What Is Worsted Weight Yarn?

February 04, 2020 2 min read

What Is Worsted Weight Yarn?

If you have heard the term "worsted weight yarn" and you aren't sure exactly what it means, we are here to help. As you know, yarn comes in various shapes and sizes ranging from nearly invisibly thin to a rope-like thickness. Worsted weight is the yarn that sits right in the middle of yarn weight spectrum. It is the most popular yarn weight because it is perfect for knitting sweaters, blankets, and scarves. Think of it as the perfect all purpose yarn.

The Yarn Weight System

Because yarn is created in so many sizes, it can be difficult when knitters and crocheters aren't speaking the same yarn language. To provide uniformity and standardization, the Craft Yarn Council developed a weight system for the craft world. 

Considered to be the industry standard when referring to yarn weight, the standard yarn weight system is a widely accepted system within the yarn community. The system categorizes yarn into seven weights, each designated with a number 0-6. Within this system, worsted weight yarn is labeled as a medium weight number four yarn with a knitting gauge of 16-20 stitches for every four inches. 

When shopping for worsted weight yarn, look for designations such as #4, medium weight, worsted, or even 16-20 stitches. Afghan and Aran are also used to identify worsted weight yarn. 

On occasion you may hear the term "worsted" referring to wool processing. Manufacturers and textile designers get really granular when discussing yarn processing and will reference wosted vs woolen processing. For our purposes, worsted refers strictly to yarn weight.

Worsted Yarn and Plies

Plies are smaller strands of yarn that are spun together to create a larger strand of yarn. Yarns range from one-ply, which is a single strand, to eight-ply, which is eight separate strands spun together. Worsted weight yarn can come in any number ply. Many knitters prefer higher number plies because more plies decrease the amount of pilling. When small strands of yarn are spun together to form yarn, they are stronger than single ply. If you plan to knit a garment that will be regularly used, such as mittens or a scarf, a higher ply, such as four-ply, is the best choice.

Just a Few of Our Favorite Worsted Weight Yarns

Eternity Serenity Worsted

Eternity Serenity Worsted Weight Yarn

This yarn is a brilliant, bold colour. 

75% Superwash Merino/15% Cashmere/10% Nylon 3-Ply Worsted Weight 

Cayenne Pepper Serenity Worsted

Cayenne Pepper Worsted Weight Yarn

Spice up any project with Cayenne Pepper. 75% Superwash Merino/15% Cashmere/10% Nylon 3-Ply Worsted Weight

Grey Wolf Serenity Worsted

Gray Wolf Worsted Weight Yarn

Deep and mysterious, Grey Wolf worsted weight yarn is the perfect yarn for any project. 75% Superwash Merino/15% Cashmere/10% Nylon 3-Ply Worsted Weight



Also in Zen News

10 Famous Celebrities Who Love Knitting
10 Famous Celebrities Who Love Knitting

October 23, 2020 3 min read

One of the best things we have seen lately is the Geico commercial featuring  John Stamos knitting a scarf. When he gives it to Jeanne, she compliments his stitch pattern and he flippantly replies that it is a double fleck pattern with reverse garter stitch- no big deal. It is hilarious and timely. We started wondering how many celebrities knit in real life. It makes sense for people who work long hours and travel.
Read More
5 Knitting Projects for Beginners
5 Knitting Projects for Beginners

October 05, 2020 2 min read

If you have just recently started knitting, you may feel intimidated by many of the projects you would love to create. It is important to push past the initial intimidation and find your stride. There are many beginner projects that will allow you to create a beautiful garment while learning new stitches and techniques. These knitting projects for beginners will boost your confidence and the results will be a pleasant surprise.
Read More
Entrelac knitting
What Is Entrelac Knitting (Spoiler: It's Amazing)

September 26, 2020 3 min read

If you have never heard of entrelac knitting, prepare to be amazed. An advanced technique, this style of knitting creates a fantastic woven texture. Entrelac is a French word that means "interlace" so it makes perfect sense. It is a bit different from a traditional basket weave stitch because it works on a diagonal to give the appearance of actual strips of knitting. It is composed of tiers of blocks that are set on their points. The entrelac style requires working in short rows. It looks beautiful in one solid color or with multiple colors. 
Read More

Subscribe