When you hear the word Aran, what comes into your mind? Yes, knitting or crochet yarns. Aran refers to a weight classification of the yarn. Why do you have to know the weight and thickness of your yarn?
Knitting and crochet yarns have a great role in your project. The yarn thickness has a significant effect on the look of your project. Meanwhile, the weight lets you know the number of stitches to knit in one inch (2.54 cm.).
When your yarn has an Aran weight, it means you need to use a 5mm needle size or hook. This weight of the yarn sometimes refers to a 10-ply yarn. It is a little bigger than a Worsted weight yarn.
Aran is in the category of medium-weight yarn. Yarns in this weight category can be made out of wool or acrylic. This type of yarn is common in the UK. Aran weight yarns lie between the Double Knit and the Chunky yarns.
The Aran and Worsted yarns are great for knitting winter garments. Most knitters and crocheters use these two to make sweaters, scarves, mittens, and more.
Worsted yarn also belongs to the medium-weight category like the Aran. They have a slight difference in weight and thickness. They still both belong to middle or medium-weight yarns. Their needle or hook size can vary from 7 to 9 for US needle size or 4 to 4.5 mm. UK size.
Since Aran is a little thicker, it is great to work on with a 5mm needle size or hook. The Worsted yarn is better on 7 to 9 for US needle size or 4 to 4.5 mm. UK needle size. Worsted yarns can either be light-worsted or medium-worsted.
This is why the recommended needle or hook size range is between 4 to 4.5 mm. They both make around 4 to 5 stitches in every inch (2.54 cm.). Their knit gauge is between 16 to 20 stitches every 4 inches (10 cm.).
Do not confuse yourself with these yarn weights. What you need to remember is that Aran is the term in the UK, while Worsted is for the USA market.
List of Contents:
What Is The Difference Between Aran And Chunky Wool?
In the previous chapter, you have learned about Aran weight yarn. This time, you will understand its difference with Chunky yarn.
The term Chunky refers to the weight of the yarn with a 12-ply thickness. This is thicker and bigger than Aran and Worsted yarns. The term Chunky is for the UK yarn standards, while its US equivalent is Bulky.
There is a big difference between the weight and the size of Chunky and Aran. The latter belongs to the medium-weight, while Chunky belongs to the heavy-weight category.
The Chunky yarn has a knit gauge of between 12 to 16 stitches every 4 inches (10 cm.). The recommended needle size is between 10 to 11 for US size or 5.5 to 8 mm. for UK size. Yarn weight varies from size Lace to Super Bulky.
Each size has a corresponding number symbols, 0 for Lace and 7 for Super Bulky. When you buy yarn, it has a number printed on its label that ranges from 0 to 7. These numbers also indicated the weight of the yarn.
The Chunky has an equivalent number symbol of 5, while Aran is number 4. The Chunky weight yarns are almost twice the thickness of the Aran and Worsted. This type of yarn is best for big and thick jackets, scarves, and blankets.
What Is The Difference Between Aran And Double Knit?
The Double Knit (DK) yarn weight has the symbol 3. It is thinner and lighter than Aran. The Double Knit yarn is under the Worsted weight, but it refers to the Light-Worsted weight.
The DK or the Light-Worsted yarn has an 8-ply thickness. Both the USA and UK standards refer to it as DK. This weight has a knit gauge of 21 to 24 stitches per 4 inches (10 cm.). You can see that when the yarn has a lower weight, it has a wider knit gauge.
The Double Knit yarn works best on the needle size range of between 5 to 7 mm. for US size and 3.75 to 4.5 mm. for the UK. The DK is much lighter than Aran weight yarn. This type of yarn is best for lighter sweaters, leggings, and baby garments.
What Is The Difference Between Aran And 4-Ply?
The term 4-ply refers to the number of strands in a yarn. If you check its weight counterpart, it is the Sport weight. You may also call it the Sock yarn.
The Sport weight yarn has four strands of fibers. It is thinner than Aran yarns and uses a needle size of 3 to 6 in US size or 3.25-3.75mm for the UK. This yarn has a knit gauge of 24 to 27 stitches per 4 inches (10 cm.).
Most knitters use the Sport weight yarns for making baby socks and shawls.
The following FAQ’s will add more clarity about these yarn weight categories.
- Can I Use Worsted Instead Of Aran?
The yarn weights Aran and Worsted are both under the medium-weight category. The Aran is a little thicker than Worsted. The Worsted yarn can either be light-worsted or medium-worsted. The medium worsted is the closest category for Aran.
Again, the medium-Worsted and Aran are almost the same type of yarn weight. The term Worsted is for the US standard yarn weight and Aran is for the UK standard.
- Is Aran Thicker Than Dk?
Yes, Aran is thicker than DK or Double Knit weight. The Double Knit yarn is a kind of Light-Worsted yarn. Knitters use it for making cardigans and light sweaters.
The Double Knit has an 8-ply thickness while Aran has 10-ply. The DK yarn has a category number 3 while Aran is 4.
- Does 2 DK Equal Aran?
Some knitters make projects using two yarns at the same time. This makes a unique texture on the fabric.
If you knit 2 strands of DK or Double Knit yarn, you will create an Aran weight yarn.
- What Is Aran Weight Yarn In The US?
The US counterpart of Aran weight yarn is the Worsted weight yarn. Both are the same medium-weight category.
- Is Aran yarn the same as DK?
Aran and DK are different. DK is light-worsted which means it is thinner and lighter than Aran. Aran is a 10-ply yarn while DK is an 8-ply yarn.
- Is Aran yarn the same as Chunky?
Chunky and Aran belong to different categories. Aran is a medium-weight, while Chunky is under the heavy-weight yarn. Chunky has almost twice the thickness of Aran.
