JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Elizabeth Bagwell explains the different terms. Yarn weights are confusing enough when you stick to one system. With the plethora of beautiful yarns crossing the oceans every day, more knitters are getting in a tangle, particularly when substituting yarns.

Using the American Standard Yarn Weight System as a backdrop, my goal is to outline the types of yarn, from thinnest to thickest. Discovered some unidentified yarn in your stash?

Learn how to figure out yarn weight at home! Spinners pull fibres from a disordered mass into a single, long thread. This thread is usually plied with one or more others to make up a yarn of the desired weight. This way, the spinner or spinning machine can make one type of thread but multiple weights of yarn. Historically, this was a good way to describe weight, as plies were fairly uniform. Plies have remained as yarn weight names, particularly in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, even though the meaning is no longer as clear.

Lace yarns are often knit on larger needles to create a more airy effect so it's important to find the right weight of yarn as well as getting gauge.

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Sock weight is a very useful term but not a fixed standard. There is no direct UK equivalent. Icelandic Lopi is a bulky yarn. Bulky and chunky yarns can vary a lot in thickness.

Frequently, yarn companies will lump all yarns thicker than aran or worsted into this one category.

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As a result, finding successful substitutions can be difficult. In Australia this is known as 14 ply yarn weight. Yarn weights were developed when yarn meant wool and perhaps cotton. As novelty yarns are often knit at odd tensions, finding substitutes can be like doing a frustrating but hopefully rewarding puzzle.

Read our Yarn Buying Guide.

convert bulky yarn to worsted

See all search results. Visit our international sites: Australia.Yarns generally fall into seven categories of weight and gauge. Keep in mind that these categories and their numbers can differ from older conventions, and they still leave a bit of wiggle room in gauge.

The gauge is your most important number for a pattern. Needle sizes are given as guidelines only. Although most patterns specify gauge in terms of stockinette stitch, a few note the gauge in terms of a specific stitch pattern. She includes fiber content, skein weight, and yardage. Failing this, you can always swatch the yarn and let it show you its ideal gauge. Patterns also differ in the size of their gauge swatches.

Not all labels follow the same standard, so double-check this number if anything seems off. Imagine a tea bag designed to make the perfect 8-ounce cup of tea. A general rule of thumb is to stay within a half-stitch-per-inch range of the yarn originally specified in the pattern. Most online yarn stores let you browse yarns by gauge, fiber, and manufacturer. Different yarn manufacturers pack different amounts of yarn into their skeins.

Many new patterns include this information. If this is the case, simply multiply the number of skeins required by the number of yards in each skein. When in doubt, round up. For a while there, pattern designers had the frustrating habit of basing their patterns on yarn category and weight alone, with no mention of yardage. In most cases those patterns also specifed the desired gauge, which is a much more accurate clue.

With this number in mind, visit any of the popular online shops, or go to your local store, and look at yarns that knit up at a similar gauge. A word of caution: Yarn weights tend to vary more than yards, so you may want to add another skein to your stash to play it safe. Read more about using a scale to determine the yardage of skeins.

Handspinners have the distinct advantage of being able to create custom yarns exactly to their specifications. Using a standard ruler, start wrapping your handspun yarn around the ruler, being careful not to overlap the strands or create gaps between them. Then, use the chart below to find the closest corresponding gauge, yarn category, and needle size that will work for your yarn.

You can use this information to match your handspun with the best pattern. Beyond gauge, yardage, and accurate swatches, you must always keep in mind: Does your substitute yarn match the overall look and feel of the original one? Depending on the pattern, even brushed mohair could fall into this category. If your pattern calls for such yarns, pay extra attention to finding a similar-textured replacement.A necessary part of becoming a proficient knitter is learning how to substitute yarns.

Changing the yarn in a pattern for a different yarn can be necessary for a number of reasons, such as the yarn being discontinued, being made from a fiber you don't like or are sensitive to, being out of your price range, or simply being unavailable for another reason. It is not that difficult to substitute yarns, but the prospect of finding the right yarn to complete a project can be quite daunting for beginning knitters.

Here are some tips on how to choose the right substitute for a yarn given in a pattern. Before you go to the yarn store or your favorite online shop to look for yarn to replace the one used in a pattern, you need a little bit of information about the yarn that was used in the pattern.

The most important piece of information you need about the yarn in question is its gauge or the number of stitches and rows per inch that the designer got when they worked the pattern. That tells you that if you want your finished project to be the same size as the project in the pattern, you will need to find a yarn that allows you to knit that same gauge.

