I’m Confused…

After finishing my baby hat project, I was looking at the pattern and it called for worsted weight yarn. I didn’t know what this was, and I see the phrase a lot in knitting blogs and patterns, etc. I obviously ignored the fact that I had no idea and just went for the yarn I had chosen (because I’m wild, you see). When I was a few rows in, it looked fine, as the pattern produced didn’t look too gappy or anything, as if the yarn was too thin.

So, having already made my hat, I had a Google and discovered that it was the US equivalent of Aran. My confusion is about the yarn symbol. Does the symbol always look exactly the same? My yarn has a symbol that looks similar with a number 4 on it, but it says ply underneath it. I assumed that meant it was 4 ply, but is it actually the yarn symbol? So, 12 ply, as it says in my book? Here is a picture of the label next to the yarn label table.

  
Help!

S.

13 thoughts on “I’m Confused…

  1. Ply is an old name the yarn weight system, because yarn thickness used to be related to how many plies were twisted together. Nowadays it’s an outdated system as thick yarn can be made with one ply versus 12, which is why we switched to the numbers (2: Fine, 3: Light, 4: Medium etc). More info here: http://blog.loveknitting.com/yarn-weights-translated/

    The most accurate way to get the right yarn is wraps per inch. It counts how many times you wrap the yarn around an object that is the same size (like a pencil). Aran and Worsted are two different WPI, with Aran having one wrap less meaning the yarn is thicker and takes up more space. Here’s a handy guide on WPI: http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/11/determining-yarn-weights/

    Ravelry’s yarn system is actually the one I refer to the most cause it appears to be the most accurate! http://www.ravelry.com/help/yarn/weights?highlight=1

    I hope these help you figure out your questions!

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    1. Oh! I’ve never heard of this. Will definitely try this out tomorrow and get my answer! There seems to be so many words for the same thing. I also get really confused when needle sizes are not in mm, or unless they specify that it is the US size. I suppose I could check my book for what needle sizes are recommended for the thickness of yarn in a pattern and see whether it matches the US size or the old UK size. Is that how you would work it out?

      Thanks for the help, anyway! 😀 I really need to get my butt in gear and get some more knitting done, I just can’t chose what I want to knit next!

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  2. If you knit a swatch with the size yarn and needles that you are planning on using, then measure and count 1. stitches per inch(or per 4 inches) and 2. rows per inch (or 4 inches) and compare that results to the gauge given in your pattern, you will know if following the pattern should turn out to be the right size. (I realize you may have to translate my inches to metric, sorry)
    Even with knitting worsted weight being the standard for sweater yarn in the US, different brands can give different gauges…add that to the fact that I spin a lot of my own yarn and welcome to a confusing but fun world.

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  3. I had a really hard time remembering the yarn weights and stuff. I still don’t remember them very well so I’m thinking about making a little laminated card to carry in my craft bag just in case. Maybe that’s something to think about doing for yourself, if you have a hard time remembering like I do. ^ – ^

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  4. It is all so confusing Worsted isn’t exactly Aran, but somewhere between Aran and DK. The problem is compounded by yarn companies who call a yarn DK and when knitted it is more like a sport or even fingering. Wraps per inch is good, but a little gauge swatch is the best solution. Enjoy your journey!

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  5. You’re doing great! Learn by doing–just like you are and don’t get discouraged. It’s all fun and interesting. I knit a few alpaca and silk hats, for example, before I realized that a drape-y hat was not what I wanted. They sure are soft, though . . . lol

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  6. I actually make up my own patterns (is that allowed?) and don’t really care about yarn size. I just think about how big I want the stitches to be and how thick I want them to be. I have no idea what any of this means. I’m primitive.

    I think the stitches/inch would be more useful?

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  7. Worsted is about halfway between a dk and an aran. There should be a gauge square in the label and a suggested needle size. 2.5mm -3.25 is fingering or 4 ply, 3.25-4 dk, 4-4.5 worsted, 4.5-5.5 Aran, 6 chunky/ bulky. I looked up your yarn and it is listed as a dk

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