Yarn Weight Guide
Here is a summary of the different yarn weights. You can always refer to this if you want to check your yarn weight and needles.
Lace yarn – Weight is 0
Suitable Knitting needles: 1.5 to 2.25 mm, or sizes 000 to 1
Recommended gauge: 33 to 40 knit stitches; or 32-42 double crochet stitches
Type of lace yarn: fingering, or Crochet thread size 10
Properties: Very thin, suitable for lace and doilies.
Super fine yarn – Weight is 1
Suitable Knitting needles: 2.25 to 3.25 mm, or sizes 1 to 3
Recommended gauge: 27 to 32 knit stitches; 21 to 32 crochet stitches
Types of super fine yarn: sock, fingering, baby
Properties: lightweight and suitable for baby garments, sock patterns, and shawls. Yarns for making fine and delicate pieces are under this category
Fine yarn – Weight is 2
Suitable Knitting needles: 3.25 to 3.75 mm, or sizes 3 to 5
Recommended gauge: 23 to 26 knit stitches; 16 to 20 crochet stitches
Types of fine yarn: sport, baby
Properties: Sport weight yarns are suitable for socks, wraps, and light sweaters. The yarns for making light afghans are under this category.
Light yarn – Weight is 3
Suitable Knitting needles: 3.75 to 4.5 mm, or sizes 3 to 5
Recommended gauge: 21 to 24 knit stitches; 12 to 17 crochet stitches
Types of light yarn: DK or Double Knit, light worsted
Properties: A little heavier than a fine weight yarn. This type is suitable for making baby items and garments.
Medium or Worsted yarn – Weight is 4
Suitable Knitting needles: 4.5 to 5.5 mm, or sizes 7 to 9
Recommended gauge: 16 to 20 knit stitches; 11 to 14 crochet stitches
Types of medium yarn: worsted, afghan, Aran
Properties: This type is the most common yarn weight in knitting. This is suitable for novice knitters. It has almost twice the weight of the Double Knit. Yarns for making regular afghans belong to this category.
Bulky yarn – Weight is 5
Suitable Knitting needles: 5.5 to 8 mm, or sizes 9 to 11
Recommended gauge: 12 to 15 knit stitches; 8 to 11 crochet stitches
Types of bulky yarn: chunky, craft, rug
Properties: This has double the weight of the Worsted yarn. It is best to work on large needles. It is perfect for making thick sweaters, scarves, and rugs
Super bulky yarn – Weight is 6
Suitable Knitting needles: 8 to 12.75 mm, or sizes 11 to 17
Recommended gauge: 7 to 11 knit stitches; 7 to 9 crochet stitches
Types of super bulky yarn: super bulky, roving
Properties: It is very thick and is suitable for making cowls, blankets, and ponchos.
Jumbo yarn – Weight is 7
Suitable Knitting needles: 12.75 mm and larger, or sizes 17 and larger
Recommended gauge: 6 knit stitches and fewer; 6 crochet stitches and fewer
Properties: The thickest yarn. This was only introduced last 2014. This yarn weight is best for arm knitting.
Tips for Choosing the Right Yarn
When you want to knit a project, you cannot take any yarn and needles out of your kit. Unlike other crafting hobbies, your knitting materials need to be precise. It is not a strict hobby, but your choice of materials affects the quality of your output.
You have to use the right yarns and needles for every project you make. If you want to make winter garments, you cannot use thin and light yarns. The same applies to your needles.
Your yarns are crucial to the overall look of your project. If you choose the wrong combination of yarn and needles, you will not achieve your desired output. To help you choose the right yarns for your projects, read on the following tips.
- Yarn weight
- Needle Size
- Type of Fiber
- Substitute Yarn
- Kind of Stitches
As explained earlier, every yarn has its weight. Knowing which yarn weight to use for your project is important. A thicker project needs heavy-weight yarns like Double Knit, Aran, and Chunky.
Lightweight and thin projects need yarns that are also thin and lightweight. You may use the Fingering yarn or Sport weight yarns. These yarn weights are crucial to the look and form of your projects.
The size of your needles must go hand in hand with your yarn weight. The bigger your yarn, the bigger your needles should be. Using the wrong size of your needles can be troublesome.
You will have a hard time making the right stitches for your work. Not to mention that wrong needles may prevent you from stitching your yarn.
The color of your yarn is also important. If you want to make a garment for day use, a bright or light color is appropriate. When using several yarn colors, make sure they are complimenting each other. This is to create a harmonious design for your work.
The type of fiber for your yarn is crucial. You have to remember that not all yarns are suitable for garments. Some yarns are too stiff or warm. Such yarns are only applicable for making mats, carpets, and upholstery.
When you want to knit clothing projects, make sure that you are going to use the right type of yarn. Not all natural yarns are soft and safe on the skin, so be extra careful in choosing your yarn.
Be careful when you want to substitute your yarn. Make sure you know the characteristics of your chosen alternative. You have to remember that yarns from different fibers have specific properties. This is true even if they have the same gauge and weight.
When you choose your yarn, you also have to consider the stitches that you will do. The common practice is the simpler the yarn, the more complex your stitches should be. If your yarn has more texture, then use simpler stitches. This is to create balance in your work.
As you level up your knitting skills, you must also broaden your understanding of your tools. Knowing the yarn weights and their corresponding needle sizes is crucial in knitting.
This information may look overwhelming, but in practice, they are plain and straightforward. Take your time to learn these details; knitting is not a race. What you must focus on is how to be good at your craft.
You should make one project for each yarn weight. This way, you will have the actual feel of the yarn. Plus, it will help you get familiar with each yarn weight faster.