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Standard Yarn Weights

Standard Yarn Weights

When we classify yarn by weight, it has little to do with how heavy a yarn is, but rather how thick is the strand of the yarn.  The Craft Yarn Council, along with publishers, fiber and needle and hook manufacturers, have created a series of guidelines and symbols to bring uniformity to yarn, needle, and hook labeling to make it easier to select the right materials for a project and complete it successfully.

If your pattern of choice calls for a specific yarn but you prefer to use a different yarn, you can use the yarn weights as a basis for substitution.  While most yarns within a yarn weight category are interchangeable, not all are identical.  It is imperative to construct a gauge swatch with the yarn that you intend to use in a project to be sure that you are matching the gauge of your project pattern.

Source: Craft Yarn Council, www.YarnStandards.com

Lace Weight

0 Weight is the lightest weight of yarn.  Lace weight produces an extremely fine gauge fabric.  Lace weight yarns are often knit or crocheted on larger needles and hooks to create lacy, openwork patterns.   Accordingly, gauge range is difficult to determine.  Lace weight yarns are often used for delicate shawls and wraps.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size:  US 000-1 or 1.5mm-2.25mm
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  Steel 1.6mm-1.4mm or Regular 2.2

Common Gauge over 4 inches  
Knitting Stockinette: 33-40 stitches
Crochet Single Crochet: 32-42 stitches

(Gauge is difficult to determine for lace weight yarns as it is often used to make lacy, open stitch work. Always follow the gauge as stated in your pattern.)

Super Fine or Fingering Weight

More often referred to as fingering weight yarn, 1 weight is a bit heavier than lace and creates a more substantial fabric.  Still very fine gauged, fingering weight yarn can also produce lovely openwork projects. This yarn can be used in a very wide range of projects, including socks, shawls, baby and adult garments, and accessories.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size: US 1-3 or 2.25mm-3.25mm
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  B-1 to E-4 or 2.25mm – 3.5mm

Common Gauge over 4 inches:
Knitting Stockinette: 27-32 stitches
Crochet Single Crochet: 21-32 stitches

Fine Weight

2 Weight yarn is often called sport or baby weight.  Slightly heavier than fingering weight, sport weight yarns are great for colorwork, textured fabric, and cabling.  This yarn is great for cozy socks, as well as sweaters with great ease and drape.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size: US 3-5 or 3.25-3.75mm
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  E-4 to 7 or 3.5mm – 4.5mm

Common Gauge over 4 inches  
Knitting Stockinette: 23-26 stitches
Crochet Single Crochet: 16-20 stitches

Light Weight

Light Weight yarn is more commonly called DK or Double Knit.  This yarn creates a lovely, drapey fabric that is so popular probably because it works up much faster than its thinner counterparts.  Sweaters, accessories, and children’s garments are just a few of the projects that are complemented with DK weight yarn.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size: US 5-7 or 3.75mm-4.5mm
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  7 to I-9 or 4.5mm – 5.5mm

Common Gauge over 4 inches:
Knitting Stockinette: 21-24 stitches
Crochet Single Crochet: 12-17 stitches

Medium Weight

4 Weight yarn, more commonly known as worsted weight, is the workhorse yarn of the knitting and crochet world for good reason.  This yarn can be used for anything from garments to accessories to home décor and just about everything else that might be knit or crochet.  Bridging the gap between lighter and heavier weight yarns, 4 weight is perfect for beginners of either craft.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size: US 7-9 or 4.5mm-5.5mm
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  I-9 to K-10 ½ or 5.5mm – 6.5mm

Common Gauge over 4 inches:
Knitting Stockinette: 16-20 stitches
Crochet Single Crochet: 11-14 stitches

Bulky Weight

Bulky or 5 weight yarn is approximately twice as thick as worsted weight yarn.  Sometimes referred to as chunky, craft, or rug yarn, it usually works up quickly using larger needles or hooks.  This yarn is great for a heavier, cozy sweater, or for rugs and throws.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size: US 9-11 or 5.5mm-8mm
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  K-10 ½ to M-13 or 6.5mm – 9mm

Common Gauge over 4 inches:
Knitting Stockinette: 12-15 stitches
Crochet Single Crochet: 8-11 stitches

Super Bulky

Super Bulky or 6 weight yarn is a very thick yarn that works up quickly on large needles and hooks.  Most often it is used for cowls, scarves, and hats.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size: US 11-17 or 8mm-12.75mm
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  M-13 to Q or 9mm – 15mm

Common Gauge over 4 inches:
Knitting Stockinette: 7-11 stitches
Crochet Single Crochet: 7-9 stitches

Jumbo

The thickest yarn weight currently is Jumbo or 7 weight.  These super thick yarns are used in any big stitch projects or for arm knit or crochet.  Jumbo yarn works up super fast into big stitch cowls, scarves, hats, or blankets.

Recommended Knitting Needle Size: US 17 and larger or 15 mm and larger
Recommended Crochet Hook Size:  Q and larger or 15mm and larger

Common Gauge over 4 inches:
Knitting Stockinette: 6 stitches and fewer
Crochet Single Crochet: 6 stitches and fewer