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

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

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

Medium Weight Yarn Feat Img

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

I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on March 26, 2023.

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 used for many projects. The color ranges are vast and widely available in both Local Yarn Stores, big craft stores and online.

  • AKA – Medium worsted weight yarn, eight ply, or Aran
  • 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, fingering, two-ply, super fine, sport weight yarns, DK
  • It’s thinner than heavy worsted, bulky, super bulky and jumbo

Medium Weight Key Facts

Medium Weight Facts

What Weight Number Is Medium?

It’s number 4.(1) 

Yarns In This Category

  • Worsted – 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 – These are thicker than worsted weight yarns. They’re often used for cable stitch patterns because the extra thickness makes the cables stand out
  • Afghan- It’s used for afghans and other projects where you want thick, warm fabric

Here’s a video tutorial by Hannah from Knit With Hannah on worsted yarn. 

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 yarn: Cotton is cool and comfortable, good for summer garments
  • Premium Acrylic: Budget-friendly and good for beginners

The fiber content may also include merino wool, nylon, linen, alpaca, cashmere, silk, or acrylic worsted yarn.

Why Use It?

It’s a good all-purpose light yarn. Other reasons include there’s many colors and fiber types, it’s easy to find, it works up quickly, and it’s durable,

Cotton worsted fiber is excellent for the warmer months.

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

Make clothing, knitted sweaters, jackets, hats, soft baby items, scarves, home décor, accessories, afghans, pillows, rugs, toys, and stuffed animals. Note: It’s not suitable for arm knitting.

Medium Yarn Weight Patterns To Try

Here are great free patterns for knitters. 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 by B.Hooked Crochet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9P2L3P2BuA

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 – 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.

FAQS About Medium Weight Yarn

How Do You Spot Medium Yarns At Craft Stores?

They usually have the category, like 4, medium, or worsted on the yarn label. The yardage (yards) is usually generous, as people tend to make larger projects.

Lion Brand, a store selling knitting and crochet supplies, is a great choice. Here are recommendations for their yarns: Wool Ease, Mandala Ombre, Ferris Wheel, Landscapes, Heartland, and Vanna’s Choice. Their customer service is great! They offer free shipping to the United States, but not to the United Kingdom.

Other picks include Lang Yarns, Lily Sugar N’ Cream, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Donegal Tweed, Red Heart Super Saver Yarn, or 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. This weight of yarn is perfect for sweaters, blankets and scarves. There are many economical yarns in medium from small businesses and big box stores.

Is Medium Yarn The Same As DK?

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

What Is Medium Yarn In the UK?

It’s called the same thing.

Conclusion

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.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. 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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Frustrated Teacher Quits In Disgust, Sells The Farm, Moves The Family Halfway Across The World And… Starts Knitting

See what I did next...

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