FiberLink home page
The Fiber Gypsy: Patterns for Creative Knitters

Yarn Sizes and Substitutions

The following info was compiled by Esther Bozak and originally posted to the KnitList. It comes from several books (notably Homespun, Handknit and Knitting in the Old Way):

Yarn Type

Typical Gauge

Wraps/Inch

Yards/Pound*

Recommended
Needle Size

Ultrafine
(Lace or Baby Weight)

8+/inch
32+/10cm

18
or more

2600

00 - 2
2 - 3mm

Fine
(Fingering Weight)

6-8/inch
24-32/10cm

16

1900-2400

2 - 4
3 - 3.75mm

Medium
(Sport Weight)

5-6/inch
20-24/10cm

14

1200-1800

4 - 6
3.75 - 4.5 mm

Heavy
(Worsted Weight)

4-5/inch
16-20/10cm

12

900-1200

7 - 9
5 - 6mm

Bulky

3-4/inch
12-16/10cm

10

600-800

10 - 10 1/2
6.5 - 7.5mm

Very Bulky

2-3/inch
8-12/10cm

8 or
fewer

400-500

13 - 15
9 - 10mm

* An approximately equivalent Meters/Kilogram amount can be obtained by muliplying the Yards/Pound value by 2

Every issue of Vogue Knitting magazine has an abbreviated chart, with some differences in how they define yarn type or size by gauge:

Yarn Type

Sts/4 inches
(10 cm)

Fine

29-32

Light

25-28

Medium

21-24

Medium-Heavy

17-20

Bulky

13-16

Extra Bulky

9-12

You can knit two strands of a yarn together, too. Obviously swatching will give you the exact gauge of the doubled yarn, but you can approximate the gauge using a tip from Ann Cannon-Brown (Elann Fibre Company.)

Her "rule of thumb" is to multiply the single-strand gauge by .72 to get the approximate gauge for what the yarn would knit up with as 2 strands. For example, one strand of fingering yarn has a typical gauge of 28 sts/4" (10 cm); 28 x .72 = approx. 20; so, two strands of fingering wt. yarn would knit to an approximate gauge of 20 sts/4" (10 cm), which falls within the range of gauges for typical worsted wt. yarns. Therefore, 2 strands of fingering wt. yarn could be substituted for one strand of worsted wt. yarn.


Copyright 1995,1996 by Esther Bozak. This document may be freely shared and distributed in any medium so long as it remains fully intact and no profit is made from its distribution or use and provided appropriate credit is given for the source of this information.


URL of this page: http://www.fibergypsy.com/common/yarnsize.shtml
Copyright 1998 - 2009 The Fiber Gypsy (except as otherwise noted)  ·   Webmaster: info (at) fibergypsy (dot) com
This page last modified: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Using the information you find here: Please feel free to link directly to this page and to use any of the information you find here in your own personal fiber pursuits, but do honor all copyright notices as posted. All information contained in the pages maintained on the FiberLink server is copyrighted and may be used and shared freely in any form provided no profit is made from its distribution and provided FiberLink and The Fiber Gypsy are cited as the source of this information.