Is it too much to ask

for some standard, common-sense and logical approach among yarn companies when assigning weight classification to yarns? In what confused mind are both Elsbeth Lavold Cotton Patine (WPI=17)and Red Heart Super Saver (WPI=11) classified as worsted weight? Folks, it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s difficult enough when publishers dictate which (expensive) yarn(s)  designers must use for publication, but it is fairly impossible to adequately substitute to accommodate a more modest budget.

Let me say up front that I may be becoming that which I  had heretofore sworn I would not become … a yarn snob. I try to use the best yarn I can find and/or afford for my designs. What I am basically saying is that I am becoming psychologically allegic to acylic. Yet, I know that, for certain projects, acrylic is the way to do. Apparel is not among those projects. Still I am mindful that if I want my designs to be appreciated and actually worn, I have to make those designs accessible. To be honest, I could never afford the yarn I was asked to use in designing the Gatsby Sweater. Luckily I didn’t have to pay for it: a sweater in my size, using the yarn suggested in the pattern, would cost close to $200. Yet, finding a workable, affordable substitute for many who wished to make the sweater was a major challenge.  As with worsted weight, DK weight seems to be different for each yarn manufacturer. Truth be told, RYC Cashsoft DK is a much  finer weight that the sport weight yarn I used in the original design. To make matters more interesting is the fact that some publishers use the terms DK and sport interchangibly.

This is madness. Yarn classifications should be standardized according to (in my humble opinion) WPI, not gauge. If the same hook or needle size was referenced in each gauge statement, I might give gauge more credit. But when one yarn with a gauge statement of 22/4″ on #6 needles and another 24/4″ on #8 needles are both classified as DK, I frankly lose confidence.

I propose standardizing yarn weights according to WPI (wraps per inch). How many times a yarn can be wrapped within 1 inch cannot be fudged, exaggerated, miscounted or obfuscated. It is what it is and we can go on our merry way. Is it too much to ask to have our lives rendered just a bit less complicated by agreeing on reality?


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