Understanding Yarn Sizes

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,327
    Knitting expert Toni Lipe demonstrates how to knit a gauge swatch, including understanding the different yarn size options.

    Toni Lipe: Hi! I am Toni Lipe with Toni's Design Studio. We are going to talk about gauge swatches today and how to pick the appropriate yarn and needle size for your project. Now, we are going to talk about yarn weights. Yarn content is anything from alpaca to acrylic from llama to wool. Right now, we are going to talk about, which weight is good for which project. First, I am going to talk about baby weight yarn. This yarn is very fine and usually gets seven to eight stitches per inch. It's also called fingering weight. Generally, requires a size one or two knitting needle. This is perfect for baby garments. It's perfect for summer wear and it's excellent for socks. So this is the baby weight yarn or fingering yarn. The next weight is a sport weight. This yarn gets about six stitches per inch. It's wonderful for summer wear items, children's and baby clothing and it requires a bit larger of a needle size and the yarn is about twice the width of the baby or the fingering weight yarn.

    The next yarn we are going to look at is called sport weight. Sport weight is a fabulous yarn to use for afghans, children's clothing, even adult garments. This usually gets about five stitches per inch and requires anywhere from a size six to a size seven needle. So, as we are looking at the yarns, they are getting thicker and thicker. The worsted weight is a very common weight yarn used. It gets about four or four-and-a-half stitches per inch and it's wider still, wonderful for afghans. It's good beginning yarn for the beginning knitter, the worsted weight, and it's the most common yarn used. It knits up quickly; it's easy to handle; requires a size seven or eight needle depending on your knitting tension and it's just a good all around yarn to use for your projects.

    As we move on, we have our gigantic yarns or bulky yarns. They can get anywhere from two to three and three-and-a-half stitches per inch. They are very think and lofty and require size ten and up needles. These projects work out very, very quickly because you get a small number of stitches for an inch and is a lot of fun for bulky scarves, big comfy afghans, big bulky sweaters and it's just a fun yarn to work with. It's still better to started with the worsted, by working with the bulky is fun and quickly satisfying because the project works up so fast. So, when you are picking out your pattern for your garment or your project you need to be aware of what type of yarn you need to buy. So, when you go to the store you can look for worsted, you can work for a DK weight or double knitting weight, fingering yarn, baby yarn, bulky or even the gigantic yarns and once you have start to matching up your stitches per inch with your pattern then you can take it home and start your gauge swatch. Next, we will talk about reading the yarn label, so when you go to the store you actually know what you are looking for.