Different Yarn Weights- IG

Yarn or thread for knitting, crocheting or other crafts comes in a variety of weights. This has reference to the way the yarn is constructed, rather than to the physical weight of the skein. A skein is a looped bundle of yarn which needs to be wound into a ball before use, or it can be a pull-skein, a bundle designed to be used directly from the skein.

A chart of yarn weights is provided by the Craft Yarn Council. Let’s take a look at them, from the very finest to the thickest.


Different Yarn Weights - Yarn with knitting needles


Different Yarn Weights

Yarn type Gauge – probable stockinette knitting stitches per 4 inches U.S sizes –Recommended needle or hook size Likely projects
Fingering, crochet thread — 0 33 – 40 000 – 1 knitting needles; 6,7,8 crochet hooks Lace, super-fine stockings, gloves
Baby fingering, sock — 1 27-32 1-3 knitting needles; B-1-E-4 crochet hooks Stockings, gloves, baby clothing
Sport yarn, baby yarn — 2 23-26 3-5 knitting needles; E-4 to 7 Bulky socks, mittens, stocking caps, baby clothing
DK (double knitting), Light Worsted — 3 21-24 stitches 5-7 knitting needles; 7 to I-9 crochet hooks. Mittens, stocking caps, heavy outerwear for baby or young children, fine shell and cardigan sets – any age.
Worsted, Afghan, Aran –4 16-20 7-9 knitting needles; I-9 to K 10 ½ crochet hooks Cable sweaters, rugs, afghans, throws, potholders
Bulky, craft, rug yarn — 5 12-15 9-12 knitting needles; K10/2-13 ½ crochet hooks Rugs, potholders, general craft projects
Super Bulky, roving 7-11 11-17 Knitting needles; M-13 – Q Crochet hooks Rugs, trim, braiding
Jumbo, roving 6 stitches or fewer 17 and larger knitting needles; Q and larger crochet hooks Rugs, trim, braiding


Different Yarn Weights - yarn


Some Yarn Terms

  • Worsted

Fibers are parallel when spun

  • Aran

Spun from rolags, where the fibers are twisted – tend to be more soft and elastic than worsted, but can be used interchangeably in projects – just don’t mix them because they will not work the same.

  • Afghan yarn

A heavy yarn, often used for rugs, potholders, and similar bulky projects. Often made from cotton.


Some weights of yarn can be used interchangeably, such as worsted #4 or Aran. It is usually best not to mix types of yarn in a single project. In fact, it is a good idea not to mix brands of yarn, since each company is likely to have a slightly different gauge and weight.

As a rule of thumb, you want very fine yarn for stockings, gloves and baby clothes that will touch baby’s skin. Soft synthetics will do nicely since wool has tiny barbs that can trigger allergic reactions.

The next size up, sport weight yarn, sometimes called baby sport or just baby, is fine for mittens, baby’s outerwear, older child and adult sweaters. Worsted yarns, size 3 and 4 are great for heavy, cable knit sweaters, sweater coats, throws, and afghans. As noted above Aran and Afghan yarns are about the same weight. Aran makes a fine, heavy duty sweater, Afghan is often used in throws.

Different types of fibers might be used in each of the weights. These will make a difference to your project. Consider your yarn carefully. If you are going to expend the time to make a project, the project is worth using the best yarn you can afford.


How to select the right yarn- Pinterest