Measuring Your Yarn

Measuring Your Yarn

Posted by Chris on Jun 8th 2012

Yarn labels have a strange way of disappearing. When you go to your stash and find a naked skein or ball of yarn, how do you know what size it is?

One of our favorite go-to tools is a round wraps-per-inch gauge. I'm sure you have seen some kind of wraps-per-inch (WPI) tool before.  They are usually flat with a little groove cut out of them or perhaps you learned to use a ruler.  What a great idea it was to make this handy tool round!  To use, secure one end of the yarn into the groove in the knob then twist until you have wrapped the yarn an inch on the gauge (two inches if you are measuring with irregular yarn such as slub, then take the average). Compare the wraps to the chart below to get an idea of the yarn's size.

Type WPI
Lace 18 or more
Sock/fingering 16
Sport 14
Worsted 12
Bulky 10
Super-bulky 8 or less

What if you are a spinner and you want to measure your yarn WHILE you are spinning? Here is another handy tool,  The Spinners Control Card. It allows you to lay a length of yarn on the gauge, to check your spinning as you work so that you don't end up with a skein that is half fingering and half sport. Remember to take into consideration how many plies your yarn will ultimately have.  Spin a yarn half that thickness for two-ply, a third the thickness for three-ply, and so on.

While we are on the subject of measuring, you knitters will also want to keep a needle and swatch gauge handy. Check out The Woolery's gauge which is easy to use and offers a wide range of needle sizes measurements.

With the right tools you can take control of your stash in no time!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team