Yarn Weights Chart & Guide

What is Yarn weight? 


 Yarn weight refers to the 'thickness' of your yarn.  To thicken strands of yarn they are twisted together or 'folded' hence the thickness of a yarn can be named the 'ply' 

The chart below helps understand the types of yarn and there relative thickness, watch the video below as Tilde demonstrates different types of yarn and how to measure thickness.


How do I know what weight my yarn is? 

It is very common if you have lost the ball band or information label, to know what weight your yarn is. 

However, there are a number of methods to determine the weight of your yarn: 

Wrap your yarn around a ruler, over 1 inch.  You then count how many wraps there are, use the chart below and check the 'wraps per inch' column to determine the weight. 

It could also just be a piece of cardboard where you have measured an inch, the width does not matter as you are looking at laying the yarn strands against each other. 


Why does yarn weight  matter? 

 The thickness of the yarn will determine the feel and drape of the fabric you knit up.  It is important when following a pattern to use the correct weight, if you use a thinner yarn it will be smaller than the size you want, thicker it will be bigger and so on.  

If you are adventurous you can experiment with yarns to make different sizes but using the same number of stitches  - you can see in the chart below that there will be more 'wraps per inch' the thinner or finer the yarn is.


Yarn Weights Chart


UK Yarn Type 

US Yarn Type 

Australian Yarn Ply 

Recommended  Needle Size 

Tension/Guage per 4"/10cm 

WPI / Wraps per Inch 

0 - Lace 



2 Ply 

1.5 - 2.5 mm 

> 36 stitches 

> 36 wpi 

1 - Super Fine 

3 Ply 

Light Fingering 

3 Ply 

2.0 - 3.25 mm 

28-36 stitches 

30-36 wpi 

2 - Fine 

4 Ply 


4 Ply 

2.0 - 3.75 mm 

24-28 stitches 

18-24 wpi 

2 - Fine 

4 Ply 


5 Ply 

3.25 - 3.75 mm 

24-28 stitches 

12-18 wpi 

3 - Light 



8 Ply 

3.75 - 4.5 mm 

20-24 stitches 

10-12 wpi 

4 - Medium 



10 Ply 

4.5-5.5 mm 

16-20 stitches 

8-10 wpi 

5 - Bulky 



12-14 Ply 

5.5-8.0 mm 

12-16 stitches 

6-8 wpi 

6 - Super Bulky 

Super Chunky 

Super Bulky 

16 Ply 

8 - 15 mm 

< 11 stitches 

< 6 wpi 






Learn to knit

Common Questions about Yarn Weights

Super Chunky is a great place to start.

Rowan Big Wool

The ballband should be your first look. If it doesn't tell you then look if it recommends needle size.

DK ( double knitting) is often referred to as 8ply in other countries.

DK and worsted are different weights, but they are similar so for items suchs as scarves then it might not matter as much and you can adjust the rows as you like. For patterns with specific measurements there will be a difference and you will need to adjust the pattern.