Yarn Types, compare weight, Stitches per 10cm and WPI.

The thickness of yarn is categorised by the “yarn weight”. These range from Lace 0 to Super Bulky 6.

Two ply and Three Ply yarn also refer to the diameter of the yarn and not the number of strands in the yarn as is commonly assumed.

There is variation in thickness between manufacturers who all use different labelling systems.

yarns

If you want to substitute a yarn you need to check the recommended tension and do a tension square to verify the yarn is suitable for your pattern.

Standard Weight Traditional Names
/ Yarn categories
Stitches per
10cm/(4″)
over stocking stitch
WPI
Wraps per Inch
6 Super Bulky Roving 6-11 6 or less
5 Bulky Chunky, Craft, Rug,
Heavy Worsted,
12-15 7-8
4 Medium Worsted, Aran,
Afghan
16-20 9-11
3 Light DK, double knitting,
Light Worsted
21-24 12-14
2 Fine Sport, Baby, 4-ply,
5-ply, light DK
23-26 15-18
1 Superfine Sock, Fingering,
Baby, 2-ply, 3-ply
27-32 19-22
0 Lace Lace, Fingering 33-40 23+

Definition WPI – The number of strands laid side by side that will fit inside an inch. Wrap your yarn around a ruler avoiding too much tension and ensuring there are no gaps to measure this more easily.

TIP – Beginners usually assume that bulky yarn is easier to work with and garments will take shape more quickly. They will then be dissapointed with the finished garment and find it harder to use the larger yarn and needles. Our advice is to choose a smaller garment as your project and use a medium weight wool.

TIP – Avoid novelty yarns with bobbles and tags or loose strands and fluffy yarn as these make it harder to see the stitching details. Perform a larger tension square with these yarns first to make sure you are happy working with it and are able to get good results.

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