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  1. How-To
  2. Before You Begin
  3. What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

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Everyone talks about yarn weight — what does it mean? When we refer to yarn weight, we're not talking about the weight of the ball or skein. Instead, we're talking about how thick or thin yarn is.

Yarnspirations follows the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) Standard Yarn Weight System. In this system, yarn is divided into weights 0 to 7. The thinner the yarn, the smaller the number. For example, Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet Thread Size 10 would count as a size 0 (Lace). Red Heart Super Saver, Caron One Pound and Bernat Super Value are all size 4 (Medium), and Red Heart Grande and Bernat Mega Bulky is a size 7 (Jumbo).

Just because yarn is the same weight doesn't mean it is identical: Red Heart Super Saver, Caron One Pound, and Red Heart Soft all have a weight of 4, but they are slightly different sizes and have slightly different gauges. Each weight of yarn has a range of similar gauges.

Each of our yarns has the symbol for their weight on the ball band. You can search our yarn by weight on the website: click on "Yarn" in the top navigation bar, and then select the weight you need under the "Weight" column.

If you want to substitute yarn in a pattern, weight is one component. It is easiest to substitute between yarns of the same weight, such as using Red Heart Super Saver or Caron One Pound in a pattern. You will still need to check the pattern gauge, however, to make sure that the project you are making will turn out the correct size.

Lace Weight

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

Lace weight yarn also known as fingering yarn and 10 count crochet thread is very thin yarn used for lacy projects such as doilies and lace shawls.

Super Fine

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

Super fine yarn may also work for lace projects since it is great for creating delicate garments. Super fine yarn is commonly used to make socks, shawls and baby items. Find super fine yarns here.

Fine

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

Fine yarn often referred to as Sport Weight yarn is also great for creating lightweight and delicate projects. It works well for making socks, heirloom garments and lightweight blanket.

Light

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

Light yarn is slightly thicker than a #2 Fine yarn, it is considered a lighter worsted weight yarn that’s great for making heavier, fine garments and baby items. You can find light (DK) yarns here.

Medium

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

Medium weight yarns are often referred to as Aran or Worsted Weight yarn. Worsted weight yarn is the most frequently used yarn since it is easy to work with. It’s a great yarn for beginners and for those looking to make a variety of projects. Shop Medium weight or worsted weight yarns here.

Bulky

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

Bulky yarn or chunky yarn is almost twice as thick as worsted weight yarn and is great for making scarves, hats, sweaters, and blankets. Due to its thickness this yarn works up quickly when using large hooks or needles. Looking to make a project with a bulky yarn? Shop bulky yarns here.

Super Bulky

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

Super Bulky yarn or Roving yarn is thicker and works up quick! This kind of yarn is great for making warm and cozy sweaters, hats, and cowls. Shop super bulky yarns here.

Jumbo

What Do We Mean by Yarn Weight?

The thickest of yarns classified in the Yarn Weight Standards by the Craft Yarn Council. This yarn category was created to classify the trending super thick yarns which started to appear in the yarn world. These jumbo yarns are great for quickly making sturdy and large projects. Start stitching with jumbo yarns!

Every pattern either dictates the yarn you need to use to make the project or the yarn weight. This means that you have the option of making a project in the yarn you want by simply switching to a different yarn with the same weight originally called in the pattern. An important thing to note if you choose to switch out one yarn for another when working on a project is to make sure you create a gauge swatch. While most yarns within a yarn weight category are interchangeable not all yarns are identical that’s why it’s helpful to create a gauge swatch, so you can get a sense of the tension you’ll need to maintain in order to achieve the right amount of stitches per inch.

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