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How Many Strands Should I Use To Make My Yarn?

One of the most common questions we get at the shop — and something you may have been wondering yourself — is how many strands of our “ingredient” yarns to combine to achieve a certain weight (thickness) of yarn.

Let’s say you’re using a pattern that calls for DK weight yarn, a little lighter than worsted weight. As you begin to choose your input strands, we have a lot of tools to help you zero in on that DK weight.

A good place to start is to think about whether you have a fiber preference and/or a color preference. If you know you want your yarn to be primarily wool, we can start at that shelf (all of the ingredient yarns are organized by fiber, then by color) and see if there are any colors you’re particularly drawn to.

Wall of Yarn

Alternatively, if you know what color you’re envisioning but don’t care so much about the fiber content, we can take a look at the project you have in mind and recommend what fibers — bamboo, rayon, or cotton perhaps — would work nicely, and recommend some good shades of whatever color you’re in the mood for.

Once we have that as a starting foundation, we’ll build up to the DK weight using between two and six strands, depending on which input yarns we’re starting with (some are thread-thin, while others are already fingering weight with just a single strand).

To double-check and make sure we’re close to the weight you’re looking for, we’ll use wraps per inch (WPI) to determine whether your yarn is in the DK range, and then use our yarn balance to figure out how many yards per pound your yarn will be — another way to confirm its weight.

Of course, if you want to be absolutely sure that you’ll get the gauge called for in the pattern, you’re more than welcome to have a seat and swatch up a few rows of your yarn before we go ahead and wind it. Many customers like to do this not only to ensure they’ve got the right number of stitches per inch, but to see what their fantastic color combo will look like knitted up, so there are no surprises.

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