Some yarns are thick and sumptuous while others are skinny like a spiderweb. Others are in-between, and some defy category (fun fur, anyone?). Like people, yarns come in many shapes and sizes. So, in order to talk about the bigness or smallness of yarns, the Craft Yarn Council designed a system to categorise yarn weight. Let’s meet the yarn family!
Lace weight is the thinnest, lightest type of yarn. It’s used mostly to knit lace shawls and scarves. To get the open lace effect, use a larger needle size.
Fun fact: extremely light and intricate shawls, called wedding ring shawls, were first knitted on the Shetland Isles during the 19th century. They were so light and airy that they could be pulled through a wedding ring!
Super fine yarn includes sock and fingering yarn. It’s often used to make socks, hats, mittens and other accessories. An entire sweater knit in super fine yarn is a long journey, but so, so satisfying!
Fine yarn includes sport and baby weight yarn. It’s sometimes confused with light weight yarn. (In fact, sometimes I mix up the two!) This is a versatile yarn that’s great for just about anything: cardigans, sweaters, hats, socks, you name it.
DK weight and light worsted yarns fall into this category. These yarns are just a teeny bit thicker than fine yarns and a tiny bit thinner than medium yarns.
The worsted weight yarn is the most popular medium weight yarn. Not too big and not too small, they’re just right for most projects.
Chunky yarns and rug yarns fall into this category. These knit up nice and quick and are perfect for warm hats, dramatic scarves, blankets and rugs. Cowichan sweaters are usually knit in bulky yarn.
Super bulky yarns are the ultimate in instant gratification knits. At 6-11 stitches to four inches, you can easily finish a hat in just a few hours. In fact, you can do just that with the Big Hat pattern! (shameless plug). These yarns are usually single ply and super warm on account of their bulk.