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Have I been going about this all wrong? When I find a pattern that calls for a certain yarn and I want to use a different brand, I try to find a yarn that closely matches the yardage per ounce. So, for example, I recently needed to find a substitute for a yarn that was had 490 yds/8 oz. I looked at the specific yarn and it was labeled DK weight with 5-6 stitches per inch on size 5 needles. But now I'm wondering if I should only look for yarn that gives 5-6 stitches per inch on size 5 needles, making sure I have the same amount of yardage, and ignoring the 'DK' label, and ignoring yardage per weight (as some yarn will be more dense/heavier than others). Can anyone provide some insight? Thanks!
 

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I always make sure that the tension given on the band is the same for both yarns using the same size needles.

Work out the total yardage you need in the wool that the pattern states and make sure that you buy the same total yardage in the substitute yarn. You might need to buy more or less of the substitute yarn depending on the yardage on the ball.

~Does that make sense?
 

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foxglove said:
I always make sure that the tension given on the band is the same for both yarns using the same size needles.

Work out the total yardage you need in the wool that the pattern states and make sure that you buy the same total yardage in the substitute yarn. You might need to buy more or less of the substitute yarn depending on the yardage on the ball.

~Does that make sense?
Always buy the same weight yarn that the pattern states.
 

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I go by gauge (stitches per inch), as you're right--weight/yardage can vary among yarns labeled the same size due to fiber content. If you are making a garment, gauge is crucial--and you may even try a needle that's a size smaller or larger depending on how you knit to make gauge for the pattern (I often have to go up a size or two, as I am a tight knitter).

Then, once I find gauge, I look at yardage for the pattern (for example, if the recommended yarn has 235 yds/50g, and the one I've used to make gauge has 198 yds/50g, I know I need more skeins).

I do find that the yarn group is usually pretty accurate (that is, I probably wouldn't try a worsted for a pattern that calls for DK, but I have found fingering weight that is thicker and almost a sport/DK). So I tend to stick with the grouping but adjust the needles for gauge if I need to.

I hope all that makes sense! :)
 

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When I am substituting yarn, I first look at the gauge, both stitch and row, and then check the fiber content. For things with lots of drape or structure, I have found it is vital to make sure the fiber content will give the drape or structure the pattern calls for. I make sure I will have at least 10% more yardage than the pattern calls for, because I have found that different yarns don't always work up the same, and I want to make sure I will have enough yarn to finish the article. Any leftovers will be added to my stash for future use.
 

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You have mixed up several different measuring systems and confused them. If you ever intend to make a garment such as a sweater (jumper), you had best pay attention to both the length of each skein of yarn you need and the gauge (tension for you) which we measure in stitches per inch, or your sweater won't fit and you'll run out of yarn.
greatgran21 said:
I BELIEVE WE HAVE IT MUCH EASIER HERE IN AUSTRALIA WE GO BY PLY, WE DO NOT HAVE WORRY ABOUT YARDAGE OR DK ETC. I FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TRYING TO ADJUST YOUR WOOLS TO OURS
You are making it difficult for yourself. You misunderstand our yarn system. It works the same for us as your ply system except we have different names for our yarn sizes altnough some manufacturers don't give you anything but stitches per inch. The naming system going from lightest to heaviest is: lace, fingering, sport weight, DK weight, worsted, bulky and super bulky. You will also see: fingering weight = superfine fine, followed by fine, light, medium and whatever bulky and super bulky are called. Medium is worsted. We have added a numerical categorization system, going from 0 to 6, where lace = 0, worsted = 4 and the heaviest, super-bulky =6. I'm not positive, but I believe some of the names for yarn szes came originally from the UK, DK for instance, a category that you mentioned.
Probably the yarn most often used here in the US is worsted weight or weight category 4. It is the same as your 10 ply. Ply (for you) = a specific size of yarn for us in the US. it equals the same size of yarn each and every time. If you check the 2links, you can see that for every size in ply, there is comparable yarn size for the US, but it isn't called ply.
I would never use any yarn to make a garment without as swatching, Even though all 4/worsted/medium yarns are the same size by definition, different yarns are not exactly the same. Two completely different fiber blends will be different however you measure them even though they are within the same size range. Range is the operative word because no 2 worsted or 10 ply yarns are exactly the same. Most will probably allow you to have almost the same result using the same size needles, but may not.
Some manufacturers only give yarn size in stitches per inch, and use no size classifications.
I'm sure you have noticed I keep saying "weight" for yarn size. Weight for us doesn't usualy mean the actual weight of the yarn, but the size. Most yarn distributors who give size classifications often call it weight as well. The amount a yarn weighs is also given on the label of a yarn, along with its length. For you it may be confusing to have weight meaning size and also weight, but we manage. For beginners it's a nightmare. Your ply system is equally confusing to us, because to us, ply refers to the number of smaller strands spun together to make up the larger stand of yarn. To call a yarn 10 ply when it is obviouly spun from 3 plies make the ply system all but mesningless until you understandbit by looking at conversion charts. Ply mostly used in descriptions of yarn, but it is used, and it makes your ply system completely nonsensical to us.
When it comes to stitches per inch, we call it gauge and you call it tension. Just like our yarn size classification system, it's the same as the information you use, but with a different name.
There are conversion charts that can be used and you should take a look at them because it will help you understand our system and let you translate US patterns into one you an use.
I have a link bookmarked that will parly help.
Look for the download: http://www.knittingparadise.com/t-109286-1.html
This site has a comparison between the name categorizations and ply. Scroll almost to the page bottom: http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/tips/convert.htm
 

