Confused about yarn weights?

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If you are like me, you probably enjoy reading knitting books and magazines from all over the world. And that's where it can get really confusing. Have you ever despaired over trying to work out which kind of yarn you should use for a pattern you like, or which needle size is required?

The thickness of a yarn is referred to as "yarn weight".

Unfortunately, each yarn weight has different names in different countries, making it difficult to keep track of them all. 

For example, yarns requiring 4mm needles are usually referred to as "8ply" in Australia, "DK" or "double knit" in the UK and "light" or sometimes "light worsted" in the US, whereas in continental Europe, you would most likely refer to the needle size when describing the yarn (4mm). 

And as if that was not complicated enough, there are also different names for needle sizes, depending on which version you use. For example, 4mm needles are the same as American size 6 needles and UK/Imperial size 8 needles.

And then you have yarns that may have the weight of an 8ply or a 12ply but that are actually single ply or lopi-style yarns. (Our M&K Eco-Ull is one example of such yarn). 

Get it wrong, and your project will not be the size you thought it would be! 

At I Wool Knit we support the efforts of the Craft Yarn Council which has developed standards and guidelines for crochet and knitting in consultation with international manufacturers and trade associations. You can find a summary of the official standards on our own website or go to

Yarn weight table, I Wool Knit

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