Thursday, 26 May 2011

Yarn ply confusion

Calling all knitting and crochet enthusiasts.  I need some clarification on how to interpret the discrepancies I'm increasingly finding with the stated ply of yarn on labels or no ply stated at all.  How is it that one acrylic yarn, Marvel Premium - purchased at Spotlight stated as 8 ply is much thinner than Carnival Soft 8ply acrylic bought at Big W?  The new Panda Magnum Soft 8  (Spotlight) ply is thinner than the Carnival Soft, which is to my understanding the same yarn marketed under a different label.

The Slouchy Hat that I have remade using the correct crochet stitches is too big although I tried to judge what ply the yarn was as it wasn't stated on the label.  Apparently I got it wrong and used the wrong size crochet needle.  I have printed out some conversion charts from the internet in an effort to try and eradicate confusion.  However confusion still reigns supreme!

Most yarn labels will indicate what size knitting needle is needed but does that relate to a crochet hook size too?  Moda Vera pure wool 8 ply (Spotlight) states I need a 4.5 needle size rather than a 4.00 as indicated on the label of the Marvel Premium, Carnival Soft and Panda Magnum Soft 8 ply yarns.  I do understand that these suggested knitting needle sizes are for gauging tension, but what do you do when you are using a pattern off the internet using yarn terminology that is different and a yarn with no stated ply?

The four yarns on the left are all supposed to be 4 ply.

I know I'm sounding like a winger here, but I do not wish to be limited to buying a particular yarn for a particular pattern, the yarns which are mostly unobtainable here in Australia anyway.  Is there such a thing as a measuring tool for working out the ply of yarns, a bit like this spaghetti measuring tool?  Yes I am getting desperate. :)
 O.k. another gripe over with.  Any suggestions or help offered would be greatly appreciated.  A photo of the finished Slouchy Hat coming soon and will be modeled by Miss G. as I look like a dork in hats and Miss C. thinks that hat is too dorky for her.  Thank goodness Miss G. is very much an individual and loves wearing stuff that is out there.

 Bye for now,

Anne  xx


  1. I would like to know the answer to that too as often op shops carry wools with no labels. I've started a thread in ravelry about that so we may get some help there. Cherrie

  2. That chart makes my head hurt.

  3. The same thing puzzled me for years. Then I discovered a chart in one of my kntting books. I now use a ruler and the chart from the knitting book. So many twists around the ruler in an inch, for each ply. It works! All those years of guessing. I think you have already answered your question, but let me know if you need anymore info.

  4. I'm no help at all but I can offer my sympathies as it's really annoying, especially as yarn manufacturers seem incapable of putting a crochet hook size in the labels - don't they know that in actual fact (and contrary to popular belief) crocheters outnumber knitters!! Grrrrr!!

    Oooops, got on my soapbox there!!

    S x

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  7. I have found that there's considerable variation in "thichness" even within the same brand. I have been told that this is caused by differences in dye.
    Recently I crochetered a baby dress in Magnum Soft 8. The seemed to be much thinner than the white.
    All very irritating isn't it?


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