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BLOGS

Yarn Weight Vs Skein Weight

As retailers and teachers we often get asked by students and customers alike "How much yarn should I buy?"

It is definitely easier to determine once you understand the difference between yarn weight and skein / ball weight.

Yarn weight refers to the ply of the yarn. - A Yarn Weight Conversion Chart can be found at the bottom of this blog for easier reference, but the common ones are:

  • Lace weight
  • 4 ply
  • Double Knit
  • Aran
  • Chunky
  • Super Chunky....etc

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE THINNER THE YARN THE MORE METERAGE ON THE SKEIN.....THIS IS USUALLY THE CASE, BUT ALWAYS CHECK THE LABELS.

Skein / Ball Weight refers to the actual metric weight of the yarn i.e 50g, 100g

When it comes to ball weight it is actually best to look at the meterage as opposed to the weight.

All three of these is easily found on the label of the ball of yarn.

Now lets assume the designer indicates that she / he used:

  • 10 x balls of Double Knit (DK) yarn (YARN WEIGHT).
  • Each ball weighs 50g (SKEIN / BALL WEIGHT). Each 50g ball has 100 yards per ball (SKEIN / BALL METERAGE)

Since we work in metric measurement, I first convert the yards to metres - THANK YOU MR GOOGLE!

100 yards = 91.44 metres

Now lets assume that the BRAND of yarn I want to use is completely different to what the designer used.

My chosen brand is:

  • Double Knit (DK - same weight as the designer)
  • has 90 metres per ball. (less meterage than the designer).....what now???

The formula is: The total meterage used by the designer DIVIDED by the meterage per ball of my chosen yarn = the amount of skeins I need to buy

So, lets work this out using the example above:

  • Designer used 10 balls each measuring 91.44 metres (remember we converted yards to metres) 10 x 91.44 = 914.40 metres was used
  • My chosen yarn has 90 metres per ball THEREFORE 914.10 DIVIDED by 90 = 10.16 balls of yarn.........THEREFORE, I have to purchase 11 balls of yarn in total. To be on the safe side, I always purchase 1 extra = 12 balls bought.

Using the same example above, lets assume that I want to use a different BRAND AND A DIFFERENT YARN WEIGHT

  • Designer used DK but I want to use 4ply (Thinner yarn with more meterage)
  • My 4 ply yarn has 150m  per ball......

the same principle applies: 

The formula is: The total meterage used by the designer DIVIDED by the meterage per ball of my chosen yarn = the amount of skeins I need to buy

  • 10 balls used by the designer x 91.44 metres 10 x 91.44 = 914.40 metres used
  • My yarn has 150m THEREFORE 914.40 DIVIDED by 150 = 6.096 balls of yarn - I buy 7 balls of yarn (PLUS 1 extra - personal preference)

 

I hope this helps!

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