Your Yarn BFF: Get to Know Worsted Weight Yarn

Worsted weight yarn is probably your BFF in knitting and crocheting. In fact, if worsted weight yarn were a wrestler, it would be the middle-weight champion. As the medium-weight yarn in a pack of multiple yarn weights, it's the yarn you always turn to when other yarns fail you. It's your go-to yarn even when there are chunky yarns and sport-weight yarns calling your name. But how much do you really know about worsted-weight yarn?

Lion Brand Vanna's Choice - Craftsy Yarn Store

Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Yarn

History of worsted weight yarn

Worsted-weight yarn is named for a village called Worstead, England. Worstead was a hub for manufacturing fiber, both yarn and cloth, in the 12th century. Although Worstead is no longer the center of worsted-fiber manufacturing, the yarn still bears its name today.

Craftsy: Cascade 220 Yarn, Multiple Colors

Cascade 220 Yarn

Working with worsted-weight yarn

Worsted-weight yarn falls into the medium-weight category as defined by the Craft Yarn Council of America. Sometimes when shopping for worsted-weight yarn, you'll find a symbol with the number 4 on the label that matches the Craft Yarn Council's weight system symbol.

There are no limitations to what type of worsted-weight yarn you can knit with. You can find worsted-weight synthetic yarn, like Cascade Cherub yarn that's made from nylon and acrylic. You can even find worsted-weight yarns in cozy alpaca. (Rowan Lima yarn, anyone?)

I love using worsted-weight yarn when I'm testing a new stitch or learning a new technique because the weight makes it easy to work with while also showing me the stitch definition. Use a lighter-colored worsted-weight yarn if you're trying something new so that if you make a mistake, you'll be able to easily see it.

Most worsted-weight yarns, like any other yarn weight, can easily be substituted for another worsted-weight yarn. And because worsted-weight is such a popular yarn, you'll have plenty of substitution options to choose from!

Worsted-weight patterns for knitting and crocheting

Empalme Cowl Knitting Kit

1. Empalme Cowl

Worsted-weight yarns look fantastic when you knit them with a lot of texture. This Empalme Cowl, with its combination of stockinette stitch and trinity stitch, is no exception!

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Mug Coaster Cozy FREE Crochet Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member MicahMakes

2. Mug Coaster Cozy

It's a coaster and a cozy combined into one! Worsted-weight yarn is perfect for those little gifts you want to stitch. These coaster cozies were crocheted with a cotton yarn that's durable and washable.

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Leaves Fingerless Gloves FREE Knitting Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member valknitting

3. "Leaves" Fingerless Gloves

Lace knitting doesn't have to be stitched with a lace-weight yarn. Work those lace motifs up quickly when you use worsted-weight yarn to create this beautiful leaf lace pattern on fingerless gloves.

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Brown Cabled Felted Bag Knitting Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Evelyn_S

4. Brown Cabled Felted Bag

Worsted-weight wool is a great option for felting — further proof of its versatility. This cabled bag is felted just enough that it doesn't lose the stitch definition completely. Finish it off with some professional-quality handles.

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Basic Slipper Boots for Women FREE Crochet Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Gwenbee

5. Basic Slipper Boots for Women

We often think of slippers and socks as projects best left to finger-weight yarns, but that's not always the case. These crocheted slipper-boots can be customized to fit anyone's foot. You can even add extra embellishments to make each pair totally unique.

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Blazing Blocks Afghan FREE Knitting Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member LionBrandYarns

6. Blazing Blocks Afghan

A little intarsia goes a long way in this super colorful afghan knit using worsted-weight Lion Brand Homeland yarn. There are so many different colors to choose from. Picking a color palette is almost as fun as knitting the actual afghan — almost.

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Highland Travel Shawl FREE Knitting Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member CarolynMac

7. Highland Travel Shawl

You don't have to knit a shawl with lace- and finger-weight yarns. Worsted-weight yarn works just as well to give you a shawl that not only works up quickly but is also cozy and warm. Add a button in the front to make sure the shawl stays put on your shoulders.

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FREE Crochet Infinity Scarf Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Tafadzwa

8. Infinity Scarf

When you're in the mood to stitch a cold-weather accessory, worsted-weight is a great go-to yarn. This crochet infinity scarf uses just 400 yards of worsted-weight yarn. You can even add more stitches and use the pattern to create a blanket!

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Addison Ear Warmer FREE Crochet Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member AshleyDesigns

9. Addison Ear Warmer

This is a great project for scraps or small skeins of worsted-weight yarn hanging around. The crochet stitches are simple enough even for a beginner. Plus, the ear warmer is sized from baby to adult, so you can make one for everyone on your handmade gift list.

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Amigurumi AmiBabies Baby Bird FREE Crochet Pattern

Photo via Craftsy member Squet

10. Amigurumi AmiBabies Baby Bird

Worsted-weight yarn is commonly used for amigurumi. If you have a lot of worsted-weight scraps, save them for amigurumi features like tiny eyes, noses, and mouths. Patterns like this crochet baby bird use a very small amount of yarn, so you don't have to spend money to stitch them.

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FREE Guide! Yarn Weights, Fiber Types & More

types of yarn guide

Learn everything you need to know about yarn weights and fiber types to make savvy selections and achieve superb stitches.Get My FREE Guide »

9 Comments

Lynne

Hi, I was really hoping you would mention how well, or not it washed.I read that it was anti pile and was surfing the net to find out if that was really true. Lynne

Reply
Lynn Owens

I believe that Worsted weight yarn is equivalent to UK Chunky. HTH

Reply
Beverley Micklethwaite

Is worsted wool the same as aran and can it be knitted on size 4.5 needles. thank you

Reply
Jennifer

I was wondering how much ply worsted weight is. I am in India and its harder to pick yarns as they go by ply and not by worsted weight, sport weight etc. Ply also varies from country to country as Indian ply is thinner than Australian ply. Can you help?

Reply
ann lander

I love double knit, and chunk y and is worsted yarn ideal for any pattern

Reply
Muriel goss

I see people asking questons such as : is this wool double knit or chunky? I would like to n
Know that but see nou answers. Could I please get a reply to this .!!!!!

Reply
Magda de Clerk

Good day, what is worsted weight yarn? Is it double knit or chunky or what?

Thanx
Appreciate

Reply
Viola gorman

Pattern calls for 3 worsted. I got #3 acrylic. Is acrylic and worsted the same?

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