Crochet, Tips & Tricks, Video tutorial

Yarn weights and how to hold your yarn

An essential part of crocheting is holding your working yarn. As with holding your hook, holding your yarn should be without stress in your hands. In this second tips and tricks post as part of my TLC Blanket in which we learn to crochet, I show you how I hold my yarn and how the yarn runs through my hands when I crochet.

Yarn comes in all sorts, from very thin lace yarn to very tick bulky yarn. After a while you will find that you enjoy working with certain yarn thicknesses more than others. Personally I really enjoy working with cotton fiber fingering-weight yarn.


How to hold your yarn

As with holding your hook, there are several ways to hold your yarn. I wind my yarn around two fingers, allowing me to control the flow of the yarn really well. If you are right handed, the yarn will be in your left hand, and if you are left handed, the yarn will be in your right hand.

In these videos, both left handed and right handed, I show you how I hold my yarn, and how I wrap it around my fingers. This really allows me to control the flow of the yarn well and helps me to maintain an even tension.

Fiber content

Yarn can be made from so many different things! In general, there are natural fiber yarn, synthetic fiber yarns, and mixed fiber yarns. Yarns can be made from natural fibers contain cotton, wool, silk or even bamboo. Synthetic yarns are made from man-materials such as polyester or nylon. Mixed fiber yarns are made from a mix of natural and/or synthetic materials, a classic example is sock yarn made from a mix of wool and nylon.

Yarn weight

Yarn can also be classified yarn is according to weight, in other words how many yards/meters of yarn is their for a certain weight of yarn. The Craft and Yarn Council has made a standard to categorize yarn, and dependent on which part of the world you are in, certain information will be on the label of the yarn you buy.

Information that can be on the label includes the yarn weights range from lace to jumbo, and subcategories such as fingering, sport, double knit (DK) and aran. A strand of yarn actually consists of several smaller strands, or plies and hence yarn information is sometimes given as 2-ply or 4-ply, referring to how many of these strands there are. And to add some confusion to the discussion, a 1-ply yarn in the UK is a 2-ply yarn in Australia, and aran yarn in the UK is called worsted yarn in the US…. A less common way yarn information is given is using a method called ‘wraps per inch’, abbreviated with wpi. This method entails that you wrap the yarn around a ruler, and then measure how many wraps you have in one inch.

There is a lot of information available on the internet about yarn weights, and how different systems relate to one another. There is some overlap between different categories, and some discrepancies between different sources. Below I aim to give you a short overview of different categories and how they relate to each other based on my knowledge. If you believe the info isn’t quite correct, please let me know! It can be so confusing sorting out all the info available.

metric (mm)
hook size
1.5-2.251-plythread / lace2-ply18
3.25-3.754-plysport / baby5-ply12
3.75-4.5DKDK / light worsted8-ply11
8.0-12.75Super Chunkysuper bulky14-ply5-6
12.75 and upjumbo1-4
yarn weights and names in different countries

Learn to crochet and make a TLC Blanket of your own

If you want to make a TLC Blanket of your own, you can find all the information you need HERE. I have all the information available in English and Dutch.

With love,

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3 thoughts on “Yarn weights and how to hold your yarn”

  1. I have always taught new learners to hold the yarn and their hook whatever way feels natural and comfortable to them…there is no one way and no wrong way to hold either.

    Interesting read nonetheless.

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