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greatgran21 said:
I BELIEVE WE HAVE IT MUCH EASIER HERE IN AUSTRALIA WE GO BY PLY, WE DO NOT HAVE WORRY ABOUT YARDAGE OR DK ETC. I FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TRYING TO ADJUST YOUR WOOLS TO OURS
I think its important to mention that rather than saying another measuring system and its elements don't make sense, you should take the time to understand it. After all, calling all yarn wool when its made from other fibers, none of which may be wool is definitely confusing.
I have my own criticisms of our systems, mainy that there are too many of them.
I haven't liked to have to learn multiple measuring systems and be able to instantly convert one to the other. It was a pain, one I didn't appreciate. The Craft Yarn Council added the last system, the numerical categorizations, but only some yarn distributors use it. The larger ones do, but not out of country distributors, nor a lot of smaller distributors in the US. Yarn Paradise in Turkey, a large multinational seller, uses the system that describes yarn as super fine to medium and then bulky followed by super bulky, and they are international. I don't know how they list their yarns to other countries.
We also subsume several very fine yarns into lace weight. We don't have categories for 1 or 2 ply yarns.
The biggest source of confusion for me has been for sport weight. Two very large yarn distributers, one of which is probably the largest in the US, call wt category 3/DK/light worsted yarn sport weight. For yarn shops and small US manufacturers, wt category 2 yarn is called sport weight. If you buy yarn from a department store or craft store, where most people buy their yarn, you buy weight category 3 yarns when you buy sport weight. Most of us grew up with our only source of yarn being department stores and learned that sport weight yarn is wt category 3. Now that there are more yarn shops and internet sites, we find yarn we never knew existed, even domestically. Those of us that had dealt only with department stores suddenly find ourselves having to learn that sport weight can also be weight category 2 yarn and you had better find out which it is or you will run out of yarn and your gauge will be off when you swatch. You will also wonder why your sportweight looks so funny, too thin/thick. Do take the time to look at our system and don't confuse the amount of yarn needed for a project (yards or meters) with the size of the yarn which determines its gauge/tension/stitches per inch. You need both pieces of information whether you use a ply system or something else
 

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This is a link for yarn tension/gauge. If you scroll down to the bottom there is a very handy way to measure thickness of a yarn

http://www.yarnfwd.com/main/tension.html

Mary is right there is much confusion about weight length etc of wool. It is not fair to criticize other ways of measuring. I have done quite a bit of research and am getting to grips with the American system. I used to be scared witless about American cookery recipes until I realised just how much easier it was using volume rather than weighing everything . Now I love American recipes.
I haven't come across Australian patterns so can't comment on that.
I get annoyed as there is such discrepancy within the UK ply system too.Within each category the yarn can be thicker and heavier than others of the same. I reckon it's a cunning plan by yarn manufacturers to make sure you but their yarn :evil: :roll: :lol:
 

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http://www.knittingbrain.com/calculators.php
This site may be of help when the yarn you need is unavailable and you need to adjust your pattern.

eggplantlady said:
Have I been going about this all wrong? When I find a pattern that calls for a certain yarn and I want to use a different brand, I try to find a yarn that closely matches the yardage per ounce. So, for example, I recently needed to find a substitute for a yarn that was had 490 yds/8 oz. I looked at the specific yarn and it was labeled DK weight with 5-6 stitches per inch on size 5 needles. But now I'm wondering if I should only look for yarn that gives 5-6 stitches per inch on size 5 needles, making sure I have the same amount of yardage, and ignoring the 'DK' label, and ignoring yardage per weight (as some yarn will be more dense/heavier than others). Can anyone provide some insight? Thanks!
 

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greatgran21 said:
I BELIEVE WE HAVE IT MUCH EASIER HERE IN AUSTRALIA WE GO BY PLY, WE DO NOT HAVE WORRY ABOUT YARDAGE OR DK ETC. I FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TRYING TO ADJUST YOUR WOOLS TO OURS
Actually yardage is important. Very helpful- not all yarns weigh the same even though they are the same ply. For example wool tends to be heavy while acrylic light and so the yardage in the acrylic is much higher than wool for the same ply and weight. And so once you have the right ply it is yardage you need to check NOT weight of the ball. Otherwise you might have a pattern calling for 3 100gm balls in an acrylic and get 3 100gm balls in a wool and run out. One of the great improvements in yarn labelling over recent years has been yardage (well meterage for us).
http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/weight.html
http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/weight.html
try these to help sort out the different yarn comparisons. THey do begin to make sense after a while.
 

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Yes it is difficult using US patterns because Worsted (10 ply) is their normal while ours is 8ply (DK sometimes calledSport, but as someone else pointed out it can also be 5 ply). BUt once we had no access to US patterns so surely we are better off now.
Our system is similar to the one in the UK- but they start to use names after 5 ply whereas we are at least consistent and keep using ply all the time. And just to really confuse everyone they use the same terms as the US- but for different weights/plys!
Our use stems from when all yarn was spun to the same diameter and so the numberof plies was the guide to its thickness. So 4 ply once had 4 plies or strands, and 8 ply had 8. The big advantage our system has is it is easy to tell what combination of yarns makes up a certain weight because we just add them up.
We do still tend to use the term wool to mean both the fibre wool and your term yarn (after all orginally it was all wool except for the occasional cotton which was called cotton because it was clearly different to wool. But when acrylics came they were similar to wool and so the term just stuck. Like you use weight for two meanings so our wool.
 
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