Standard Yarn Weight System

Welcome everyone! It’s 2023 already. I can’t believe how 2022 sped by. It wasn’t an easy year by any stretch, so I’m very hopeful that this year is going to be a much better one.

I’d like to chat about yarn weights. There can be a lot of confusion surrounding this issue, with different countries having different names for the same weight of yarn. For example, in South Africa, we sometimes call DK 8-ply, and the US might call medium worsted, or Aran yarn, 4-ply, which is a totally different thing in the UK.

The first thing that is pretty important to address is that the number of actual plies in a yarn is really not relevant anymore. You can find yarns whose weight was identified by the number of plies, might now have a different number altogether. Sometimes you’ll find a very chunky yarn, often referred to as 12-ply, actually only having one. You may have a fine 4-ply yarn with five. These standards really don’t make any sense as a way to identify the weight of yarn. These names can also cause a lot of confusion from country to country. Countries like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand (and a number of others that were former British colonies) generally tend toward the UK naming conventions for yarns, although this is not exclusively the case.

The Craft Yarn Council in the US has a standard weight system for yarns that can remove some of the ambiguity from the naming of yarn weights. The system is numbered from 0, which is extremly fine yarns and threads, to 7, which is extremely thick yarns. It’s a clever system that can aid in classifying yarn weights, and appears to be increasingly adopted.

You can download my handy reference guide to yarn weights below. If you need clarity on the hook sizes refer to my post on UK vs US crochet terms.

You can also check out the video on YouTube that covers this topic.

Wishing you a very prosperous 2023. May it be a great year.

About Ginahttp://thefunkysheep.blogI am an obsessive crocheter, and occasional knitter. I also love collecting fabulous yarns.

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