Yarn Comparison Chart

Are you looking for a yarn comparison chart? The world is getting smaller these days (okay not literally but you know what I mean) and it is far more likely today that you will have a pattern or some yarn from a country that uses a different measurement scale.

If you are in the USA - do you know the American equivalent of 4 ply? Or if you are in Australia and you have a pattern for worsted wool - do you know which ply to buy to make your garment?

Yarn Comparison Chart

Descriptive Name Tension over 10cm Needle
Wraps per Inch m/100gms
lace weight, superfine, ultra fine, baby weight
(2-3 ply in UK/NZ/Aus)
28-32 sts 1.75-2.75 mm 18 plus 600-800
fingering weight, fine, baby weight
(3-4 ply in UK/NZ/Aus)
24-28 sts 2.75-3.5 mm 16 400-480
sport or light weight
(4ply in UK/NZ/Aus)
20-24 sts 3.5-4 mm 14 300-400
DK or medium
(8 ply in UK/NZ/Aus)
22 sts 3.75-4.5 mm 13 240-300
worsted or heavy weight
(10 ply or double knitting in UK/NZ/Aus)
16-20 sts 4.5-5.5 mm 12 200-240
(12-ply or triple knitting in UK/NZ/Aus)
TBA 5-5.5 mm 10-11 160-120
(double double in the UK)
TBA 5.5-6 mm 10 110-130
bulky yarn
(14 ply, double double in UK/NZ/Aus)
12-16 sts 6-6.5 mm 9-10 120-100
very bulky, super bulky 8-12 sts 9-10 mm 8 or less less than 100

The tension is the number of stitches and rows over a 10 cm square knitted in stotcking stitch. If you need help working out how to guage the tension of your knitting, check out the page on knitting a tension square.

All of the needle sizes in the chart are stated using metric measurements, if you need to convert them into UK or US sizes you will find a needle conversion chart on the needle sizes page.

Wraps per Inch

© Knitting Crochet Wool - 8 Ply Wool Wrap per Inch

Wraps per inch for each yarn weight is the number of times you can wrap the yarn around one inch of a ruler.

It doesn't matter what size or width your ruler is as this metric measures the thickness of the yarn rather than the length.  So if you have some yarn and you don't know what ply or weight it is, you can work it out by wrapping some of the yarn around a ruler and then counting the number of wraps it takes to cover one inch.

If you look very closely at the yarn in the photo above you should be able to count 13 wraps around the ruler. That makes this particular ball of wool an 8 ply (or double knit, or medium, depending on where you live).

© SsedroFlickr - Skein of Wool

The number of metres in a 100 gram ball is just an estimate or a guide. The weight of a ball of wool will vary depending on what the yarn is made out of.  

Pure wool is heavier than 100% Acrylic yarn, so a 50 gram ball of pure new wool will have fewer metres than a 50 gram ball of acrylic yarn. 

I hope you found this yarn comparison chart useful!

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