Yarn Weight Chart

Here’s a handy chart to keep track of all things yarn weight!

Here’s a handy yarn weight chart for you on the most common standard yarn weights!

Plus, some bonus charts to help you hack your yarn weight!

Save this chart to your Pinterest, or print it out and keep it in your knitting basket!

It’s a great cheat sheet to keep on hand for all your knitting and crochet projects.

The thickness of a yarn matters! Using the right yarn weight for your project is crucial for your final product to turn out the correct size!

So, let’s talk yarn weights!

This chart has the most common yarn weights listed.

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Yarn weight refers to how thick your yarn is.

It doesn’t necessarily have to do anything with the “weight of the yarn.”

(what’s that riddle about which is heavier — 20 pounds of feathers or 20 pounds of bricks?)

The weight of your yarn refers to how thick a strand of yarn is.

Yarn weight can be “named” in several different ways, depending on what part of the world you live in.

This chart will help you sort through each yarn weight category.


Different yarn weights are better for different types of projects. 

Choosing the correct yarn size for your knit or crochet project is important for your finished project being the right size.

Using yarn that is too thin for a project can cause a project to be too small (and have too big of “holes” if your needle size or crochet hook size is too large for the thickness of the yarn).

Using a thicker yarn that is too large for your project will cause your project to be too large (and will be very difficult to work with if your hook/needles are too small for your bulky yarn). 

It’s important to check both your pattern and your yarn label to make sure that you are using the correct size! If you’re still unsure — you can make a gauge swatch to make sure you are using both the correct yarn weight and needle/hook size.

Knitting and crochet patterns should have this information at the very beginning of the pattern.

Most popular yarn weights and what to use them for

  • Lace weight yarn, the thinnest yarn, is categorized as size 0 (or 2-ply yarn). It’s best for extremely light projects such as lace (surprise, surprise) or very lightweight, whispy garments, such as lacey shawls. Lace yarn is the most fine yarn category on the standard yarn weight system. Being the lightest weight of yarn, the number of stitches needed to make 1″ is quite a few — usually around 8!
  • Sock yarns and fingering yarns are categorized as weight 1 (3 or 4-ply yarn). It’s the best yarn for knitting socks. This is still a pretty thin yarn, so save it for lightweight garments. It’s helpful if the fiber content in this light weight yarn is mixed with a little bit of nylon, as it will make your final project (such as a pair of socks) much more durable. 
  • Sport and baby weight yarn (weight 2, or 5-ply) is best saved for baby clothes and other baby items. Shirts, shawls, lightweight sweaters, thicker socks, and lightweight throw blankets can all be made with sport weight yarn.
  • DK Weight Yarn (weight 3, 8-ply) can also be considered a light worsted yarn. It’s great for lighter weight garments, household goods such as washcloths, and children’s toys. 
  • Worsted Weight Yarn (weight 4, 10-ply) is my personal favorite yarn weight. I find it to be the most versatile yarn, being the perfect medium weight yarn. I find it works up at a very good pace while still giving you a final project that does not look or feel too bulky. Use worsted weight yarn for nearly anything: slippers, sweaters, cardigans, toys, hats, lighter weight scarves, blankets, and mittens!
  • Bulky Yarn (weight 5, 12-ply) is a thick yarn. It is good when you want your project to have a little “bulk” or extra warmth to it. Save this yarn for thick blankets, thick scarves, and extra warm hats and mittens. Because it’s a thicker yarn, be sure to use larger needles or a larger hook when crafting with it!
  • Super Bulky Yarn (weight 6, 14-ply) it the thickest (standard) yarn size. Use it for super chunky blankets and other overly bulky projects! Keep in mind — the thicker the yarn, the less yardage that is typically sold with it. So while chunky yarns work up fast — be prepared to spend more money than you would with a thinner yarn, as you’ll likely need many more skeins for your project!


Ply yarn is another way to describe the thickness or weight of yarn, by counting the number of strands in a yarn.

Many European countries and Australia use the ply system.

Ply originates from the days when yarn was spun by hand. 4 ply yarn would have been made by twisting 4 plies of yarn together.

