Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Yarn Weight Conversion Chart

UK USA Suggested Typical uses
2ply Baby 2.25 to 3.5mm Baby clothes
3ply Fingering 3 to 4mm Baby clothes, 
Sock shawls, socks
4ply Sport 3.5 to 4.5mm Baby clothes, 
shawls, socks, 
lightweight sweaters
Double Knitting Double Knitting 4 to 5mm Children's clothes,
Light Worsted toys, adult sweaters
Aran Fisherman,  5.5 to 6.5mm Adult Sweaters

Chunky Bulky 6.5 to 9mm Adult Sweaters, 
Extra Chunky Super Bulky9mm-12mmBags, Rugs

Yarn comes in a wide variety of thicknesses, and it can be quite daunting when you first start crocheting to know which yarn to use. Most patterns will specify a yarn, and give an approximate gauge / tension size, usually how many stitches and rows over a 4 x 4 inch square. (Tension is the traditional term used in knitting in the UK, but the US term is gauge).

It's important to check your gauge / tension before starting a project, to make sure you have the correct yarn and hook size, especially when making something that needs to fit, like clothing. Once you've been crocheting for a while, you'll be able to play around with different weight yarns and not just stick to the yarn weight specified in a pattern.

The names for different weight yarns vary between the UK and USA. Bear in mind that even yarns in the same weight can vary a great deal, eg Paton's Diploma Gold DK is much thinner than say, a budget acrylic DK like Paton's Fab. 

I've included the recommended hook sizes for each yarn, although again, this varies depending on what you are making. For a bag you would use a smaller hook to create a dense, tight stitch, but for something drapey like a shawl or scarf you would use a larger hook. A crochet pattern will always tell you which hook size to use.

Happy crocheting!

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