When following one of my patterns, in the material section, you will see the yarn I used for that project. I don't give specific brands because they might not be available to you. I indicate the colour and also the yarn weight.
Yarn weight refers to its thickness. Using different types of yarn or hook can change the project significantly. Even though in amigurumi gauge isn't important (what's important is that you use a yarn, tension and hook that results in tight enough stitches that the stuffing doesn't show) I want you to achieve an end result that resembles mine (of course you can personalize it how ever you want).
So if a pattern asks for a medium weight or a light weight yarn, what does that mean? Do I mean aran, worsted, 8 ply, 9 ply... ? If you're not familiar with those terms or, like me, like simpler and more concrete measures keep reading!
Because I know we can feel a little lost in the different naming and measurements systems that are out there I wanted to provide a more objective and simple method of knowing what yarn to use when working with one of my patterns.
The naming system I use is the Standard Yarn Weight System which to me makes more sense and simplifies things a lot. It uses 7 categories starting at 0 (Lace) up to 6 (Super Bulky). Some brands have adopted this system but not all. If you use a brand that has adopted this system you're in luck because you just need to match what the label of your skein says to what the pattern asks for. But if not, we still need to use a measuring method.
I sometimes use the meters per grams (m/gr) information that is always provided on the label (at least in all yarns that I have used) and cross that information with the table at the bottom, but if that information is not available you can still use the warps per inch (wpi) method. This last method I use for new yarns that I haven't used before, for yarns that I lost the label, or just to confirm the information on the label. I'm picky like that =p
For the wpi method you just need a ruler and the yarn you want to measure. Wrap the yarn around the ruler, without pulling to much on it or without leaving it too loose, in a space of an inch (2,5cm). Count the wraps that fit inside the one inch space and cross that information with the table at the bottom.
In the image above we have 9 wraps in an one inch space, if we cross that information with the table below we will know that this is a medium weight yarn.
Once you've found your m/gr information or the wpi, you just need to cross that information with this table:
So, if a pattern asks for a medium weight yarn now you know that it is asking for a yarn that in a 100gr skein has between 200 to 240 meters, and in the space of an inch it wraps around the ruler 8 to 9 times.
I hope this helps to clear up some doubts and to make the choosing of your yarns easier!
Have a different method that you use?
Share it in the comments below!
Be Happy and Creative!