Are Yarn Weights Really Important?

December 27, 2015

Yarns

If you're a Fiber Artist / Crafter, yarn is essential to what you're making. So to answer the question, "Are Yarn Weights Really Important?" The answer is, it depends. I'll explain. If you're making a hat for instance, you need to ask yourself, are you making it for winter to keep the head warm?, or will be it more of a fashionable hat to wear to a special event?, maybe it's a summer hat to reflect the sun but not necessarily needs to be a thick wool hat. Answering these questions will help you know what type of yarn to look for.

Yarns come in several weight categories and they go by a number such as: 
  • Light worsted - #3
  • Medium worsted - #4
  • Bulky weight - #5
  • Super bulky weight - #6
I found this cool diagram displaying all the weights plus an added #7 jumbo weight!

yarn weight diagram
Downloaded from Craft Yarn Council

Also, the yarn weight you choose will have a label on the back that tells you the weight and the recommended hook size for using it (see image below). The hook size can also change depending on the gauge of the pattern you're making.

So, let's talk about medium worsted weight yarns. Let's say your pattern calls for a #4 yarn which typically recommends using an I, 5.5 mm crochet hook, but your stitches are coming out too small or large for the pattern, you may have to change to a smaller hook or larger hook so that the end result comes out the way the designer intended it to. The crochet hook and yarn weight work hand in hand. And sometimes using different yarn weights produce different results. I've had to do some experimenting from time to time just to see if I like the results I'm getting before I dig into a pattern.

yarn skein

#4 Medium worsted weight yarn is common for crocheting most items

Thickness and softness are important to me when I'm picking out a yarn for a pattern, because first I like soft yarn and secondly I have sensitive skin so not all yarns work for me especially if I'm making a scarf, something that would touch my skin.

My favorite go-to yarn are Red Heart with Love. It's a #4 medium worsted weight yarn, but it also has a nice softness to it that which, in my opinion, is preferable to Red Heart Super Saver.

Other medium worsted weight yarns I love using are:
Different Yarns



  • 1 - Simply Soft Caron. It's a #4 medium-worsted weight, but extremely soft and great for lacy crochet projects like shawls and scarves.

  • 2 - Red Heart Soft. This yarn is a bit thicker than Simply Soft Caron, but still very nice to use and I've actually crocheted with this using two strands for baby blankets.

  • 3 - Lion Brand Heartland. I just recently discovered this yarn and I really like it. It's thicker than both #1 and #2, but nice to work with for hats, scarves, and garments.

  • 4 - Lion Brand Vanna's Choice. I love the colors offered and it's nice to work with. It's not as soft as #1 and #2, it's more like a cross between Red Heart Super Saver and Lion Brand Heartland.

  • 5 - Caron Jumbo. This is a great yarn to work with! I love it...the picture is the Country basket color but they make an Easter basket color too. It's soft and you can crochet with larger hooks as well. I've made bags, hats, and other things with it :)

As you can tell, there's a lot of information about yarn weights, but hopefully from this post you'll have a better understanding of all the weights available and what they're good for. Do some experimenting making a small swatch before you jump into a pattern, this way you can determine if you like how the yarn looks, how it feels working with it, and if the results are what you want. It's easier to change to another yarn after a swatch than to get into a project and then realize you don't like it. I hate ripping out stitches!

What yarn weights do you like or work with the most? Tell me about it in the comments section!

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