Reading a Yarn Label

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,761
    Knitting expert Toni Lipe demonstrates how to knit a gauge swatch, including how to read a yarn label.

    Toni Lipe: Hi! I am Toni Lipe with Toni's Design Studio. Today, we are talking about knitting swatches to get the correct gauge for our project. We have talked about actually knitting the swatch; how to correct our gauge; we have talked about the different types of knitting needles available and the yarns. Right now, we are going to talk about the yarn label itself, so when you go to the store you know what you are looking for. I am going to wear my glasses now, so I can actually read it. When you go to store, your local craft shop, your local knitting store, yarn store, one of the things you want to be aware of is what your yarn is made of. This label says pure wool knitting worsted weight. So we know, it's a 100% wool and it is a worsted weight. It also tells you the company. It tells you the name of the yarn. Now, when you look on the back or the label it also tells you it's a 100% pure wool. There are a 100 gms and 210 yards. The yardage is important because your pattern will tell you how many yards you will need for your project, so you need to buy enough yarn to complete your project. The ball band or label also tells you the suggested knitting needle size that you will need. This says US 8, knitting needle size eight will give you five stitches per inch. So that's the gauge we are trying to get. So when you start swatching your gauge you will grab of size eight needle and since it's five stitches per inch you will multiply that by four, cast on 20 stitches and knit for four inches and see if you really do have that five stitches per inch gauge and if you do you can proceed.

    Down here the label tells you how to take care of the yarn or care of the garment after it's finished. This says hand wash and dry flat. So you know not to put that in the washing machine or the drier, because it will felt, because it's a 100% wool. Now, one of the most important things you will find on the label is the color number. This color number happens to be 814. Well, that's important because you want to use the same color for your entire project, normally; but the most important thing on the label is the lot number. When you purchase your yarn you want to make sure that all of your lot numbers are the same. When manufacturers dye the yarn, they mix up huge fats of dye and then they dye them all the same. Each batch of dye can vary, ever so slightly. So if you end up with yarn from this batch and yarn from a different batch, there could be a line in your knitting or the shading would be just a slight bit off. So it's important to always have the same lot number for your entire project. If you can't find your lot numbers at one store, it would be advisable to go to another store until you can't find the dye lots that you need. This is very important if you want your piece to be cohesive. So this is how you read the ball band. It has all the information you need to get started and to knit your first gauge swatch. Next, we will talk about joining new yarns.