Yarn Weights 101 by Jenny Hay

When I first learned to knit, I remember walking into a local yarn shop bewildered by the selection of yarn and knitting needles. How would I ever know which one to choose? What was the big difference between them all? Well for that first project I let the salesperson pull all of my needed supplies for me, learning to knit was going to be my first priority. However, over the years I have learned so much about yarn weights and gauge and it makes choosing my yarn and needles for projects a breeze. I thought I would share some of the basics in hopes of helping someone else along their knitting or crocheting journey.

First things first, why are yarn weights even important when picking yarn for a project? Well, when you spend your precious time and money knitting (or crocheting) a hat or a garment or whatever you make, you kind of want to have that item fit! Which means you will want to make sure that your gauge matches that of the pattern. The easiest way to achieve this is to find a yarn that is the same weight as the recommended yarn for your project.

The Craft Yarn Council has developed a number system that helps to classify yarn weights into categories. For more information and a helpful chart that you can download visit: Standard Yarn Weight System | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council. The weights are as follows:

  • #0 Lace
  • #1 Sock, Fingering
  • #2 Sport, Baby
  • #3 DK
  • #4 Worsted, Aran
  • #5 Bulky
  • #6 Super Bulky, Roving
  • #7 Jumbo, Roving


You will often find some version of these classifications on the tag of the yarn at the store. Between the chart linked above and the information on your pattern, it should become much easier to make sure that you have the right yarn and needles (or hook) in hand! We also have our yarn at Sew to Speak sorted into these categories with signs to label their categories and the recommendations for needle or hook size to assist you. If you are shopping online with us, you can also filter the yarn by their weights to find what you need!

But what if you have yarn already that you want to use and no tag to determine what weight you’re dealing with?  Well thankfully there is a way to measure your yarn weight at home. What you will want to do is wrap your yarn around a pencil (without pulling or creating tension on the yarn) then measure how many times it wraps in a 1-inch section.

The Craft Yarn Council also has a really helpful chart for this method: How to Measure Wraps Per Inch (WPI) | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council The wrap counts for each weight are as follows:

  • Lace-16+ wraps
  • Sock/Fingering - 14 wraps
  • Sport - 12 wraps
  • DK- 11 wraps
  • Worsted- 9 wraps
  • Aran- 8 wraps
  • Bulky- 7 wraps
  • Super Bulky- -5-6 wraps
  • Jumbo- 0-4 wraps

Whether you are new to knitting or crocheting or a seasoned veteran, I hope that this information is helpful to reference back to as needed! As always, we are available in the shop to help you if you have questions!





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Sharon Blake

Sharon Blake

Sock class I want to take. In May 17th – 31st.$90.00 For class.,l want to buy sock material. I have the rest.
Sharon Blake

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