Explaining Yarn Weights
There are several yarn weight systems around the world which make comparing yarns a little confusing. We have decided to adopt the US standards (more on why a little later).
Craft Yarn Council (www.yarnstandards.com) categorises yarn weights from lace to (0) Super Bulky (6).
- * GUIDELINES ONLY: The above reflect the most commonly used gauges and needle or hook sizes for specific yarn categories.
- ** Lace weight yarns are usually knitted or crocheted on larger needles and hooks to create lacy, openwork patterns. Accordingly, a gauge range is difficult to determine. Always follow the gauge stated in your pattern.
- *** Steel crochet hooks are sized differently from regular hooks—the higher the number, the smaller the hook, which is the reverse of regular hook sizing
The reason Thread Collective has adopted the US standards is that in Australia the yarn guidelines refer to 2 Ply, 4 Ply, 10 Ply etc. The use of different rules creates much confusion, especially when it comes to yarns that can be used for weaving as weaving yarns introduce a whole other measurement system. The issue with the Australian Ply system is that as an individual ply of one thread can be finer than a 4 Ply of another brand.
We get asked the question regularly and would recommend you look at the meters/100g of the yarn recommended in your pattern and compare for a similar measurement in other brands.
If you would like more information of understanding what the numbers in weaving yarns (ne 8/2, Ne 8/16) are I would suggest you read the article 'Understanding Yarn Count in Weaving'.