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What Is Medium Weight Yarn? – Yarn Number 4 – An Easy Guide

What is medium weight yarn? It’s a popular choice for knitting. Find out more below!

Medium Weight Yarn Feat Img

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

Table Of Contents

What Are Medium Weight Yarns?

Medium yarn (Number 4) is one of the most common types of yarn used in knitting and crochet.

It’s an excellent choice for beginners as it knits up quickly and there is a huge affordable range.

It’s a versatile weight used for many projects.

  • AKA – Worsted weight, eight ply yarns, or Aran yarn
  • Weight Category – Medium
  • Wraps Per Inch (WPI) – 9 – 12(3)
  • Knitting Recommended Gauge Range Equaling – 12 – 15 stitches over 4 inches
  • It’s thicker than lace weight yarns, fingering, two-ply yarn, super fine, sport weight yarn (sport weight yarns), and DK
  • It’s thinner than heavy worsted, bulky, super bulky and jumbo yarn

Here is a video tutorial by Ellen from Serendipity Needleworks on how to understand yarn weight. 

YouTube video

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

Medium Weight Key Facts

Medium Weight Facts

What Weight Number Is Medium?

It’s weight number 4.(1) 

Yarns In This Category

  • Worsted Weight Yarn – It’s ideal for projects that need to be durable, like garments and blankets. The name also refers to a spinning technique for fiber where they comb long fibers, lie them parallel and tightly weave them(2)
  • Aran Weight Yarns – These are slightly thicker than worsted weight yarns. They’re often used for cable stitch patterns because the extra thickness makes the cables stand out
  • Afghan Yarn – It’s used for afghans and other projects where you want thick, warm fabric

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

YouTube video

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

What’s It Made From?

Many materials, including

  • Wool – The most common type, it’s warm, durable, and easy to care for
  • Cotton – Cool and comfortable to wear, making it good for summer garments
  • Premium Acrylic – Budget-friendly and good for beginners

The fiber content may also include nylon, linen, alpaca, cashmere, or silk.

Why Use It?

It’s a good all-purpose light yarn. Other reasons include

  • Many colors and fiber types
  • Easy to find
  • Works up quickly
  • Durable

What If It’s Held Double?

If you hold two strands together, it works up as bulky yarn.

A good way to use up skeins, or to make a project faster.

Pin For Later

Medium Weight Yarn Pin

Uses For This Yarn

  • Clothing
  • Knitted sweaters
  • Jackets
  • Hats
  • Soft baby items
  • Scarves
  • Home Décor
  • Accessories
  • Afghans
  • Pillows
  • Rugs
  • Toys
  • Stuffed animals

Note: It’s not suitable for arm knitting. You need specialized yarn for that.

Medium Yarn Weight Patterns To Try

Here are great free patterns for knitters using medium yarn. They’re divided by skill level to make it easier for you.

Hope you find a wonderful project to do next!

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Here’s a video on how to knit a hat with medium yarn weights by B.Hooked Crochet.

YouTube video

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

What Knitting Needles To Use

  • US Needle Size – 9 – 11
  • For those of you in Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand – 5.5 – 8mm

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

Substitutions

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

  • Lighter Yarn Weights – Use two strands held together
  • Try using a single strand of a bulky yarn

My previous article is DK weight yarn and next up in the series is what is Aran weight yarn.

Q&A

How Do You Spot Medium Yarns At Craft Stores?

They usually have the weight category, such as 4, medium, or worsted weight on the yarn label.

The yardage (yards) is usually generous, as people tend to make larger projects with this weight.

Lion Brand, a store selling knitting and crochet supplies, is a great choice. Here are recommendations for their yarns.

  • Lion Brand Wool Ease
  • Lion Brand Mandala Ombre
  • Lion Brand Ferris Wheel
  • Lion Brand Landscapes
  • Lion Brand Heartland
  • Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice

Their customer service is great! They sometimes offer free shipping to the United States, but not to the United Kingdom.

Other picks include brands like

  • Red Heart
  • Lily Sugar N’ Cream

Or yarns like

  • Berroco Ultra Alpaca
  • Donegal Tweed
  • Red Heart Super Saver Yarn
  • Red Heart Soft Baby Steps

How Popular Is Medium Yarn?

It’s one of the most popular types of yarn used in knitting and crochet.

It’s an excellent all purpose yarns. This weight of yarn is perfect for sweaters, blankets and scarves.

There are so many economical yarns available in medium weight from small businesses and big box stores alike.

Is Medium Weight Yarn The Same As DK?

No, DK is a different weight category. It’s slightly thinner than medium yarns.

What Is Medium Weight Yarn In the UK?

It’s called the same thing.

Once you’ve found the perfect pattern, there’s nothing left to do but create! Happy knitting!

Have comments or questions? Leave them below. (Your email address is never published.)

References

  1. Standard Yarn Weight System | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council. “Standard Yarn Weight System | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council.” Accessed September 30, 2022. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/yarn-weight-system.
  2. Azeem, Abdul. “(PDF) Comparison of Wool & Worsted Yarn | Abdul Azeem – Academia.Edu.” (PDF) Comparison of Wool & Worsted Yarn | Abdul Azeem – Academia.edu. Accessed September 30, 2022. https://www.academia.edu/3052643/Comparison_of_Wool_and_Worsted_Yarn.
  3. 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.

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Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

Jodie Morgan Profile Pic

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

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