What Is Worsted Weight Yarn? – All Your Questions Answered

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

I have answers on why and when to use it and recommended needle sizes for this thicker weight yarn. Read on!

Worsted Weight Feat Img

Frustrated Teacher Quits In Disgust, Sells The Farm, Moves The Family Halfway Across The World And… Starts Knitting

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

I reviewed and updated this post on June 7, 2022.

Table Of Contents

What Is Worsted Weight Yarn?


Worsted Weight yarn is a best friend for any knitter.

  • AKA – Afghan weight yarns or worsted weight yarns
  • Weight Category – Medium
  • Wraps Per Inch – 9 – 12
  • Knitting Gauge Range Equaling 4″ – 16–20 stitches
  • It’s thicker than lace weight, fingering (super fine), DK weight yarn, baby yarn, crochet thread, sport yarn and 8ply yarn
  • It’s thinner than bulky weight yarn, super Chunky, and 12ply yarn weights

What Weight Number Is Worsted?

It’s weight number 4 in the yarn weight family.

Yarns In This Category

  • Afghan Yarn – It’s often used for making blankets

Pin For Later

Worsted Weight Pin

What’s It Made From?

  • Cotton/synthetic blends
  • Wool, merino wool or superwash merino wool, (like Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Cascade Yarns & Plymouth Yarn)
  • Alpaca or baby alpaca (like Rowan Lima)
  • Acrylic (Berroco, Red Heart Super Saver, Cascade Cherub yarn, Caron’s Simply Soft)
  • Wool/Synthetic (like nylon for sock yarn)

The best yarn has excellent reviews from fellow crafters.

What kind of yarn do you use for arm knitting? Look at my post.

Why Use It?

Wanda at Silly Sheep Designs worsted weight multi-colored yarn
Wanda at Silly Sheep Designs worsted weight multi-colored yarn. Follow @kalamandah for more yarn goodness.
  • Medium weight yarn/thickness
  • Easy to work
  • Knits up quickly with little bulk
  • Many amazing colors
  • Great stitch definition
  • Showcase your beautiful skills
  • Designers love using this yarn weight
  • Use this yarn weight to test new techniques or stitches
  • If you’re a beginner knitter, use lightly shaded yarn. It’s easier to see mistakes
  • Use this weight of yarn to create any knitted projects and garments
  • This yarn weight is easily substituted.
  • You have plenty of options to choose from!
  • Yarn Manufacturers make it easy with a vast range
  • Keeps you warm and snug
  • Thickness doesn’t vary much between brands
  • Great if on a budget
  • The amount of knitted fabric is more than if you choose bulky yarns. You don’t have to purchase as many balls
  • Worsted weight is a fabulous for colorwork knitting
  • Easy care with superwash wool variants

What If It’s Held Double?

When you hold two strand together, you create a bulky yarn!

Knitting needle size or hook varies on your knitting/crochet gauge. Make a gauge swatch before beginning a project.

See what tension and sized fabric you create and scale the knitting needle size up or down as necessary.

Ball winders make winding yarn so easy!

Uses For This Yarn

There’s an endless variety of inspiration!

  • Afghans
  • Sweaters
  • Cardigans
  • It’s a good yarn for scarves
  • Shawls
  • Cowls
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Mittens
  • Dishcloths
  • Sock patterns
  • Baby blankets
  • Baby items
  • Home decor
  • Throws
  • Cushion covers
  • Toys
Yarns In A Shop

There are no limitations to the selection of what you knit with worsted weight yarn. Use this yarn for gifts.

Make small projects using the Chiaogoo Twist Shorties.

Worsted Weight Patterns To Try

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

Hope you find a wonderful project to do next!




Learn To Knit A Headband pattern and video tutorial by the talented Knitwear Designer Chandi of Expression Fiber Arts.

This is an easy accessories project to do with one skein.

Where can I find the best place to buy yarn near me? I’ll guide you.

What Knitting Needles To Use

  • US Needle Size – 7 – 9
  • For those of you in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand – 4.5 – 5.5mm

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.

