Wondering what weight that mystery ball of yarn is that's been in your stash for years? Or maybe the label for a yarn you just bought doesn't tell you if it's a sport or DK or worsted? How can you know what weight a yarn is without a label or a person telling you?
This is a very common question, and luckily there's an easy answer!
The quickest way to figure out what weight a yarn is is by measuring the wraps per inch. Do this by wrapping the yarn very evenly around a ruler or needle gauge, like the photos below. For best results, wrap the yarn two different times, once a little on the loose side, and once on the tight side, making sure both times that there isn't any space in between the wraps.
After wrapping each time, count how many wraps fit within one inch find the average between those two numbers. In the two examples above, one measured at 7 wraps per inch, the other at 9 wraps per inch.
Then, use the chart below to determine what weight the yarn is. Based on our example, it looks like our yarn is a bulky weight yarn!
|Lace||25+ wraps per inch|
|Sock / Fingering||18–22 wraps per inch|
|Sport||15–20 wraps per inch|
|DK||13–17 wraps per inch|
|Worsted||11–15 wraps per inch|
|Aran||9–12 wraps per inch|
|Bulky||7–9 wraps per inch|
|Super Bulky||4–6 wraps per inch|
Yarn weights and their names are not an exact science, so don't be afraid to use one yarn as if it's another! The gauge you knit or crochet each yarn at does not have to depend on its weight at all. We have a very thorough article about making gauge swatches and testing out yarns here.