on various textures and filling techniques. Whereas other projects feature a design to be completed, this one is there when you want to mess around with a stitch. And when it’s finished, it’s totally frameable.

Though the kit comes with a code for a trial of online classes that will level up your stitch lexicon, it would be nice to have diagrams that show a basic method for all the stitches on the sampler, rather than only the four that are currently included.

One of the three randomly selected skeins I received in my kit was white, which stood in less-than-thrilling contrast against the off-white background of the pattern. I used other thread that I had on hand, making the sampler a true stash-busting project.

Note: This sampler makes a great companion to other stitching projects, so you might prefer to spend a little less and get the sampler alone instead of splurging for the kit; then you can use whatever floss and yarn you have on hand. The hoops and needles are usable across projects. The extra mini sampler and goodies in the kit are nice but not essential.

This two-color design has the look of a plate that you might find in a cool home-goods store—hanging it in your house is less fusty, more chic. Downloadable stitch tutorials go beyond the included instructions.

Who it’s for: Beginner-plus stitchers.

What’s included: Each kit contains a needle, a wooden hoop, several full skeins of both required colors of embroidery floss, a piece of fabric with the pattern preprinted, and printed color instructions.

Why it’s great: The question I get most often about my embroidery projects is a semi-dubious “What will you do with it when you’re done?”

Not so with this design, which looks like something one might grab in Anthropologie’s home section for the gallery wall in a super-chic apartment. The pattern is simple enough to be soothing but complex enough to be interesting, and the variety of stitch sizes adds even more visual pizzazz.

A color instructions page points out which stitches go where, and it includes a prominent web address that leads you to a downloadable PDF stitch guide. A separate pamphlet in English and French provides more general tips for starting and finishing the piece, as well as gentle reminders to embrace imperfections in your work.

It would be great if the stitch diagrams were printed and included in the kit, but the helpful PDF is the next-best thing.

Monotone thread against a bright teal background creates an attention-grabbing effect. The kit and the finished project are equally giftable, especially for a friend who’s a little into crystals.

Who it’s for: Beginner embroiderers.

What’s included: This embroidery kit includes a wooden hoop, a needle, full skeins of embroidery floss, and color instructions with illustrations of the stitches required.

Why it’s great: The visual style of Rikrack’s designs—a single color of embroidery thread set against a high-contrast solid background—is undeniably striking, and their motifs are almost tarot-esque. This kit includes plenty of thread and is approachable but not at all boring to work on.

On its website, Rikrack includes helpful close-up photos of each part of the kit and more in-depth tutorials, but the single-line mention of this useful information is easy to miss in the instructions. It would be great if the same info were included in printed form, as well.

This cool crochet bag is easy to complete and doesn’t look like an antique. The kit has everything you need, including a clasp and a sewing needle to attach it.

Who it’s for: Ambitious beginner crocheters.

What’s included: Each kit offers a printed instruction book (in English, French, and German), a crochet hook, a clasp and sewing needle, and all the yarn required for the project.

Why it’s great: Wearable crochet patterns tend toward the kitchsy or retro—think big, boxy cardigans or throw blankets. But more modern-looking patterns for everyday wear can be harder to find.

Wool and the Gang comes to the rescue with plenty of stylish options, including the Wanderer Bag, a slouchy raffia purse. The pattern is approachable for a beginner—this was my second-ever crochet project—and the raffia “yarn” (it’s actually paper) was a fun novelty that was satisfying to work up.

The finished purse is chic and professional-looking, the instructions are thorough, and the added illustrated tutorials on different techniques are handy.

On this particular pattern, the diagram for sewing the finished pieces together could have been clearer, but with a slouchy bag like this, you have plenty of wiggle room in how you choose to do it.

This pillow cover shows that cross-stitch can be for more than just a wall hanging—and makes a polite request while it’s at it. Better for intermediate stitchers than for beginners.

Who it’s for: Intermediate cross-stitchers and up.

What’s included: Each kit offers a 20-inch pillow cover to stitch on, a plastic embroidery hoop, two embroidery needles, full skeins of all floss needed, a color pattern, and an instruction booklet.

Why it’s great: For a stitcher who has a few projects under their belt and is ready for something that won’t live in a hoop forever, this is a satisfying and slightly more challenging project.

Subversive Cross Stitch, which makes the kit, is one of the more established modern cross-stitch companies, offering hundreds of PDF patterns as well as other kits. The designs tend toward the snarky and oftentimes sweary, so if you’ve been looking forward to stabbing something over and over to express a strongly held feeling, this is the online shop for you.

This pillowcase kit comes with clear, conversational, and funny instructions (including a reassurance that “only a picky mother-in-law might point it out” if the pattern is slightly off-center). This is a larger project that needs strict attention to detail, but you’ll find plenty of supporting material to help.

The cross-stitch pattern is printed across four pages, with instructions for how to cut it and tape it together with overlapping rows. It would be great if the pattern were all on one sheet.