Virtually every pattern you will ever come across will tell you what the gauge was, even if it says the gauge isn't important to the finished piece.

If a pattern doesn't tell you the gauge, it likely will tell you the weight of the yarnwhether its chunky, worsted or fingering weight. Some patterns that give gauge will also tell you the weight of the yarn, which is handy information to help in your search. Knowing the weight of the yarn can help you narrow down your search in the yarn store.

You can ask to see only super-bulky yarns in the yarn shop if that is what you need, or most online shops have an option to search by weight. This will save you a lot of time by eliminating the yarns that simply won't work for you. Now that you know the gauge and weight of the yarn that was used in the pattern, you can begin to look for a yarn with a similar gauge to use for your project.

How do you know if a yarn has a similar gauge without knitting it? Most yarn bands will give you an estimate of how many stitches and rows the yarn works up to on a certain size needle more than an inch or four inches. This is often presented graphically with a number of rows and stitches shown on a grid with a particular needle size named outside the grid.

Whether the gauge information is listed in words or as a picture, it's pretty unlikely that you'll find a yarn that perfectly matches the gauge that was given for the project you are looking at.

That's because different companies use different sized needles to make their gauge swatches, and you might not find a yarn that indicates the same size needle your pattern calls for. Even if you did, the gauge probably won't be exactly the same, and even if it were, that's no guarantee that when you make your gauge swatch you'll get exactly the same gauge. Let's go back to the wristwarmer example.

You can search online for things such as "super bulky wool yarn" and see what develops. With a little fiddling, you could probably get the right gauge for this project.

Picking the perfect substitute yarn has a lot to do with your personal taste as well as the dynamics of the pattern. Don't pick a yarn just because it fits the math. If you don't love it, keep looking. Once you've found that perfect yarn that fits the gauge requirements and your needs, the next big question is how much yarn you need.As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

Have you found yourself all tangled up in yarn weight issues? That makes us two.

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As a bonus, I have created a yarn weight conversion chart to make things easier! To knit or crochet you need to have yarn, and to most projects the right yarn weight is an important ingredient for making sure you efforts is rewarded with an endresult that stands up to your expectations.

You also need to have the right tools, knitting needels or a crochet hook, in the right size to obtain the right gauge. The best way to get all of the above to work together nicely is to know how they affect each other.

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Knowing your yarn weight makes it easier to choose a yarn that will work for your project. So, do you have to learn all the systems for yarn weight? No, not at all! Be sure to pin it for later! For example, a thicker yarn may be suitable for a blanket or a warm sweater for an adult. While a thinner yarn is a better choice for delicate shawls or baby clothing. Yarn is divided into different categories depending on their thickness — weight. There are a bunch off different kinds of yarn. I will go through this subject briefly here.

If you are interested in yarn fibers and their characteristics, please read more here: How to pick yarn for my knitting project? A single ply yarn, a yarn spun out of one strand, will look softer and have less stitch definition than a tighter spun multi-ply yarn.

Want to read more about yarn structures? Check this post out! Yarn weights can be quite confusing, therefore the Craft Yarn Council of America created a system of standards.

The standards from the Craft Yarn Council sorts the yarns into categories depending on the thickness of the yarn, where the thinnest yarns are labeled 0 and the thickest 7. This system makes it easy to substitute a yarn with another from the same category for knitters all over the world.

Many yarn manufacturers use the yarn standards from the Craft Yarn Council. You will find them on the yarn label. But what if you have lost the label?About to buy some yarn? Read this first! When choosing the right yarn for your project, size matters.

Yarns come in a range of standard sizes the most well-known being set by the Craft Yarn Councilwhich can be found written on the ball band along with the suggested needle size and tension.

You can find our guide to these weights below. Ply refers to the number of strands that are plied, or twisted together, during spinning to create a single strand of yarn. A 2ply yarn has two strands, a 3ply has three and so on.

A 4ply yarn might not have four plies — it could have more or fewer. And a singles 1ply yarn could be lace weight, big or somewhere in between. Plies are still commonly used as names for yarn weights, particularly in the UK and Australia, even though weight and ply are no longer always related! Use for delicate lace knitting and baby garments.

Good for socks and gloves. Usually double the weight of 4ply, this is the most widely used weight. Suitable for most garments and quick to knit up. Perfect for outdoor or warm clothing. Associated with outdoor wear and winter jumpers, great for oversized garments.

