Guide for Reading a Yarn Label

March 25, 2021 3 min read 0 Comments

yarn Label

If you are fairly new to knitting and want to select the perfect yarn for your knitting project, you may need some clarification about yarn labels. Yarn shopping is so much fun, but can be a bit frustrating if you don't quite understand how to read the yarn labels. Most yarn labels have 7 pieces of information. To choose the perfect yarn, consider all 7 and how they will work together to bring your knitting project to life. 

Related: How to Choose the Best Yarn for My Knitting Project

1. Yarn Composition

One of the most important pieces of information is understanding which fibers were used to create the yarn. The fiber content will affect the softness and breathability of your garment. Different labels have this info in different places, but if you are familiar with the most common types of fiber, you will be able to spot this information. Here are some fibers to look for:

  • Angora
  • Cashmere
  • Alpaca
  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Merino
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Nylon
  • Rayon
  • Synthetic

2. Yarn Length

Before you start yarn shopping, check your pattern for the length of yarn needed for the project. Yarn is typically measured by yard and will always be specified on the yarn label. If you decide to deviate from any of the pattern's yarn specifications, be sure to adjust the yarn length. The length of yarn your project requires can vary with yarn weight and gauge.

3. Yarn Weight

The weight of the yarn tells you how thick it is. Standard yarn weight categories established by the Craft Yarn Council range from 0 to 7. The council has also assigned a standard symbol for each yarn weight. Most yarn labels will specify both the yarn weight number and the symbol near the top of the label. Check your pattern for the specified yarn weight and match that number to the yarn label when you are yarn shopping.

4. Size of Knitting Needle

Located in the proximity of the yarn gauge will be the recommended size of knitting needle. Most yarn labels display both the metric and US size, so make sure you are looking at the correct number. Following the knitting needle size guidelines will make knitting the particular yarn much easier.

Related: Beginner's Guide to Understanding Knitting Needle Size

5. Yarn Gauge

Use this piece of information as a general guideline because many factors can affect the yarn gauge. Simply stated, the yarn gauge is the number of stitches recommended for the width of the swatch and the number of rows. Your personal knitting style and the pattern will alter the gauge, so this information is not set in stone.

Related: What Is Yarn Gauge And Why Does It Matter?

6. Yarn Brand

As you become a more experienced knitter, you will develop preferences for certain yarn brands. Like any brand, yarn brands each do things a bit differently. Once you decide which brands you love and which you aren't too fond of, it will be important to pay attention to yarn brand. 

Humble brag...once knitters try Zen Yarn Garden yarn, they almost always come back for more. 

7. Yarn Care Instructions

The final and perhaps most important piece of information on a yarn label is the yarn care info. Once you have invested hours of care and labor into creating your garment, you want it to last for many years. Follow the yarn care details carefully to maintain the quality of the fibers. Yarn labels use several symbols to express different methods of washing and care. Most times, words will accompany the labels. If you don't know what the symbol means, visit the Craft Yarn Council for a list of symbols and their meanings. The symbols are standard and universal. 

Related: How To Care For Hand Knitted Garments

Bonus Info

If your project requires you to purchase more than one skein of yarn, choose skeins from the same lot so that your colors match. Most yarn labels have a "dye lot" number or "batch number." 

Now you are ready to make an informed decision about which yarn to purchase for your next project. Happy Knitting!



Also in Zen News

A Guide to Knitting Skill Levels
A Guide to Knitting Skill Levels

November 24, 2022 3 min read 0 Comments

We all start out as beginner knitters. We learn the basic stitches and knit a scarf or two. Then we learn a few new stitches and are ready for a more advanced project. But, how do you know when you have advanced in knitting skill level? This simple guide will help you to decide which patterns are perfect for you and which may be too advanced.
Read More
Alaskan knitting cruise
5 Must-See Vacation Destinations Just For Knitters

November 16, 2022 4 min read 0 Comments

If you thought that knitting was a quiet hobby for introverted people who like to cozy up in a comfy chair and create for hours, you would be kind of right, but not entirely. Knitting can be a social hobby that attracts like-minded people. As knitters, we can inspire and be inspired by other knitters, and we can take our hobby anywhere in the world.
Read More
woman warm under a blanket with a hot beverage
7 Winter Knitting Projects to Keep You Busy and Cozy

November 11, 2022 2 min read 0 Comments

Knitting is our favorite winter pastime. It is relaxing, productive, and can be done while cozied up next to the fire in slippers. What could be better than that? Whether you are a beginner knitter or have been knitting for years, you will love the winter knitting projects below.
Read More

Subscribe