I love yarn…and I’m guessing you do, too!! One of the things I like most about yarn is that it comes in so many different sizes or weights. Yarn can vary from a fiber as thin as thread to one as thick as rope. And you can crochet with all of it!
The Craft Yarn Council has created a Standard Yarn Weight System for classifying yarn. Yarn weights vary from a weight 0 which is the thinnest, to a weight 7 which is the thickest. Each weight of yarn has a commonly recommended hook (or needle, if you’re a knitter) size, and a guideline for gauge. You can also use the yarn’s label to see what hook size is suggested for that specific yarn. Obviously, you can use the hook size you prefer, for the most part, for each weight of yarn. (The chart below is just to be used as a guideline for gauge and hook sizes.)
Using some yarn from my stash, I created some amigurumi balls using each weight of yarn and a coordinating hook (I referred to the yarn label for hook size). I wanted to show you how differently the same pattern works up just by switching the yarn weight and hook size.
Weight 0 yarn is considered a Lace Weight. It’s a very fine yarn, similar to thread, used to create doilies and lace, and other projects that call for a very thin fiber. Recommended hook sizes: Steel hook 1.6-1.4mm through standard 2.25mm (B). Example made with Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Size 10 Thread from Red Heart Yarns and a Clover Amour 1.75mm steel crochet hook.
Weight 1 yarn is a Superfine Weight. Yarns that fall under this category are Sock yarns, Baby yarns, and Fingering weight yarns. These yarns are very light, and are used to make lighter weight items. Recommended hook size: 2.25-3.25mm (B-E). Example made with Aunt Lydia’s Fashion Crochet 3 Thread from Red Heart Yarns and a Clover Amour 3.25mm (D) hook.
Weight 2 yarn is a Fine Weight. Sport and Baby weight yarns fall under this category, and are commonly used to make sweaters, hats, and other baby garments. Recommended hook size: 3.5-4.5mm (F-G+/7). Example made with Lion Brand Cotton Bonbons and a Clover Amour 3.75mm (F) hook.
Weight 3 yarn is a Light Weight yarn. DK (double knitting) and Light Worsted are examples of yarn in this weight category. Light weight yarn can be used for many different items like amigurumi, garments, shawls, or other baby items. While still as warm and sturdy as a worsted weight yarn (yarn weight 4), it has a nicer drape without the bulk. Recommended hook sizes: 4.5-5.5mm (G+/7 – I). Example made with Loops and Threads Joy DK from Michaels and a Clover Amour 4.5mm hook.
Weight 4 yarn is a Medium Weight. Worsted, Aran, and Afghan yarn are weight 4 yarns. Many yarn companies claim that weight 4 is the most popular weight of yarn, and given the ease with which it is found, they might be correct. Medium weight yarn is very versatile, and it can be used for most projects. Clothing, toys, blankets, rugs, whatever you like. Most of my patterns are written with this weight of yarn in mind! Recommended hook size: 5.5-6.5mm (I-K). Example made with I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby and a Clover Amour 5.5mm hook.
Weight 5 yarn is a Bulky Weight. Rug, Craft, and Chunky yarns are Bulky Weight yarns. Bulky yarns work up faster and have a chunkier, blockier texture. Accessories like hats and scarves are perfect for weight 5 yarn, but blankets and stuffed animals are also perfect projects. I like to use my Big Hugs yarn for some of my patterns! Recommended hook size: 6.5-9mm (K-M/N). Example made with Loops and Threads Charisma from Michaels and a Clover Amour 8mm hook.
Weight 6 yarn is a Super Bulky Weight. Super Chunky and Roving yarns fall under this weight. Super bulky yarn is thicker than a regular bulky yarn. It works up quickly, and is perfect for heavier items like hats, scarves, and throws. You can also use Super Bulky yarn for amigurumi. Recommended hook size: 9-15mm (M/N-Q). Example made with Lion Brand Hometown USA with a Clover Amour 9mm hook.
Weight 7 is a Jumbo Weight yarn. Yarn in this category is labeled as Jumbo or Roving. There is a lot of variability in this weight of yarn since anything thicker than a weight 6 is considered a Jumbo yarn. Jumbo yarn works up very quickly, I actually found this yarn very hard to work with when making the amigurumi ball. It’s very thick, and I think it would be easier to work with if you were making something open, with bigger stitches. and is perfect for arm knitting. Recommended hook size: 15mm and larger (Q-S). Example made with Irresistible from Red Heart Yarns and a Susan Bates Q hook.
Playing with all of those different yarns was so much fun! Each weight feels different to work with, and getting used to the different thickness of yarn (and the smaller or larger hooks size) does take some getting used to. I had never used a Lace weight yarn for a project before!
What yarn weight do you prefer to use? My personal favorite is Weight 4 – Worsted Weight! Drop me a comment and let me know what you like best!
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2 thoughts on “Yarn Weights”
Worsted weight and I are in a fairly committed relationship. It’s my favorite…though I do flirt with the other weights every now and then. Lace and Jumbo weight yarns are the ones I dislike the most. I agree about the Jumbo – it’s hard to work with. It’s…just too big. And I think it’s not necessarily the weight of the lace yarn that bothers me – it’s the tiny hook. I have those Clover hooks, which does make it a bit easier, but it’s still a little awkward.
I love worsted weight yarn and I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby is my absolute favorite. I use the lace weight for my eye lashes, eyebrows and mouths on your patterns. I did buy some baby yarn to make Dash the Elephant with and it’s a size 3 so I hope it works out okay.