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Knitting wool by weight not length.

(19 Posts)
Grammaretto Thu 14-Nov-19 17:09:35

I am looking for a pattern to fit the wool I already have. There is nothing written in English on the wrapper but it is in 50gm balls.
All the patterns, (I'm looking on-line) if they mention quantity, put it in yards and metres. Does this mean I have to measure my yarn with a tape measure?
Can anyone advise?

Doodledog Thu 14-Nov-19 17:44:12

How much yarn do you have? Different yarns have different yardages, as they are made up of heavier or lighter components, so patterns tend to show the yardage/meterage rather than the quantities of balls/skeins.

In your circumstances, I would have a look on You can do a search for patterns in the weight you have (eg DK or 4 ply - known as 'fingering' on there, as it is an American site) and choose a pattern that uses what seems to be less than you own. Lacy patterns, for instance, use less yarn than cables.

You never know - if there is a brand or something on the wrapper that will identify your yarn, it might be in the Ravelry database and you will be able to find patterns that others have knitted with it - they have a huge number of yarns on there, from all over the world.

NanaandGrampy Thu 14-Nov-19 17:51:31

This site might help

M0nica Thu 14-Nov-19 17:53:55

All the patterns I have bought recently, including one bought in the last month, have given knitting yarn in weights not length. I have not seen any that do that. However I was shopping in a wool shop and looking at the yarn manufacturers own patterns

The problem I have had recently with wool only in weight is that even for the same grade of knitting wool, the length and quality of a ball of wool can vary widely.

I knitted a sweater in white double knitting. It was a vintage pattern and the stated make of wool was no longer available. The double knitting wool I bought was obviously more dense than the originally selected wool and I ran out of wool on the first sleeve and had to try and source more wool.

This autumn, I chose a pattern and wanted to use a different make of wool to that recommended and the shop assistant was able to compare the lengths of both the recommended wool, and the one I had chosen, both described as 'double knitting'and we could see that any difference in length was minor so the yarns were truly compatible and I could use the yarn I wanted.

I think you may need to go to a knitting shop or search on the yarn makers sites (Sirdar, Hayfields, James Brett etc) to find patterns with quantities, but, as I said go carefully, nowadays there is immense variation within wool grades in thickness and length, so go carefully.

Grammaretto Thu 14-Nov-19 17:54:15

Thanks. I will try those both.

Elegran Thu 14-Nov-19 18:10:01

You could knit a test square with some of the wool you have, and see how many sts and rows to 10cm, compare that with the tension on the pattern, and work out whether there is enough that way.

If [grams of your wool, divided by (sts x rows)] equals or exceeds [grams of wool in pattern, divided by (sts x rows)] then there will be enough wool.

Elegran Thu 14-Nov-19 18:14:17

Or you could go to and type in what it does say on the wrapper and let Google translate it - you never know, the yardage just might be mentioned.

Grammaretto Thu 14-Nov-19 18:49:37

aha Elegran. It's in Chinese! I omitted that small fact. I have examined the wrapping carefully but I am flummoxed.
I have done a test piece and know I'll need 9 or 10mm needles. It's very thick. I could measure it with a tape actually as it's not very long but the whole lot weighs a kilo so I had hoped to get a sweater out of it.

Oh MOnica Matching white. Been there, Done that. Failed.

Elegran Thu 14-Nov-19 19:13:18

Tricky to copy the Chinese pictograms! The sums in my earlier post might still work though.

Grammaretto Fri 15-Nov-19 15:41:52

I measured it and only have enough for a vest or a child's sweater. Bother.

Elegran Fri 15-Nov-19 15:47:28

Can you get some similar wool in a different colour and make something striped?

Baggs Fri 15-Nov-19 15:55:35

Knitting yarn has always been sold by weight. I think it's more complicated now because of synthetic fibres, which don't have the standard length to weight (ply) ratios that wool has.

elegran's suggestion is a good one, gram. Good luck, any road. ⚔️ << knitting needles emoji ?

Baggs Fri 15-Nov-19 15:56:51

Might be worth heading over to the Ravelry site. People are full of info and ideas there.

Grammaretto Fri 15-Nov-19 18:27:33

I have been on Ravelry Baggs. The idea of stripes is a good one but it is very strange fibre - rather like hand-spun.
I bought it cheaply when someone was selling off their stash of a lifetime.
Most band info is given in yds and metres, needle size and of course weight but this wool doesn't have anything I understand on the band.

Thanks all.

MiniMoon Fri 15-Nov-19 18:46:59

Can you photo the wool band and post a question on a knitting forum? Somebody might be able to translate it for you.

Elegran Fri 15-Nov-19 20:15:13

Photographing the band is a good idea. Does Google Translate accept photos to translate them?

If you can wait until after New Year, my Taiwanese friend will be back from visiting family and may be able to translate for you.

Elegran Fri 15-Nov-19 20:18:35

I Googled and found this.

Callistemon Fri 15-Nov-19 20:50:49

Can you just knit or crochet a blanket, it won't matter if you run out, just carry on with another colour.
It's going to be a cold winter apparently

Grammaretto Fri 15-Nov-19 21:55:10

More good ideas. I've put it all away for now and will go back to my other knitting! grin
I should have finished that first anyway. It just needs sewing up. The worst part.