Have you ever looked at a yarn label, unsure exactly how to visualize what different weights of yarn will look like when worked up? You’re not alone. While many labels offer detailed information about the size of the yarn, it can still be difficult to picture exactly how thick each one will be.
We knit up samples of four of our popular yarns that are four different weights so you could see the difference: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick® — category 6 (super bulky), Scarfie® — category 5 (bulky), Vanna’s Choice® — category 4 (medium), and Vanna’s Style® — category 3 (light).
Each swatch was made with the needle size called for on the label — US 13 for category 6, US 9 for both categories 4 and 5, and US 6 for category 3. They were made by casting on 20 stitches using the long tail method, then knit in garter stitch (knitting every row) until they were square.
When they are laid out so that the bottom right corners line up, you can really see the differences and similarities in gauge. Categories 4 and 5 actually worked up to be very similar in size — category 5 is only slightly bigger — which may not be too much of a surprise since they called for the same size needle.
Of course, every knitter has their own unique tension, and it can be influenced by any number of factors. For example, these swatches were knit using wood circular needles similar to the Clover Bamboo 16″ Circulars. The gauge could be slightly different had they been made using metal or plastic needles. They also may have been different had the swatches been stockinette or ribbing instead of garter stitch. So — I hate to be the bearer of bad news — seeing the differences here doesn’t get you out of swatching for your own projects when you’re making something where gauge is important.