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Topic: The MANY ways of describing yarn weight  (Read 827 times)
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arrmatie
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« on: October 09, 2005 02:47:41 PM »

In trying to buy yarn from a variety of sources, I've found that there are at least half a dozen ways of describing yarn weight, ranging from the Standard Yarn Weight naming system, to the wraps per inch, to the yards per skein.  Could we Craftsters compile a comprehensive chart that would simplify this process? Especially, I've found that a lot of less-knowledgeable vendors (like on Ebay) only use the yards per skein, and which varies not only with the gauge of the yarn but also with fiber content.

I've got this for a starting point.

http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html

But it doesn't talk about yards per skein, or that crazy numbering system that weavers have.

Edit:  Also, it doesn't mention lace weight yarn.  And what happens to when you use two strands of any given weight?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2005 02:49:56 PM by arrmatie » THIS ROCKS   Logged

amey
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2005 12:01:00 AM »



But it doesn't talk about yards per skein, or that crazy numbering system that weavers have.


I"m only going to take up this point and say that it would be tricky (?) unnecessary (??) something to chart this.  Well, at least on some level.  I mean I could tell you that this skein of yarn has 500 yards in it, but does it weigh 2 ounces or 8 ounces? 

Or were you hoping to do this with specific yarns?

For example, let me tell you this, and you tell me if you want all of it, or some of it or what?

Peace Fleece brand worsted weight yarn:
Russian American (30% Mohair/70% wool), 2-ply. Approx. 200 yds/4oz skein. On #8 needles, 4 sts.= 1" (approx.)

~amey (up late and sure some of this isn't making sense)
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lupinbunny
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2005 12:48:20 AM »

you cant really compare weight to length in a skein, because different fibres (not to mention yarn weights) will make the answer different.

I've worked with worsted wool, 57m to the 50g ball.
And now i'm working with worsted wool/silk blend. And although unlabeled, i think i'm getting about 120m to the 40g ball. The silk makes it lighter, see.
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urraca
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2005 06:58:40 AM »

aarmatie, the best resources on yarn weights I have seen so far are:

http://floryknits.com/yarnchart.htm
http://www.yarnfwd.com/info.html (check both Yarn Tensions/Gauge and Yarn Counts)
http://wiseneedle.com/question-detail.asp?id=65 (copy and paste the contents of the box)

The Standard Yarn Weight System has been criticized for oversimplifying (a very complex system indeed).

HTH,
Urraca
Churras con merinas [fr]
Tertulia madrilea de punto [es]

PS: Your skull gansey and your mongol kiss are awesome.

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arrmatie
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2005 07:10:53 AM »

I"m only going to take up this point and say that it would be tricky (?) unnecessary (??) something to chart this.  Well, at least on some level.  I mean I could tell you that this skein of yarn has 500 yards in it, but does it weigh 2 ounces or 8 ounces? 

What brings this up is that I've been looking to buy yarn on Ebay, and all a lot of sellers list is the yards per skein and the skein weight.  I can usually guess what the gauge is if it's wool, but as different fibers have different densities and spin differently, it's hard to figure out the gauge other yarns.  What I'd like is to have some reference for buying yarn to which I could apply whatever skanty information the seller is giving me and come up with an estimate of the gauge.

urraca:  Yes, the Standard Yarn Weight System kinda sucks.  But as companies are starting to use it, it seems like a good starting place for constructing a resource for crafters.  And I'm glad you like my knitting Wink.
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urraca
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2005 07:30:02 AM »

urraca:  Yes, the Standard Yarn Weight System kinda sucks.  But as companies are starting to use it, it seems like a good starting place for constructing a resource for crafters.  And I'm glad you like my knitting Wink.

aarmatie, it's good to have standards, but the SYWS is often too vague. It's OK to use it as a starting point, but in order to be more precise (in Spanish we say "hilar ms fino" i.e. "spin thinner yarn"  Wink) you have to refer to other resources.
Did you check the links I sent you? The first resource links to a chart which is pretty much what you had in mind. Maybe there's no need to build it, it's already there.
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arrmatie
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2005 09:54:01 AM »

The floryknits chart is good, but it doesn't specify what fiber it's using for its "m/100g," or how to convert this statistic for other fibers.  It also doesn't mention the "yarn counts" system.

SYWS is vague, and I don't like it either.  But yarn and pattern companies use it more than any other standard.  Because of this, I think the SYWS names should be a PART of a COMPREHENSIVE chart for describing yarn weight.  I know there's a lot of data out there, what I've been trying to suggest is a project to collate it.

If anyone has other links to charts of ways to describe yarn weights, especially if they deal with a variety of fibers, please post them!  I am going through them.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2005 09:55:57 AM by arrmatie » THIS ROCKS   Logged

yahaira
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2005 02:16:29 PM »

This is what I found

yarn standards
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urraca
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2005 03:44:32 AM »

The floryknits chart is good, but it doesn't specify what fiber it's using for its "m/100g," or how to convert this statistic for other fibers.  It also doesn't mention the "yarn counts" system.

SYWS is vague, and I don't like it either.  But yarn and pattern companies use it more than any other standard.  Because of this, I think the SYWS names should be a PART of a COMPREHENSIVE chart for describing yarn weight.  I know there's a lot of data out there, what I've been trying to suggest is a project to collate it.

If anyone has other links to charts of ways to describe yarn weights, especially if they deal with a variety of fibers, please post them!  I am going through them.

OK, I get the idea. I'd be glad to contribute with the resources I come across.
Here's another:
http://www.fiber2yarn.com/catalog.php?category=Weaver (sp. Estimate Gauge by WPI, Metric Conversion   , SETT CHART and WPI Sett links)

I guess floryknits' chart is meant for wool. But some of the other links I sent explain the "yarn counts" system and give the ratio yard/pound for different fibres.

Anyway, I am sure you are aware it is not only a matter of fibre composition. The way the fibres are spun also play a part (some Rowan yarns for instance have a much higher yardage you'd expect from their thickness) and even the dyes do (the same yarn may be thicker in some colours and thinner in others, and I mean real thickness not the optical illusion of thickness which varies according to colour darkness). Plus how would you deal with blends in your chart?

A TRULY COMPREHENSIVE chart sounds like an impossible task to me and, in the end, however complete it will be, you'll stil have to resort to swatching because of all the subjective factors in knitting. But still count me in to build it.  Wink The pursuit of comprehensiveness is one of my weak spots.
 
Urraca
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arrmatie
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2005 11:32:54 AM »

I'm glad I've got you on board!  When I started this thread I didn't think the concept of a single, usable yarn gauge/weight chart was that strange; I just figured everyone else was as frustrated as I was with having to look at a bunch of sites and do some considerable math to get an idea of what the yarn I was buying online was like.  Yes, swatching will still be necessary before starting a project, but we'll be able to buy yarn site-unseen with a little more confidence.  And there may be some guesswork with fiber blends, but at least we'll have some guidelines.

As far as the question of different fibers having different weights, who would have this information?  Should I ask on the spinning board?
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