While roving weight isn’t an official yarn weight classified by the Craft Yarn Council, I get lots of questions about it. So here goes.
This post is part of my series of articles explaining everything about the topic of yarn weights and different weights of yarn.
Table Of Contents
What Is Roving Weight Yarn?
Roving is unspun fiber that’s been drawn into a long, continuous strand. Because it hasn’t been twisted into yarn, it’s fragile and easily breaks if not handled carefully. Though many people consider it like raw fleece, it’s actually a processed form of fiber that’s been cleaned, carded and combed to align the fibers in one direction.
The result is a thick strand ready to spin into finished yarn on a spinning wheel.
- AKA – Jumbo yarn
- Weight Category – Jumbo
- Wraps Per Inch (WPI) – 1 – 4(2)
- Knitting Gauge Range Equaling 4” – 6 stitches or less
- It’s thicker than bulky, and super bulky yarn.
Roving Weight Key Facts
What Weight Number Is Roving Weight Yarn?
It’s weight number 7.(1)
What’s It Made From?
While you can find roving in any fiber, wool roving is the most common. It’s often merino sheep’s wool that’s been combed to align the fibers in the same direction and make them parallel.
Most roving comes undyed, so if it’s made with sheep’s wool, it’s usually white roving yarn. Depending on the natural color of the sheep it can be black, dark brown, cream and gray. Other fibers like alpaca raw wool or raw cotton are considered roving.
Roving is made with a carding machine (sometimes called a drum carder) or the fiber is prepared by spinners. Carding machines have two large drums with wire teeth that open up the fibers and align them, making a cheaper process and more staple length variety in the individual fibers.
They remove remaining dirt, grass, or hay from the wool.
Why Use It?
Roving yarn is perfect for arm knitting or finger knitting because it’s so bulky. You can work up a project in no time! It’s great for making yarn you’re going to spin, have dyed with pretty colors (colours) ready to make into a pattern!
It’s also excellent for baskets, pompoms, as a felting wool, a spinning fiber, for needle felting, and different uses for other textile arts like weaving and crochet.
Types Of Roving Yarn
- Pencil Roving (Pin-Drafted Roving) – This type of roving is great for spinning on a drop spindle because the fibers are straight and it doesn’t felt as easily
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Uses For This Yarn
Because it’s so bulky, roving is great for projects that you want to work up quickly. It’s perfect for cozy blankets, chunky hats, scarves, and cowls.
Roving Weight Yarn Patterns To Try
Here are great free patterns for knitters using roving yarn. They’re divided by skill level to make it easier for you. Hope you find a wonderful project to do next!
What Knitting Needles To Use
- US Needle Size – 17 and larger
- For those of you in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand – 12.75 mm and larger
Note: The above are guidelines only. Always swatch before starting a project.
Run out of this or can’t find it? Here’s what to use instead – Bulky, super bulky yarn or jumbo yarn.
FAQS About Roving Weight Yarn
How Do You Spot Roving Yarn At Craft Stores?
Look for unspun fiber that’s been drawn into a long, continuous strand. It’s also expensive!
How Popular Is Roving Yarn?
Roving yarn is becoming more popular as knitters, crocheters and weavers experiment with new fibers and techniques.
How Much Roving Yarn For A Blanket?
A cozy blanket will take between 6 and 10 skeins of roving yarn.
How Much Roving Yarn For A Sweater?
A sweater will take between 4 and 8 skeins of roving yarn.
How Much Roving Yarn For A Scarf?
A scarf will take between 1 and 2 skeins of roving yarn.
Roving weight yarn is a great alternative to bulky, super bulky, and jumbo yarn. It’s made from unspun fiber that’s been drawn into a long, continuous strand. Have fun making! Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments.
- “Standard Yarn Weight System | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council.” n.d. Accessed November 13, 2022. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/yarn-weight-system.
- “How to Measure Wraps Per Inch (WPI) – the Craft Yarn Council.” n.d. Accessed November 13, 2022. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/how-measure-wraps-inch-wpi.