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Understanding Yarn Weight

When you’re a new knitter, the symbols and words on a yarn label can be confusing. The good news is, it doesn’t have to stump you or prevent you from moving forward in your knitting journey.

In this blog series, I want to break down and explain what the different symbols mean and what it means when starting a new knitting project.

Part 1: Yarn Weight  (Source: Craft Yarn Council Standard Yarn Weight System)

One of the most common symbols you will see is a little ball of yarn with a number in the middle. This is referring to the yarn weight. Simply put, the yarn weight refers to the thickness of the strand of yarn – the thicker the yarn, the higher the number.

There are lots of other terms thrown around in the knitting world to refer to the same weight of yarn. Some examples include:

Chunky – Bulky (5)

Worsted – Medium (4)

DK (Double Knit) – Light (3)

Sport – Fine (2)

Sock – Super Fine (1)

For beginners, I would recommend sticking to light (3) or medium (4) weight yarn for your projects because these are easier weights to work with. As the yarn gets finer, it’s more difficult to work with and it takes a lot longer to finish a project. While a bulky yarn knits up fast, it can be a bit awkward to manage when you are still learning how to hold the needles in a way that is comfortable for you.

I hope that helps you make sense of the different terms and symbols to describe the weight of the yarn. Next we will look at knitting needle sizes and how size matters when it comes to yarn weight.

Happy Knitting!


PS: If you’re a beginner knitter or a complete novice, we offer Learn to Knit Workshops! Send us an email at info@littleseedknits.com or visit our Facebook page for details on upcoming workshops.

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