Apr 29, 2023

How to choose the right yarn for your knitting

Starting a new craft can feel a bit like learning a new language or trying to follow a map – there are lots of strange words, abbreviations and phrases.

If you’re unsure which needles to use, read our guide on how to choose knitting needles. Otherwise, keep reading for information on how to pick the right yarn for your knitting project.

Essentially one strand, or two or three strands of yarn twisted together, these are great for knitting fitted garments such as socks, gloves or lace. Most often, 2ply is knitted on 2-3.5mm needles, and it's best used for delicate lace knitting and baby garments.

This is a favourite weight for baby clothes, socks, and lightweight jumpers and cardigans. The best needles to use with 4ply yarn range between 3mm and 4mm, although socks are knitted with smaller needles to create a denser fabric that's more hard-wearing.

So called because it's usually double the weight of 4ply, DK is the most widely used yarn and is versatile enough for many garments. It's also quick to knit with. Most patterns and yarns suggest you use 3.5-4.5mm needles.

Originally created for fishermen's jumpers, Aran-weight wool can be used to make up accessories and many different garments when DK isn't heavy enough, and chunky is too bulky. It's perfect for outdoor or warm clothing. Best results are gained using 4-5.5mm needles.

Heavier than Aran, chunky wool is traditionally associated with outdoor wear and winter jumpers. It's knitted on 5.5-7mm needles and is ideal for beginners because the knitting will grow quickly so you’ll get fast results! It's also great for oversized garments.

This weight of yarn is proving increasingly popular for the making of winter coats and jumpers. It's also good for beginners because it produces quick results. We’d recommend using needles that are at least 7mm thick, up to 12mm thick. This yarn is good for furnishings.

Quick and easy to knit with, big yarns are perfect for winter and making bold statements. You’ll need large needles for this yarn – up to 20mm thick. It's perfect for bold scarves and coats, as well as cosy cushions and throws. These projects are usually knitted using a knit stitch or purl stitch.

Generally, these knitting needles sizes are best used with the following yarn weights.

2.5-3.5mm - 2ply - 4ply yarn

3.5-4.5mm - DK yarn / 8 ply

5-6mm - Aran yarn / worsted yarn

7mm and bugger - chunky yarn

Before you start knitting, you must learn how to cast on. Here are the methods for casting on:

Both have different benefits but are very easy to master.

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How to choose the right yarn for your knitting 1, 2 & 3 ply 4ply Double Knitting (DK) Aran Chunky Super Chunky Big Which size knitting needles do I use? How to cast on knitting You might also like: