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Wool Yarn Counts Simplified

Counting Sheep
Counting Sheep

Yarn counts are fundamental to understanding the size of your yarn, but the numbers can be confusing. What does 3/8 or 4/14 or 4/6 mean?  There are different systems for cotton, wool and bast fibers. Here is some information from our friends at JaggerSpun about wool yarn sizing.

JaggerSpun uses the Worsted/Bradford count system.  In this system, the first number is the number of plies.  The second number is the size of the individual ply – the higher the number, the thinner the yarn.  Therefore, a 3/8 is a heavier yarn than a 3/16 yarn because, even though both are 3 plies, the size of the individual ply in the 3/8 is heavier.  And a 3/8 yarn is heavier than a 2/8 yarn because it has one more ply.

Superwash Wool and Silk Yarn

For Example: The worsted/Bradford count system uses 560 as the number of yards per pound (ypp).  Therefore, the ypp of a size “8” yarn would be 8 x 560 or 4480 ypp.  A pound of 3/8 yarn (3 plies of a size 8 yarn with 4480 ypp) would have approximately 1493 ypp (4480 divided by 3).  This is the size of our Green Line or Maine Line wool yarns.  Both of these 3/8 yarns weave beautifully at 8 epi, 8 ppi.

Another Example:  Kokadjo yarn is a wool and silk yarn size 4/14.  Using the Bradford count system:   there are 4 plies of a size 14 yarn.  The ypp of a single ply of size “14” would be 14 x 560 or 7840 ypp.  Because it is a 4 ply yarn, the Kokadjo yarn has approximately 1960 ypp (7840 divided by 4).  Therefore, it is a little bit finer than the 3/8 yarns.  Sett the Kokadjo at 10-12 epi and see what beauty you can create!

If you want to know the ypp of the yarns that we carry, you can go to our yarn information page.  Click Here.

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