DK? Worsted? Sport? What are Yarn Weights?

Aran, worsted, sport. What’s in a name? Well these names are all about yarn weights. And they can sound confusing but they’re actually
really helpful when you’re shopping for yarn. Have you ever
seen this symbol on a yarn label? What the heck does that mean? Well, that’s the weight of the ball of yarn. The weight doesn’t mean how heavy the yarn is. Weight refers to the thickness of your yarn. There are seven standard American categories of yarn. Zero or lace. One superfine. Two fine. Three light. Four medium. Five bulky. Six super bulky. And the most recent addition, seven or jumbo. Weights can go by multiple names, like you might know number 4 medium weight as worsted weight and number 2 fine is often called sport weight. And the UK uses different names as well. But don’t let that throw you off. You can find charts online that tell you all
of the names as well as recommended needle and hook sizes that work best with each weight. So why does weight matter? Some weights lend themselves better
to certain projects. For example, sport and light weight yarns
are on the thinner side. So they’re a great choice for baby patterns
or summer projects. And a super bulky yarn will create a cozy
cowl that will keep you super warm. Weights are probably the most important when substituting yarn. If you want to use a different yarn than your
pattern calls for, a good place to start is by choosing a yarn with a comparable thickness. You wouldn’t want to replace the super bulky Wool-Ease Thick & Quick with this lightweight Mandala, but you could try Hometown USA,
because it’s also a category 6. But yarn substitution is a topic for a different video. If you want to see all of Lion Brands yarns
by weight you can click here, or you can filter all of our yarns by each weight category at And there’s a link in the description box below to the Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Yarn Weight system. What yarn do you like working with? And what terms do you hear most? Leave a comment and let us know!

30 thoughts on “DK? Worsted? Sport? What are Yarn Weights?

  • I used to only like worsted and larger weights, but now I’m more of a DK girl or even fingering (which I never thought I’d like!)!

  • Here in South Africa our yarns are more similar to Australia and the UK. I use DK almost exclusively for baby blankets and outfits (sweater, beanie and booties) for newborns.

  • I wonder why "fancy" yarns like Fun Fur and similar are listed as #5 when the main thread is as skinny as #3? I know there are also "wraps per inch" measures (which I don't really understand), so there are a lot of categories for yarn sizes. The Craft Yarn Council is the "governing body" of setting standards for yarn, and that is helpful to have it in one place instead of every company setting their own yarn sizes (like in the way distant past). Worsted Weight yarns used to be also called "4-ply" yarns which no longer applies, but very old patterns call for ply(s) rather than weight names. In all the best way to tell is to match the Gauge on a project.

  • Small nitpick here: "worsted" is actually pronounced "WUS-ted," rather like "Worcestershire" being pronounced "WUS-te-sher." Blame the British for that one.

  • Chunky weight what number would be on label and is bulky weight the same as chunky and what number would be on Bulky weight. Thanks

  • Why are there so few patterns for mandala yarn? I would like to know how to adjust a beanie pattern that uses a 4 worsted weight to a 3 mandala weight.

  • I need help.. I have a book that says it requires DK yarn, furry yarn, and chenille yarn. I can’t figure out chenille or furry substitutes. I’m confused. I found the DK yarn in England, but what would be a good substitute here in the states. BTW, I’m trying to make amigurumi characters that require these particular yarns.

  • I've worked with worsted weight (4) for most of my crochet activity because until about 25 years ago, that was what was available to me or later what was in the budget. This makes good Granny Square designs. Once, my aunt gave me a blanket of Granny Squares to make with about seven rounds each. I made all the Granny Squares, but I didn't know how to join them. πŸ˜• I really wished then that I knew how (now I know a few ways to do it. I like slip-stitching all the way around, like those loop – bands looms to make potholders of my youth.)

    Still, I later made a giant, queen – sized blanket for myself out of Caron Super Soft (4),and it is very soft for me to sleep with. I made it out of shells (back posts to raise the shells), and it looks beautiful! It has the added benefit of being heavy, and weighted blankets are highly – prized for snuggling and having a good night's sleep.

    Recently I've heard of super – bulky (I think) used in knitting or crocheting blankets by using only one's hands. I don't do it myself, but the fabric it makes looks like a soft, pillowy "featherbed" like an old German quilt would be. I think if it were double – knit or double – stranded crochet, preserving the thickness, it would actually make a featherbed.

    Meanwhile, I've discovered that a 1 or 2 could make socks, and one day I'd like to make some crazy – colored socks with some several – colored yarn.

    Now, at my 2 favorite craft stores, there is a large stock of several different sizes and textures. I prize Lion Brand Homespun (5) for making warm scarves (back and forth with half double crochet and G hook for snuggle ability and easy warmth preservation. 1 foot by 6 feet seems to be my best size.)

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