What Is Aran Weight Yarn? – All Your Questions Answered

By Jodie Morgan | Updated: | Published:

Aran weight yarn is a medium-weight yarn perfect for all projects, from sweaters and afghans to hats and mittens. What is Aran yarn for? Find everything you need to know!

Aran Weight Yarn Feat Img

This post is part of my series of articles explaining everything about the topic of yarn weights and weights of yarn.

Table Of Contents

What Is Aran Weight Yarn?

Aran weight yarn is a medium-weight yarn. It takes its name from Aran sweaters, which these yarns are used to make. Aran knitting is a technique or style that uses cable designs.

The name “aran” comes from the Aran Islands on the west coast of Ireland. The term Aran Weight Yarn is more commonly known in the UK and Ireland rather than the USA. Aran weight yarns are often confused for worsted weight yarns.

The differences between Aran and Worsted are that Aran is thicker and more has more space between the fibers.

  • AKA – Heavy Worsted, 10-Ply, Afghan
  • Weight Category – Medium
  • Wraps Per Inch (WPI) – 9 – 12(5)
  • Knitting Gauge Range Equaling Four Inches – 16 – 20 stitches
  • It’s thicker than DK yarn, lace and fingering yarn
  • It’s thinner than bulky weight

Here is a video tutorial by Hannah from Knit With Hannah on what Aran yarn is.

This excellent breakdown of this subject is sure to help you!

Aran Weight Key Facts

Aran Weight Key Facts

What Weight Number Is Aran?

It’s weight number 4.(1) 

What’s It Made From?

Aran yarn comes in many fibers, including wool, acrylic, cotton, and bamboo.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Aran Weight Yarn?

Aran yarns are great because they’re durable, perfect for projects that see wear like sweaters and hats, cozy, ideal for winter projects, and affordable.

Here is a video tutorial by Nicki from Nicki’s Homemade Crafts on how she uses a handpainted Superwash Merino Aran yarn.

This excellent breakdown of this subject is sure to help you!

What If It’s Held Double?

Holding two strands of Aran works up quicker than using a single strand of these medium weight yarns.

Pin For Later

Aran Weight Yarn Pin

Uses For This Yarn

Aran weight yarn is versatile. Use it for many projects including: sweaters or other lightweight garments, afghans, hats, mittens, scarves, blankets, a wrap pattern, or accessories.

How To Work With Aran Weight Yarn

Working with Aran weight yarn is easy. It’s a great choice for beginners since it’s not too thin or too thick. Linda from Knitwise Design said this about Aran on my Instagram post that’s super helpful to know.

“I find this is commonly misunderstood weight of yarn. It is definitely thicker than worsted weight. While you may be able to get gauge with worsted for a pattern that calls for aran, the fabric will be looser and not what the designer was intending”

Aran Weight Yarn Patterns To Try

Here are great free patterns for knitters using Aran yarn. They’re divided by skill level to make it easier for you. Hope you find a wonderful project to do next!




If you’re feeling adventurous, try making an Aran sweater!

What Knitting Needles To Use For These Yarn Weights

  • US Needle Size – 7 – 9
  • For those of you in Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand – 5 – 5.5mm

Note: The above are guidelines only. Always swatch before starting a project.


If you’ve run out of this yarn or can’t find it, here’s what to use instead.

  • For sweaters, afghans, and other projects that need a durable finished fabric – worsted weight yarn
  • For hats and mittens – bulky weight yarn
  • For cozy winter projects – chunky weight yarn

My previous article is medium weight yarn and next up in the series is what is worsted weight yarn.

Can You Substitute Aran For Worsted Weight Yarn?

Yes, however your gauge swatch may be different, so you may need to adjust your needle size.

How Many Strands Of DK To Make Aran?

To substitute Aran for DK, use two strands of DK held together. Always make a small square sample piece before making the final project.

What Is Aran Weight Yarn Equivalent To?

Aran weight yarn is equivalent to worsted weight yarn and bulky weight yarn.

FAQS About Aran Weight Yarn

How Do You Spot Aran Weight Yarn At Craft Stores?

Aran weight yarn is labelled as “medium weight” or “#4”. Knit Picks is a popular choice for most yarns, including aran and worsted yarn. Looking for a specific aran yarn? Many excellent yarn retailers stock a gorgeous yarn called Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

How Popular Is Aran Weight Yarn?

Aran weight yarn isn’t well known, but it’s popular among colorwork and sweater knitters.

How Much Aran Weight Yarn For A Blanket?

You’ll need approximately 800 – 1000 yards of Aran weight yarn for a blanket.

How Much Aran Weight Yarn For A Sweater?

You’ll need approximately 1200 – 1500 yards of Aran weight yarn for a sweater.

How Much Aran Weight Yarn For A Scarf?

You’ll need approximately 200 – 400 yards of Aran weight yarn for a scarf.

What’s The Difference Between Worsted And Aran Yarn?

Aran weight yarn is thicker than worsted weight yarn and slightly lighter. It’s knitted on 5mm needles with a gauge of 4 – 4.5 stitches per inch, and is sometimes called heavy worsted or 10-ply.

Aran Weight Yarn Vs DK

Aran weight yarn is thicker than DK weight yarn.

Aran Weight Yarn Vs Bulky

Aran weight yarn is thinner than bulky weight yarn.

Aran weight yarn is easy to work with. The fiber selections of worsted Aran weight are a perfect choice for beginners in knitting or crochet. Have questions or comments? Leave them below!


  1. “Standard Yarn Weight System | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council.” n.d. Www.craftyarncouncil.com. Accessed September 18, 2022. http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/weight.html.
  2. How to Measure Wraps Per Inch (WPI) | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council. “How to Measure Wraps Per Inch (WPI) | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council.” Accessed October 1, 2022. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/how-measure-wraps-inch-wpi.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | Lives In: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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