When you look at your
first pattern it may contain quite a bit that you donít understand, like
information about yarn weight. A yarnís weight refers not to the kind of
yarn it is, like wool or acrylic, but the thickness of the yarn. For
example, the yarn you would use to make a lacy and elegant shawl is very
different from the yarn you would use to knit a small rug for a mudroom.
Patterns will always tell you what kind of yarn to use, but itís up to you
to figure that out when working on a project youíve come up with yourself.
reason paying attention to weight is so important is gauge. Gauge refers
to the size the pattern is assuming your work will be. Some knitters donít
like to waste time checking it, but a wise knitter always does, especially
for important projects. All the details are based on this and the pattern
usually gives it to you in a format telling you how large a specific
square should be. For example, if the pattern calls for a gauge thatís 22
stitches and 30 rows = 4ííx 4íí, that means your square with those amount
of stitches and row should also be 4ííx 4íí. Gauge is not an exact thing,
but you should keep it as close as possible. Ensuring this is where weight
comes in. If the weight of your yarn is very different from the weight in
the pattern, your project will be dramatically bigger or smaller than what
you might expect.
Types of Weight
Fingering Weight Ė (Also
called Baby Weight or 4 Ply Weight) This is very thin and very light yarn.
It works best for lacy items and, like one of the names suggests, is great
for baby clothes, especially newborns.
Sport Weight Ė (Also
called Double-Knitting Weight or DK Weight) This yarn is also light and
thin, but slightly thicker then the Baby Weight. Itís great for smaller
projects as well as projects with a lot of intricate stitch work, youíll
be able to see your talents.
Worsted Weight Ė (Also
called Aran Weight) This is the most commonly found weight yarn. Itís
great for sweaters because itís warm but not too thick. Itís also easy to
find as itís always available in craft stores and yarn shops in a wide
variety of yarn types from cashmere to acrylic.
Bulky Weight - (Also
called Chunky Weight) This yarn is exactly what is sounds like. Itís about
twice as thick as worsted weight and itís really good for scarves because
itís so thick and warm. Making a sweater probably isnít the best idea
because not only would it be too hot, but the size of the yarn isnít
exactly flattering on larger items like sweaters.
Extra Ė Bulky Weight Ė
(Also called Super Ė Bulky Weight) This yarn is a lot of fun to knit with,
though it can only be used with certain projects. Itís very thick, about
the diameter of a dime and using this yarn always means also using very
large needles, as small needles simply canít work with yarn this thick.
The great thing about this yarn is that you can have a scarf done in just
an hour or two of work.
If I'm a sittin', I'm a Knittin',