When looking on a yarn or ball band you will notice a number. This tells you how thick the yarn is and what kind of needles you might need and even the type of project you might use it to make. This is because the weight, or thickness, will affect the appearance of what you make. It will also make a difference to the amount of stitches and rows you will need to knit a sample swatch of 4cm square.
0 Lace – also called 2-ply or fingering weight. This yarn is most commonly used with 2mm or 2.5mm needles. It will produce a very delicate fabric.
1 Superfine – also called 3-ply or baby. Mostly used with 2.75mm, 3mm or 3.25mm needles. It produces a very fine material and is great for detailed shawls or socks.
2 Fine – also called 4-ply, sport or baby. Mostly used with 3.5mm, 3.75mm or 4mm needles. Great for making baby clothes, sock and very lightweight jumpers. It produces very delicate textures and detailed colour work.
3 Light – also called DK (Double Knit) or worsted. Mostly used with 4mm or 4.5mm needles. This is a great all-purpose yarn used for anything from baby clothes to jumpers and scarves.
4 Medium – also called aran or medium worsted. Mostly used with 5mm or 5.5mm needles. This is great for slightly thicker jumpers, scarves, baby blankets and is very popular for making cabled jumpers. It is slightly quicker to knit up than a DK yarn.
5 Bulky – also called chunky. Mostly used with 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm or 8mm needles. Perfect for knitting winter gifts such as hats, leg warmers, thick scarves and shawls. Very quick to knit with due to its thickness and the size of needles.
6 Super Bulky – also called super chunky or roving. Mostly used with 9mm or 10mm needles. This is the thickest type of yarn you are likely to come across in most shops. It is really thick and warm so perfect for those winter knits of scarves and blankets. Perfect for beginners!
You can also find yarns on-line that are so thick you can use your arms to knit with them!
My favourite thickness of yarn to knit with is aran weight. It is slightly quicker to knit up than DK but it isn’t too thick and chunky for accessories. You can find some of my patterns to use aran weight in my Ravelry or Etsy stores.