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[Crochet] Worsted weight yarn comparison

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Post time: 2015-7-2 07:17
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Worsted weight acrylic yarn is called  100% acrylic yarn, worsted weight, medium weight, or number 4. (Outside North America, it may also be called 10 ply or aran weight.)
Thickness, loft (bounciness), stretchiness,softness, shininess – all these properties vary wildly between different yarnsall marked as worsted weight acrylic, and that’s why it’s not  a good idea to mix yarns within an amigurumi.
These are 8 samples of worsted weight acrylic yarnsin a different colour for each so we can recognize them later:
ww_yarns2.jpg
1.    Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (yellow)
2.   Caron Simply Soft (purple)
3.   Hobby Lobby ILove This Yarn! (grey)
4.   Patons Canadiana (beige)
5.   Red Heart Soft (brown)
6.   KnitPicks Brava (red)
7.    Loops & Threads Impeccable (green) – Michaels’store brand
8.   Bernat Satin (lime)
Yarn thickness is often measured in terms of wrapsper inch (WPI). To find the WPI, you wrap the yarn around something (e.g. aruler) so the wraps are touching but not squashed tightly together, and counthow many wraps fit into 1 inch. A higher WPI number means a finer yarn.
ww_yarn_wpi.jpg

If you crochet with very consistent tension, youwill see  the samples varied in sizeconsiderably:
ww_yarn_sample_sizes.jpg

So my little caution is to watch out – even ifyou’re buying the same brand and type of yarn, it may not have exactly the samethickness.
Arranging all the flattened samples by size here, youcan see the difference visually too – 0.3mm per stitch may not sound like much,but you can see that it really makes a difference, even in a small amigurumipiece:
ww_yarn_comparison_side.jpg

Now here’s the results. The yarns are arranged inthe same order as in the photos above. Italics show the thinnest yarns, and bold shows the thickest.
  
Yarn
  
  
Sample  Colour
  
  
WPI
  
  
Stitch width  / mm
  
  
Stitch  height / mm
  
  
B Satin
  
  
lime
  
  
12
  
  
5.3
  
  
4.7
  
  
P  Canadiana
  
  
beige
  
  
13
  
  
5.3
  
  
4.7
  
  
RH Soft
  
  
brown
  
  
13
  
  
5.3
  
  
4.7
  
  
C  Simply Soft
  
  
purple
  
  
13
  
  
5.4
  
  
4.8
  
  
KP  Brava Worsted
  
  
red
  
  
13
  
  
5.6
  
  
5.0
  
  
HL I Love This Yarn!
  
  
grey
  
  
12
  
  
5.9
  
  
5.0
  
  
LB  Vanna’s Choice
  
  
yellow
  
  
11
  
  
6.2
  
  
5.5
  
  
L&T  Impeccable
  
  
green
  
  
11
  
  
6.3
  
  
5.5
  
But it’s not just weight that plays a part; theyarns’ appearance and feel also vary. Old-fashioned acrylics felt hard andlooked matte, whereas many modern ‘soft’ acrylics feel silkier to work with,and have more of a sheen to them. You may prefer a firmer, more rigid yarn foramigurumi, or like the shinier, softer look and feel. Anyway, it’s not a goodidea  to mix them in one project.
So, I’d use any of the top 4 yarns (Bernat, Patons,Red Heart, Caron) interchangeably – they have a similar weight and sheen tothem, and the size difference is no more than that between different shades ofthe same type of yarn. Of the remaining four, they make 2 pairs in terms ofweight, but the KnitPicks and Lion Brand are far softer than the Hobby Lobbyand Michaels’ store brands, and have more sheen, so I wouldn’t mix them.
Recommendations
·        Although someworsted weight yarns are thicker than others, all make good amigurumi! The onlydifference is the size of the finished result – they will scale correctly sousing the same pattern with a thicker yarn will give you a taller, wider and deeper amigurumi – it will remain in proportion to the originaldesign.
·        These resultsaren’t so important if you’re making simple amigurumi e.g. a brown bird with ayellow beak and feet, but if you’re making multi-coloured amigurumi with colourchanges within the pieces, or more complex shaping, I recommend you use myresults (and/or do your own test first), to make sure the yarns you’re selectedare comparable in thickness, feel, and appearance before you start.
·        Don’t believethe gauge info when you’re comparing yarns for amigurumi! Only half the yarns Itested had crochet-specific gauge info, but according to those that did, you’dexpect Vanna’s Choice (one of the heaviest yarns I tested) to be thinner thanRed Heart Soft (among the lightest yarns in my test) – that’s clearlyincorrect. The other gauge information (for recommended hook/needle sizes andknitting) seemed equally random/incorrect compared with my tests.


Note: These tests have been made by  June Gilbank.

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Post time: 2016-11-16 22:52
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Muy buen aporte... Si bien uso traductor, totalmente entendible... Gracias por tan generosa explicación. Saludos cordiales ;)
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Post time: 2017-9-21 07:51
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Thank you for sharing, this is very useful! It drives me crazy when I try to use scrap yarn, and the yarn weight is different...
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Post time: 2017-5-25 16:37
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Thanks a lot for the information, I tried to understand with the translator. Very nice, thanks for sharing
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Post time: 2017-3-5 20:50
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Thanks a lot for the information, I tried to understand with the translator. Very nice, thanks for sharing
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Post time: 2017-5-29 19:55
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Thank you for that great information and all in one place! Its so helpful and really appreciated.
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Post time: 2018-1-16 01:27
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Excellent summary!  The last image is "worth a thousand words."
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Post time: 2016-10-31 04:02
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This is an interesting comparison. I never knew they could be so different.
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Post time: 2017-5-25 08:38
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Very helpful information.  Thank you for sharing this.
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Post time: 2016-1-27 18:12
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this information is very useful thank you so much for sharing
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Post time: 2018-5-2 12:14
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Wow thats cool! I didn't know it was such a difference! Thanks!
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Post time: 2015-7-2 08:12
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thanks for sharing.
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Post time: 2015-7-2 08:48
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thanks for sharing
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Post time: 2015-7-2 09:36
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Very informative! Many thanks for sharing!

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you're welcome!  Post time 2015-7-2 10:09
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Post time: 2015-7-3 05:29
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Thank you for sharing this - being a spinner I know that 'everything' affects the yarn you spin. It can be different from one day to the next using the same prepared fleece. So, different brands are bound to be different in texture, in ply, in feel.............., so many variables.

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you're welcome!  Post time 2015-7-3 06:39
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Post time: 2015-7-8 06:18
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Thank you for such a comprehensive explanation
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Post time: 2015-7-19 06:44
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Wow thanks for this, very informative.  I use a lot of those yarns and the picture of them all worked up into little hats next to each other is really helpful!

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you're welcome!  Post time 2015-7-19 19:42
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Post time: 2015-8-4 16:42
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Interesting!!!! Thanks, I'm learning a lot form this thread
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Post time: 2015-8-21 13:10
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This a such a valuable read to have as a support aide, thank you for sharing this bit of magic!
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Post time: 2015-8-25 21:16
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Very informative
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