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Easy As 1-2-3!!

aka Tech Talk: Know Your Weight!
February 19, 2024

Today, we're talking about yarn specifications (specs). Patterns usually specify a yarn or yarn weight. However, crafters often substitute for a named yarn, so it helps to understand yarn specs. If crafters substitute a yarn that isn't the same weight or has the same characteristics, they may get a different result than they intended. To help y'all plan your projects, this week we'll review yarn weights and resources.

The US-based Craft Yarn Council publishes the Standard Yarn Weight System. Yarn weights have both a number and a name and are determined by gauge (stitches or rows/inch); standard weights start with 0 (Lace) and increase to 7 (Jumbo).

                                   Source: Craft Yarn Council

We should note that, while there are standards for yarn weights, some patterns may specify a yarn that isn't included in the Craft Yarn Council's list. "Aran" is a common example of this; crafters would probably see this yarn weight in a pattern from the UK (United Kingdom). In the US, we would call an Aran yarn a heavy Worsted (#4) or light Bulky (#5). The UK uses other terms that US crafters wouldn't see often, such as 8-ply for #3 (DK) or 4-ply for #4 (Worsted).

When you're in Yarnivore, you'll notice that we have signs directing crafters to the right area (e.g., as you enter, the left wall is #4 or Worsted) and we specify the yarn weight on the shelf tag. If you have any questions about whether the yarn you like is an appropriate substitution, ask us!

Caryn and the Yarnivore Crew

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