In the days of machine made yarns, ply doesn’t always have to do with how many “strings” or plies are in a strand of yarn. It’s simply another way to classify yarn weight.


Handmade or handspun yarn can have irregularities in it. Sometimes intentional, to give it an “artsy” textured feel, and sometimes unintentional — the beauty of being human is sometimes error.

Since handmade yarn is not produced under a commercial settingspinners must classify yarn weight on their own.

There are many ways to do this, but since there are so many variables in handmade yarn (even a higher density than its storebought counterpart!), the best way to classify the weight of handmade yarn is with a ruler.

Spinners may also classify yarn weight by eyeThe longer you hang out with yarn, the better you get to know it!

Of course (again with that human error thing)if you are using hand spun yarn, you may want to get a yarn ruler to use to measure the weight before you begin your project.

Here’s a pack of 3 wooden yarn rulers for $8 on amazon!


Some needle sizes work better with certain yarn weights than others.

For instance, you probably wouldn’t get very far using a tiny pair of 2 mm knitting needles paired with some bulky weight yarn.

Here’s a bonus chart for recommended needles for each yarn weight!

I’ve even added in some of the best projects to make with that weight yarn!

​Or, if you want a quick reference for needle and hook sizes for each yarn weight, here are some recommendations below:

  • For weight 0 (lace, 2-ply), use 1.5 – 2.5 mm knitting needles or a crochet hook. (US 0-1)
  • For weight 1 (fingering, sock), use 2.25 – 3.5 mm knitting needles or a crochet hook. (US 3-4)
  • For weight 2 (sport), use 3.5 – 4.5 mm knitting needles or a crochet hook. (US 4-7)
  • For weight 3 (DK), use 4.5 – 5.5 mm knitting needles or a crochet hook. (US 7-9)
  • For weight 4 (worsted), use 4 – 6 mm knitting needles or a crochet hook. (US 6 – 10)
  • For weight 5 (bulky), use 6 – 9 mm knitting needles or a crochet hook. (US 10 – 13)
  • For weight 6 (super bulky), use 9 – 10 mm knitting needles or a crochet hook. (US 13 – 15)

What gauge should be used for my yarn?

Lose the label on your yarn? Does your pattern not recommend a gauge?

While it’s best to be able to see the recommended gauge on your yarn tag or on a pattern, as each pattern and each individual yarn will vary, sometimes you just don’t have this information. That’s okay! If you still want to test your gauge to get an idea of what your finished product will look at, I’ve compiled some good suggestions for you to use!

Here are some suggestions for gauge below:

  • Lace weight yarn should have a gauge of 8 – 10 stitches per 1″.
  • Sock weight yarn should have a gauge of 6-7 stitches per 1″.
  • Sport weight yarn should have a gauge of around 6 stitches per 1″.
  • DK weight yarn should have a gauge of 5-6 stitches per 1″.
  • Worsted weight yarn should have a gauge of 4-5 stitches per 1″.
  • Bulky weight yarn should have a gauge of 3-4 stitches per 1″.
  • Super bulky weight yarn should have a gauge of around 3 stitches per 1″.

Can I substitute yarn weight in a project?

If you want to complete a pattern written for a certain yarn weight, but only have a different yarn weight on hand, it’s still possible to make it work!

This will work best if the yarn weight needed is very close to the yarn weight you use.

For example, it’s much more feasible to substitute worsted weight yarn with a DK weight yarn, than it would be to substitute that worsted weight yarn with a lace weight yarn. 

When substituting yarn size in a project, it’s important to adjust your gauge to make sure that the size will still come out the same.

You may need to switch to a larger or smaller knitting needle or crochet hook size as well to be sure that your size will turn out in your final project.

Make sure you get your gauge right before you start!

On projects where size does not really matter (for instance, size isn’t usually as terribly important on a blanket or a child’s toy), it’s still a good idea to work up a test swatch to make sure the material will lay the way you want it to.

Keep an eye out for stiffness as well as holes in your knitted/crocheted material before you begin work on your project.

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