  • Two strands of light weight yarn held together

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

Looking for top rated sock yarns. Please read my post.

FAQS About Worsted Weight Yarn

How Do You Spot Worsted Yarn At Craft Stores?

You’ll find the number 4 symbol on the ball label. (Yarn label.)

This yarn weight system is used by all yarn companies, regardless of country.

Light worsted is weight No. 3, aka DK or 8ply.

Here’s a recommended yarn to try, Berroco Ultra Alpaca. Textile artists sell lovely hand-dyed ones.

Try brands like

  • Lana Grossa
  • Valley Yarns
  • Debbie Bliss

Most online stores ship to the United Kingdom.

How Popular Is Worsted Weight?

Major yarn manufacturers Lion Brand and Bernat claim this weight of yarn is their most popular yarn.

As it’s readily available, and Etsy has many talented hand-dyers, this weight yarn makes excellent Etsy gifts for knitters.

How Much Worsted Weight Yarn For A Blanket?

A worsted weight blanket needs 750-2100 yards.

How Much Worsted Yarn For A Sweater?

A worsted sweater needs 1200-1500 yards.

How Much Worsted Weight Yarn For A Scarf?

A worsted weight scarf needs 300-450 yards.

Looking for the softest yarn for baby blanket? I’ll show you which ones are best.

What Is The History Of Worsted Yarn?

It’s named for the Worstead village in Norfolk, England.

As far back as the 12th century, this town produced smooth, even yarn and was a hub for spinning fiber.

Worsted vs Woolen

The word “worsted” also means a wool processing technique.

It involves combing the short hairs out of the fiber. The same length fibers are spun parallel to each other.

Is Worsted The Same As Aran Weight?

While they’re in the same weight category (medium), aran weight yarn is slightly thicker than worsted.

Keep your yarn in place with a yarn holder bowl.

Now you have knowledge on this versatile medium-weight yarn. Worsted weight yarn is perfect for knitting beginners.

What have you knitted with this yarn? Tell me below. (Your email address is never published.)

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.

Crunchbase | LinkedIn | MuckRack | Ravelry | Twitter

Frustrated Teacher Quits In Disgust, Sells The Farm, Moves The Family Halfway Across The World And… Starts Knitting


  1. Aran is 100% Wool & is itchy especially to my Grandchildren. What Yarn is good to sub for this that is soft to the feel in the Worsted Yarn. I have an Aran Knitting Pattern for a pullover Sweater my Grandaughter wants me knit. She is age 8 wears a size 7 USA sweaters . Question is would a size 26-28 inch Aran size be a good fit for her.

    Appreciate any advice you can give me. Thank you. Christina.

    • Hi Christina. I asked on Ravelry, as there are many knowledgeable and knitters. Here are their responses:

      – I’m knitting a cardigan for my granddaughter, who’s 8. Since I don’t see her often, I work from measurements her parents send me. Her chest measurement is only 21″, so I’m doing the size 26″ chest. I have to knit the body and sleeves longer than the pattern calls for. I asked for the length from wrist to underarm and underarm to the bottom of the cardigan. It’s hard to get her parents to measure her! After I sent my granddaughter a tape measure, she asked them to measure her and send the measurements back.

      – Additionally, how quickly does she knit and how complex is the pattern? Since it’s July, she has several months before she can wear it. Some of us have multiple projects going, which can influence the timing. Some aran knitting can be fairly simple, especially if she’s using a thicker yarn. Worked in a lighter weight yarn, a complicated pattern may take a while. Could you encourage her to join Ravelry so we can talk directly with her? We don’t bite! And we love to help.

      – If your reader can’t get an actual measurement, the (US) Craft Yarn Council says a 26-28” chest measurement is Child Size 8-10. But since kids grow so quickly, err on the side of slightly bigger-than-current measurements.

      – You might make it with a bit more positive ease and the sleeves and body a bit on the long side – or knit the sweater so the hem and cuff are worked downwards so you could lengthen if needed.

      Hope these help. Cheers Jodie


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