Yarn Weight Cheat Sheet

by Olia
yarn weight

Yarn weight refers to the sickness of the yarn, and it ranges from super fine to super bulky or giant. Why is it important to know the yarn weight? Because it determines the number of the hook or knitting needles, you will need to work with it. Also, if you work with the pattern and know the yarn weight, you can choose a different yarn than featured in the pattern to customize the design to your needs and liking.

There are some common terms to define yarn’s weight that are used by most manufacturers and designers. You can find the weight of the yarn on its label. Usually, it is represented by the following symbols:

The same stitch made in yarn with different weights will look different. For example, the giant and super bulky yarns are best for simple and basic stitches, enhancing them and making a minimal statement look. Fine and lacy yarns are perfect for intricate and lacy stitches as they create the airy and lightweight fabric.

Common Yarn Weights

  • Lace – is the thinnest yarn. It is perfect for lacy and intricate stitches and creates beautiful lace accessories – shawls, apparel and home decor.
  • Super Fine – also called “fingering” or “baby yarn.” It is excellent to make socks and light layettes.
  • Fine – sometimes called “sport” weight yarn. This yarn is ideal for light sweaters, everything for baby, and accessories.
  • Light – also called “light worsted” or “DK.” Great for any garments, especially sweaters and lightweight accessories.
  • Medium – means “medium worsted”, also called “aran” or “afghan”. It is an ideal yarn for making blankets, outwear (hats, snoods, scarves, and mittens), and sweaters.
  • Bulky or chunky – these are thick yarns, that are perfect for making home decor (blankets, rugs) and modern statement apparel (jackets, scarves).
  • Superbulky – thick yarns for heavy blankets, rugs, or statement sweaters.
  • Jumbo – arm knitting or giant yarns. They are great for creating unique textile art for your home: rugs, blankets, mats, cat beds, and much more.

Each yarn weight range requires a different knitting needle or hook number. On the yarn label, the producers indicate the ideal number of hook and needles, but you can go for 1-2 numbers less or more than indicated. Here is the cheat sheet for common weight yarn – needles and hook numbers.

Click here to upload in PDF

Working with jumbo yarns do not require hooks or needles – you can use your hands. I like to work with super bulky yarns and usually use hooks and needles 20 mm (metric size) – they create more airy and “cloudy” texture that is heavenly soft.

What are your favorites?

What is your favorite hook/ needles size? What yarns size you like to work with? Let me know in comments below.

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