Two slight edits to the pattern itself would help with accessibility: The pattern uses four colors of floss, but in the printout, two of the colors look similar. Changing one color in the printout to boost contrast or using a different symbol for each of the four colors (as many patterns do) would eliminate the problem.

With this kit, you can knit a big moose head to hang on your wall, where it will undoubtedly attract compliments for the rest of time. It’s charming and easy to assemble, though it involves a lot of steps.

Who it’s for:Intermediate knitters.

What’s included: The kit contains all the yarn necessary to complete the project, a color instruction booklet, knitting needles, safety eyes, florist’s wire, a darning needle, toy stuffing, a mounting board, and a drawstring bag to hold your work in progress.

Why it’s great: This clever take on taxidermy is from the UK-based Sincerely Louise, who specializes in whimsy.

Every item that makes up this kit seems thoughtfully chosen and high-quality, from the drawstring kit bag printed with a moose head to the professionally designed instruction booklet to the superior alpaca-blend yarn that you use to make the moose itself.

The instructions are specific and clear, and they include photos throughout to clarify the steps. The seller is well reviewed on Etsy and accessible via social media, and she even features a “Maker of the Week” on her Instagram feed. The moose head project has a lot of steps, but it’s a pleasure to put together, thanks to the clear pattern.

This shop is based in the UK, so shipping takes a little longer than usual for US-based buyers.

This knitting project is easy to work on while you binge-watch TV, and the updated take on a classic design will have you reaching for the sweater when it’s done.

May be out of stock

Who it’s for: Beginning knitters and up.

What’s included: The complete kit includes the yarn for the project (a recycled denim and cotton blend), knitting needles, a printed instruction booklet, and a sewing needle for weaving in ends.

Why it’s great: Knitting a sweater is a commitment, so the process should be a happy one. Wool and the Gang offers a variety of sweater patterns with picks for every taste.

I chose the Summer Feelin’, a crewneck sweater with an interesting split-open back for interest. It’s made with the company’s Billie Jean yarn, a mix of cotton and recycled consumer denim that I can’t stop touching and can imagine would get even softer as the garment is finished and worn in.

This project involves miles of basic stockinette stitch, so it’s a fantastic way for me to keep my hands busy while I’m commuting or watching TV. It’s a lengthy process, but the steps are simple, and the included instructions are clear.

Wool and the Gang’s kits come packaged in paper bags, which do the trick, but we’d prefer to see sweater kits and other larger projects packaged in a tote or a similar lightweight bag for easier portability.

This kit’s cohesive color palette and simple shapes make for a soothing, simple project that looks great as decor. But the instructions could be a bit more detailed.

Who it’s for: Beginner cross-stitchers and up.

What’s included: The kit includes white 14-count Aida cross-stitch fabric, a wooden embroidery hoop, a needle, full skeins of the required embroidery floss, and a color cross-stitch chart.

Why it’s great: At the risk of sounding like Sam I Am, I have worked on this piece in the passenger seat of the car, on my couch, at my desk while on a conference call, on a plane, in a café waiting for coffee, and even once in a movie theater with a strategically placed shaft of light shining through the door. I would also like it in a box, and I’m willing to bet I’d like it with a fox, as well.

The pattern is based on Lisa Congdon’s artwork, and the geometric, gridded design made this project absolutely addictive to me. The experience was like working on 24 very small, very simple projects that just so happened to be on one piece of fabric.

Cross-stitch consists of a series of Xs—that is, each square requires two stitches. My favorite approach to this project was to work the outlines of each shape with a single stitch to begin and then fill in the inside and the other half of those first stitches later so that I didn’t need to look at the pattern all the time. This project is the ultimate in cross-stitch–as–coloring book, and it’s small and simple enough that I could throw the plastic bag it lived in into whatever bag I was using and take it on the go.

Though the pattern is basic, you won’t find much hand-holding here. Beyond the graph-papered color chart of the pattern, the instructions are limited to five bullet-point tips, including one about how to find the center of the fabric to begin the pattern.

This pattern may not be the best choice for an absolute beginner, but if you want it to be your first project, do a little research into basic cross-stitch techniques first.

We loved this cute, carby beginner cross-stitch project down to the last crumb.

Who it’s for: Ambitious beginner cross-stitchers.

What’s included: The kit comes with a wooden embroidery hoop, all required colors of embroidery floss on a labeled thread card, a needle, 14-count Aida cross-stitch fabric, a cross-stitch basics intro sheet, and a color printed pattern.

Why it’s great: Who wouldn’t love a noble bread basket rendered in fiber form? Nobody I want to know.

This beginner-friendly cross-stitch pattern is well presented, with a numbered thread card of pre-snipped threads to cut down on waste. You’ll still have plenty of thread left over, but there’s only so much beige and brown embroidery floss a person needs to have on hand.

This kit would make a great gift for a variety of people in its raw or finished-product form. It’s undeniably cute—and as a bonus, it’ll probably make you want some breakfast.

