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Knitting Tips - Yarn Weights

Worsted weight wool yarn, regardless of the number of plies it is made of, is defined as having between 900 and 1200 yards per pound. However, "worsted" is also a term that describes the way the yarn is spun (from combed top, very smooth, with all the ends spun into the plies of the yarn) regardless of weight.

Here's a way to identify the weight of a yarn, if it's not marked. Take a ruler and wrap the yarn around it, not too tight, not to loose, lining up each wrap next to the last with no spaces between them and no overlapping. Do this for exactly 2 inches, then count how many wraps there are. Divide this number by two to get the "wraps per inch". Once you know the wraps per inch, you can figure out the weight (and can estimate the yardage) of the yarn based on the table below.

Lace 2600+ 18+
Fingering 1900-2400 16
Sport 1200-1800 14
Worsted 900-1200 12
Bulky 600-800 10
Very Bulky 400-500 8 or fewer

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All text and images copyright © 2001, 2002 Margaret K.K. Radcliffe