Yarn Comparison Chart

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Are you looking for a yarn comparison chart? The world is getting smaller these days (okay not literally but you know what I mean) and it is far more likely today that you will have a pattern or some yarn from a country that uses a different measurement scale.

If you are in the USA - do you know the American equivalent of 4 ply?Or if you are in Australia and you have a pattern for worsted wool - do you know which ply to buy to make your garment?

A Yarn Comparison Chart


Weight Class

Tension over 10cm


Wraps per Inch

Approx. mts/100gms

lace weight, superfine, ultra fine, baby weight 
(2-3 ply in UK/NZ/Aus)

33-40 sts

1.5-2.25 mm

18 plus


fingering weight, fine, baby weight 
(3-4 ply in UK/NZ/Aus)

24-28 sts

2.25-3.25 mm



sport or light weight
(4ply in UK/NZ/Aus)

20-24 sts

3.5-4 mm



DK or medium
(8 ply in UK/NZ/Aus)

22 sts

3.75-4.5 mm



worsted or heavy weight 
(10 ply or double knitting in UK/NZ/Aus)

16-20 sts

4.5-5.5 mm



(12-ply or triple knitting in UK/NZ/Aus)

17 sts

5-5.5 mm



(double double in the UK)


5.5-6 mm



bulky yarn 
(14 ply, double double in UK/NZ/Aus)

12-16 sts

6-6.5 mm



very bulky, super bulky

8-12 sts

9-10 mm

8 or less

less than 100


Most weights of wool or yarn have a standard tension and any patterns designed for a particular weight will use the standard tension for that weight. 

The tension is the number of stitches and rows over a 10 cm square knitted in stocking stitch. If you need help working out how to gauge the tension of your knitting, check out the page on knitting a tension square.  If you are a beginner, or if you are knitting with a weight that you have not used before, doing a tension square is vitally important.  If your tension doesn't match the tension specified in the pattern, your project sizing will of off.

All of the needle sizes in the chart are stated using metric measurements, if you need to convert them into UK or US sizes you will find a needle conversion chart on the needle sizes page.

Estimating Weight with Number of Wraps per Inch

© Knitting Naturally - 8 Ply Wool Wrap per Inch

Wraps per inch for each yarn weight is the number of times you can wrap the yarn around one inch of a ruler.

It doesn't matter what size or width your ruler is as this metric measures the thickness of the yarn rather than the length.  So if you have some yarn and you don't know what ply or weight it is, you can work it out by wrapping some of the yarn around a ruler and then counting the number of wraps it takes to cover one inch. 

If you look very closely at the yarn in the photo above you should be able to count 13 wraps around the ruler. That makes this particular ball of wool an 8 ply (or double knit, or medium, depending on where you live).


The number of metres in a 100 gram ball is just an estimate or a guide. The weight of a ball of wool will vary depending on what the yarn is made out of.  Pure wool is heavier than 100% Acrylic yarn, so a 50 gram ball of pure new wool will have fewer metres than a 50 gram ball of acrylic yarn. 

I hope you found this yarn comparison chart useful!

Yarn by Weight on KnitBits...

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