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?
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.
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!
Photo via Craftsy member Evelyn_S
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.
Photo via Craftsy member LionBrandYarns
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.