This kit has no particular flaws; we didn’t find it lacking in instructions, materials, or presentation. The stitching experience is as satisfying as biting into a fresh croissant.

This bundle of supplies and a pattern for a simple, quick crochet-cloaked scrunchie should get you (pardon the pun) hooked in no time. Its instructions are downloadable, not printed.

Who it’s for: Beginner crocheters.

What’s included: Each kit provides three or four skeins (depending on your colorway choice) of acrylic yarn, a digital crochet pattern, a crochet hook, an info card with a QR code for tutorials, five hair ties, a yarn needle, and a reusable zipper pouch for supplies.

Why it’s great: A lot of the joy of crafting is in the making, but there’s also the rush that comes with holding a finished project in your hands. The Neon Tea Party’s crochet scrunchie kit, a collaboration with designer Stitch’d by India, gives you that rush—fast. The project is extremely simple and can be completed in less than an hour.

You can easily knock out several scrunchies in a row and then jump into a much larger project—this kit comes with enough yarn to really get you going, and the QR code leads to a series of detailed tutorials on The Neon Tea Party’s website, which have become my favorite quick reference for all things crochet.

Before you know it, you’ll have made scrunchies to give to everyone you know and moved on to granny squares. As a bonus, the kit comes in a well-made reusable zippered pouch with hot-pink piping—a great project bag.

The pattern for this kit is a digital download, which you receive at purchase, but we’d love to see a physical copy included with the materials.

Additionally, including some of the crochet info in booklet form would make this offering more of a true starter kit.

These itty-bitty cross-stitch projects are as giftable as they are cute, which is to say, extremely so. But the small print of the pattern can be hard to see for people with low vision.

Who it’s for: Intermediate cross-stitchers.

What’s included: Each matchbox kit includes cross-stitch fabric, an embroidery needle, all the necessary embroidery floss, and a color pattern sheet.

Why it’s great: Tiny stuff is cute, and the tinier, the cuter. Therefore, these cross-stitch kits housed in matchbox-sized containers are the cutest.

The kits come in an array of kawaii designs, including a smiling hot dog (he loves having mustard on him), a happy mushroom, a grinning rainbow, a teensy taco, and more. They’re fantastic to have on hand for stocking stuffers or just-because gifts. And as personal projects, they’re quick little dopamine hits.

A side effect of a tiny project that comes in a tiny box is that it’s, well, tiny. This piece is too small to fit in an embroidery frame, so the stitcher has to keep an eye on tension. That’s not so hard, since the fabric is quite stiff, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

This kit isn’t a great choice for someone with low vision, due to the very small print of the pattern, or for anyone with physical limitations, such as hands that cramp easily.

If you want to invest a little more into your hobbies, the following accessories can make crafting a bit easier, though they’re not essential.

We assembled this guide as a starting point for finding reliable in-stock suppliers for kits—I tested a variety of designs and items from the above companies, but I encourage you to look around for a project that feels suited to you or your gift recipient’s taste and ability. It’s a big, crafty world out there, just waiting for you to stitch it up.

Of course, testing every craft kit available was an impossible task, so I focused on testing options that I had seen repeatedly. The following are a few kits that I thought fell short in comparison with our picks.

Both a crochet kit and a knit kit that I tested from We Are Knitters fell short of my expectations design-wise, and both had errors in their written patterns that would trip up the beginner crafters they were meant for.

The “slow stitching” kits from Wattle&Loop have chased me across the algorithm for months. They look gorgeous, but they are more expensive than other kits, and they leave the crafter to figure out how to do certain essential steps, such as transferring the pattern onto the fabric. A crafter at the skill level required to complete the kit would be likely to assemble their own supplies instead.

Knit Picks has great online tutorials and affordable knitting supplies, but its all-in-one kit options are limited, and its customer service was not responsive to my queries.

Many options across Etsy and similar sites were appealing, and I encourage you to patronize small businesses and independent artists. That said, we decided to exclude many of these from our testing out of concerns regarding their availability.

I’m a crafting enthusiast, so I polled my broad network of Instagram friends, crafty pals, and the staff at local yarn and craft stores for their thoughts. I browsed many websites to make sure that kits were well reviewed and regularly in stock, dove deep into my targeted ads, and consulted lists of other craft kits and gift guides.

As for testing, there’s no substitute for completing the kits: Over several months I spent more than 100 hours knitting, crocheting, embroidering, and cross-stitching my way through the test patterns. I took note of pattern issues and speed bumps, and of projects that I couldn’t wait to jump back into.

This article was edited by Ben Keough and Erica Ogg.

Kase Wickman

Kase Wickman is a freelance journalist and hobby enthusiast. She has never met a craft she didn’t want to try, and she especially loves sewing. She is the author of Bring It On: The Complete Story of the Cheerleading Movie That Changed, Like, Everything (No, Seriously), and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, and more.

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