Knit on 7 to 12mm needles. A great weight for beginners, as it produces quick results. Good for furnishings.

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Knit on 9 to 20mm needles. Perfect for eye-catching scarves and coats, as well as cosy cushions and throws. As a result you can generally use it as a substitute for both weights, but make sure you swatch, swatch, swatch first to check that your tension is a good match!

Yarn conversion chart

Light worsted is the same as DK in the UK.To convert from one to the other, just input a value and the conversion will appear in the empty box. Handy knitting calculators and charts Knitting isn't all about maths but sometimes you'll need to be able to convert between yards and metres, or if you're substituting yarn, calculate how much yarn you'll need for a project! To make it easier, we've created special calculators to do the work for you!

Our calculators will help you to: - Convert between mm and inches to check a tension square, sizing of a garment or motif - Convert between yards and metres to help calculate the amount of yarn you need for a garment - Convert between grams and ounces to measure how much yarn you have left or to compare brands To convert from one to the other, just input a value and the conversion will appear in the empty box.

Convert between mm and inches mm inches Convert between yards and metres yards metres Convert between grams and ounces grams ounces Quick links My pattern requires x amount of yardage The yarn I want to use has x amount of yardage. How many balls do I need to make my garment?

How many stitches do I need to knit? How many rows do I need to knit? Roughly how much yarn will I need for a particular garment? Convert between mm and inches. Convert between yards and metres.

convert bulky yarn to worsted

Convert between grams and ounces. Quick links My pattern requires x amount of yardage The yarn I want to use has x amount of yardage. Country yarn weight conversion and needle requirements. Our yardage calculator will enable you to work out how many balls of yarn you will need based on the yardage of each ball, and you can either calculate by the total yardage required, or the yardage from each ball: Number of balls.

The yarn I want to use has x amount of yardage. Total pattern yardage required. This stitch and row calculator will help you work out how many stitches and rows you need to knit per inch: Your stitch count. Your rows per inch.

Our yarn weight calculator will work out how many balls of yarn a pattern requires by weight: Weight required.Click on the headings below to go straight to the information you need. Yarn Types: This covers the different weights of yarns from superfine to super bulky as well as the novelty yarns such as tapes and eyelash yarn.

There are also some tips on choosing yarns for new knitters. Yarn Fibres: The different properties of various yarn fibres including details of what these fibres are like to knit with as well as the properties of the knitted fabric. The chart below is a quick reference guide to the different yarn weights and can help with yarn substitutions. The boundaries between the different traditional weight classes are not set in stone, different manufacturers may label yarn differently.

Never substitute a yarn based on the traditional name alone. Always check the recommended tension and knit a tension square to ensure you can match the tension of the pattern. Wraps per inch or wpi is the number of strands of yarn that fit side by side in one inch. You can easily measure this by wrapping your yarn around a ruler without squashing it together but ensuring there are no gaps. Sadly many find they are disappointed with garments made with super bulky yarn. Manipulating the large yarn and needles may also be awkward.

It may be a better idea to pick a small project with a medium weight wool. Novelty yarns can be tricky for beginners to use and are perhaps best left until you are reasonably confident. With some of the fluffy yarns it can sometimes be hard to see the stitch definition on your gauge swatch.

convert bulky yarn to worsted

With shiny, slippery yarns it can be difficult to keep a consistent tension. Try using wooden or bamboo needles and feeding the yarn in and out through your fingers or around your little finger to keep it under consistent tension.

Ribbon yarns can sometimes get twisted up as you knit. Putting the ball of ribbon on a makeshift spindle or inside a narrow box can help ensure it unwinds without twisting. Before starting a project with a novelty yarn it may be worth making a larger than usual swatch, this should give you time to iron out any problems. The comments below should give you a general idea of what to expect from the more common yarn fibres, there will always be exceptions and new yarn production methods are gradually ironing out many of the traditional problems associated with certain yarn fibres.

Alpaca : This is a lovely fibre to work with but rather expensive. It is soft and has a slight sheen to it. Some alpaca yarns even claim to be water repellant and flame retardant, we plan to test this out in the Knitting Brain lab.

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Angora : Angora comes from Angora rabbits. It is not very elastic so it is more often found blended with other fibres. Requires careful hand washing and will leave a trail of fluff until all the loosest fibres have been shed. May not be suitable for beginners but the finished fabric looks beautiful.


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