Can You Change Yarn Weight In Pattern?

Hey there!

Do you find changing Yarn weights in a pattern difficult? Here, you’ll learn more about changing your yarn weights while knitting or crocheting making you an expert.

It is easy to do anyway, but getting the suitable yarn to finish up is quite discouraging if you aren’t a pro knitter.

Today, I’ll be taking you through all you need to know about yarn weights and how to change the weights in a pattern while working and selecting the yarn weights.

Can You Change Yarn Weight In Pattern?

Yes, indeed, you can. Knowing how to change yarn weights is an excellent and essential skill. Changing the weight using the same yarn is extremely easy, but changing the yarn weight is tedious with different weights.

If you change the yarn weight with another yarn, your finished work looks different and unattractive.

As we continue, let’s go through what you should know.

Why You Need To Change Yarn Weight In Pattern?

When knitting following a specific pattern, you may not use the same yarn suggested or have exhausted your yarn. Here your knowledge of how to change yarn weight in the pattern is required. 

Here are a few things to consider when changing Yarn Weight:

Yarn Weight

Knowing your yarn weights and their classifications and understanding them is necessary as this helps to select the right yarn weight when changing. 

Generally, the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) have classified yarn weights and labeled them with weights ranging from (0-7).

Weight Type
0 Lace
1 Superfine
2 Fine
3 Light
4 Medium
5 Bulky
6 Super Bulky
7 Jumbo


Weight 0: Lace

The lace weight is the lightest of the yarn weights, also known as “Fingering 10-Count”. 

It is perfect for making fragile items like shawls, doilies, and other lace designs or patterns. The delicate nature of lace yarn requires it to be treated with care to prevent breaking or tangles. You have a presentable, beautiful, stylish, and aesthetic design.


Weight 1: Superfine

The superfine weight is quite similar to the weight 0 yarn. It is also known as “Fingering Weight” or “Baby Weight Yarns.” 

It is a bit heavier than lace yarn and used for baby clothes, socks, shawls, and lightweight scarfs.


Weights 0 & 1 are similar, and using any while changing weights in the pattern will do with little noticeable difference but is best done with the proper needle.


Weight 2: Fine.

The fine weight is a bit heavier than Weight 1. It is also known as “Sport Weights Yarns.”

It is used for sweaters, baby clothes, socks, hats, slightly bulkier lace, and lightweight clothes. Many prefer designing with the fine weights yarns for lace because it has a more visual stitch definition and makes it faster to work with.


Weight 3: Light

The lightweight is a bit heavier than Weight 2. It is one of the most popular and is also known as Double-Knit (DK) Weight or Double Knitting Yarns. 

It is used for hats, scarves, sweaters, and baby clothes. However, clothes made from the Weight 3 yarns ain’t thick or warm, making them inappropriate to wear in cold seasons.


Weight 4: Medium

The medium weight is a bit heavier than Weight 3. It is versatile and known as “Aran Yarn” or “Worsted Weight Yarn.”

It is used for sweaters, mittens, afghans, hats, and scarves. It gives perfect stitch definitions for any item it is used for. Knitting with it enhances the warmth of the fiber.


Weight 5: Bulky

The bulky weight is heavier than Weight 4. It is also known as “Chunky Weight Yarn.”

It is used for blankets, scarves, hats, rugs, and sweaters.


Weight 6: SuperBulky

The super bulky weight is one of the heaviest yarn weights. It is also known as “Roving Yarn.”

Its stitches are visible. It is used for hats, blankets, and scarves.


Weight 7: Jumbo

The jumbo weight is the heaviest of all yarn weights. It is also known as “Roving Yarn.” 

It is used for home decor and accessories such as blankets and arm-knitting projects.

It is recommended that the yarn in the same category is what you should use while substituting to have a perfect finished project.


  • The Fiber

When changing the yarn weights, it is advised that the fiber be matched to blend well. 

Blending fiber types is essential because each yarn ball has a difference which affects its drape and structure when it is finished.


Cotton and linen can’t be substituted with alpaca or merino as this will affect the shape. Also, 100% wool isn’t fit to produce the same elasticity as an acrylic blend yarn. When changing yarn weights, select yarn with the same material composition or exact fiber type. For instance, replacing a non-superwash with a super-wash is possible, but the super-wash yarns are stretchy, unlike the non-superwash yarns. 


  • The Length

Knowing the size of your yarn is essential in changing the weight. A pattern always states the number of balls or skeins of yarn it will require, but this changes while you’re changing because Yarn balls aren’t even and vary in length. 


Firstly, calculate the length. Measure the length of one of the yarn balls from the number of skeins required. For whatever number of balls the instruction states, measure the length by 100metres. This gives the original length. If the instruction states 6 skeins, multiply by 100; 6 x 100metres= 600metres


Secondly, calculate the amount of yarn needed for change. Measure the length of the new yarn balls. Then divide the total yardage by the size of the new yarn ball; if the new yarn is 80 metres, 600/80 = 7.5. This gives us 7.5 balls (8 oz).


  • The Gauge Swatch

To knit a swatch, you must use the needle size recommended in the pattern and knit by dividing the gauge by about 4×4 inches, then count the number of stitches in each inch and compare it to the gauge. If it’s not precisely with the specified gauge, unknit the gauge swatch and knit further swatches again on smaller or larger needles – when you change the needle size, it allows you to get close to the correct number of stitches.


However, if the pattern doesn’t specify the row gauge or number of rows, you’ll still have to blend that. If you get the correct number of stitches but too many rows, it means the yarn is thin, while if you get the right number of stitches with few rows, it means the yarn is too thick.


Here are a few things to consider when gauging the swatch:

  • Density

The distance between the fabric stitches or the total number of loops in a specific area of the fabric is called “stitch density.” You can hold the swatch to a light and check to know if it’s see-through (like a net or lace), opaque (like a felt), or between both. 


  • Thickness

The thickness of your fabric is always apparent. If the yarn is heavily weighted, it is best for thick fabrics. You can rub the swatch between your fingers and check if it’s thin (like a bed sheet), thick (like a blanket), or between both.


  • Drape

The drape is how the fabric hangs on the body under its weight. The dense the fabric stitches, the less the drape (if the fabric stitches are tight, it will have less drape); the looser the stitches, the more the drape (if the fabric stitches are not too tight, it will have more drape).

For instance, non-superwash and super-wash wool; the latter has more drapes than the former, and fibers such as silk and linen have more drapes than wool.



It’s pretty easy to change yarn weights in a pattern, get to work, and be sure enough to have a beautiful project.


Choosing your yarn weight, carefully follow the CYC standard, and change the needle when necessary.


If you still need clarification about the yarn weights, kindly ask the clerk at the crafts store for help or check online, as most yarn manufacturers provide information on their products there too.


Happy, Happy, Happy Knitting!