Demystifying yarn pt. 2 Lace, Fingering and sport weight. Which is the right weight for my project?

demystifying yarn part 2

It’s all about the weight! Yarn weight, that is!

When picking out yarn it is important to follow the patterns suggestions on weight and the corresponding gauge of needles or hook. 

Let me say it again….follow the directions before you break the rules! (As you get more confident, you will break the rules, it is known.)

Weight is the thickness of the yarn.  You can find this information about the yarn on its label. 

On big box store labels, you will find weight categorized by numbers 0-7 (from the thinnest to the thickest)

YarnWeights

On labels from Indie Dyers, typically yarn will be labeled as what it is. 

Fingering/Sock, DK, Worsted, etc and not as a category number, which is why it’s important to have an understanding of what each type is. 

With a solid understanding it will then be easier to make substitutions in patterns. 

*An important note: Designers use a multitude of factors when designing (which we will get into on later posts) but most will try to include suitable substitutions as we are all aware that buying indie dyed yarn may not be economical for everyone.*

The Craft Yarn Council is a great resource for information about weights and how they correspond to one another. 

In Part 2 of Demystifying Yarn we are going to be focusing on Lace and Fingering.

Lace and fingering weight yarn are commonly mixed up. 

While they are both small weights, It is important to see the distinction between them.

lace

Lace is the smallest weight of yarn you can get.

example of lace weight yarn
example of mohair weight yarn

Big box stores label this as a category 0. 

Lace creates extremely fine fabric that is airy and light. 

Great for intricate motifs while absolutely gorgeous on its own or held together with another weight yarn.

lace and mohair weight held together
Photo of cowl made with DK and Mohair weight held together

For category 0 (lace weight yarns) in big box stores there is generally a low selection to choose from.

While doing research, the prevalence of category 0 was limited to crochet threads and several called lace, but are more like a fingering.

Common lace fibers sourced from Indie dyers include superwash merino/silk, kid mohair/silk, alpaca, angora and other nylon blends. 

Lace weight yarn typically comes in 50 gram skeins that have 400+ yards or 100 gram skeins with 800+ yards depending on blend available.

Mohair is a popular lace yarn, and is known for its halo effect when knit alone or held together with another weight yarn

At Fuzzywhatknots, we carry a selection of mohair lace yarn. Which is a blend of kid mohair and silk. You can check our selection out here!

Like most yarns there is an abundance of patterns specifically for lace yarn and when held together with other weight yarns.

One of my absolute favorite examples of a lace project is Rachel’s of @gettingmarriedinasweater

Rachel of @gettingmarriedinasweater
Rachel of @gettingmarriedinasweater

The dress has a 100% lace weight knit layer that is absolutely stunning. 

Currently as I am writing this, she is not quite finished but I look forward to seeing her progress over on Instagram!

Some of my favorite Lace patterns include:

Crochet – 

Knit – 

fingering weight

 

Fingering Weight Yarn is one of the most popular and versatile yarn weights available on the market.

 
 
 
example of fingering weight yarn

In big box stores it is labeled a category 1.

This yarn weight is a great choice for shawls, cardigans, sweaters, beanies and SOCKS! 

It is typically called Fingering or Sock yarn in the Indie world. 

You will find fingering yarn in virtually any blend.

 – superwash merino/nylon, non superwash, cotton, silk, cashmere, alpaca, acrylic etc. 

Fingering typically comes in 100g skeins and roughly 400 to 450 yards depending on the blend.

On Ravelry alone, there are over 155,000 patterns for fingering yarn. 

At Fuzzywhatknots, we carry a variety of fingering weight yarns. You can check them out here!

Some of my favorite Fingering Weight patterns include:

Crochet – 

Fuzzywhatknots offers kits for both the Novum Alas shawl and the Waves to the Point shawl.

You can find them here

Knit – 

Lion Brand carries a small selection of fingering yarn, category 1- super fine.

You can check those out here.

Sport

It would be remiss not to talk a little about Sport weight yarn.

Sport is labeled as a category 2 by the Craft Yarn Council.

Sport yarns are slightly thicker than Fingering but thinner than DK and are not as widely used by designers.

Big box stores carry some variety of them, but are mostly found in yarns used to make items for babies, hence its alternate name: baby weight yarn.

Some big box stores lump sport and DK into the same category as they are virtually the same in most cases.

Some indie dyers carry this weight. At this time, Fuzzywhatknots does not carry sport weight, we carry DK

Lion Brand carries a small selection of sport weight category 2 yarns.

Check those out here.

It is quite common for fingering weight and lace weight to be used in tandem by designers. 

Some of my favorite Fingering Weight + Lace Weight patterns include: 

Crochet – 

Knit – 

In Conclusion

Overall, these yarns are very widely available and amazing to work with. I hope you found value in the demystification of these weights!  In the next part, we will talk about DK and Worsted. Until then make loops with love!

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*Please note any links in this blog are not in anyway giving me a monetary kickback. Exclusion being links to yarn I carry. They are there for the sole purpose of educating and sharing knowledge and resources. We are yarn loving people who like to share yarn love with other people

Empower People Crochet Bandana

Teresa
Stankard

Owner/ Operator
Fuzzywhatknots

Teresa is the jack of all trades behind FuzzyWhatKnots Fibers. Teresa resides in Pennsylvania with her Husband, daughter and cat. When she’s not slinging yarn or splashing dye she enjoys a scenic hike or a good book

Katie Abbott

Blog Researcher/writer

Katie is a highschool Senior who resides with her family and dogs in Georgia. She is bistitchual (both crochets and knits) and in her spare time does research and co-writes for FuzzyWhatKnots Blog

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