From Lace to Bulky: Know Your Knitting Yarn Weights

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Knitting yarn weights can be overwhelming, especially for a beginner knitter. What's the difference in this green sport yarn and that purple bulky yarn? Why make a doily with lace-weight yarn instead of worsted weight? What will happen if I knit this lace shawl with a worsted-weight yarn? If you're going to branch out in the world of knitting, you need to know about different yarn weights.

Different Colored Balls of Knitting Yarn

Why yarn weight matters

Yarn weight can tell you a lot of important information. It tells you the gauge of the yarn, allowing you to make yarn substitutions when you can't afford or find the type of yarn you need for a new project. Yarn weight is also a factor in determining the drape of your project. For example, if you're in the mood for a light shawl that's flowing and folds up easily, you don't want to use a bulky-weight yarn. It wouldn't wrap around you very easily, and it might even look like you're wearing a rug on your shoulders instead of a shawl!

Getting familiar with yarn weights takes time and experience, so don't expect to be an expert overnight. Start off with this guide to discover the different weights of yarn and what types of projects you'll use them for.

Types of knitting yarn weights

Woman in Blue Knit Shawl, Facing Away from Camera

LACE:

SUPER FINE:

FINE:

LIGHT:

MEDIUM:

Young Woman Modeling Blue Infinity Scarf

BULKY:

SUPER BULKY:

For more information on each weight, including gauge and recommended needles, see the Craft Yarn Council's standard yarn weight system chart.

Do you ever refer to a yarn weight chart? How do you use it in your knitting?

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