DK-weight yarn vs heavey worsted-weight

What is the difference? I am looking to make an afghan and it suggests either DK-weight yarn or heavy worsted-weight. Does anyone know what Lion brand's DK-weight yarn is called? It is suggested that with a size 10 circular needle I would get 4 sts/inch.

Any suggestion for yarns. I am interested in an all wool afghan.

Thanks, guys.


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The suggestion is a bit weird. DK is traditionally 22-24 sts per 4"/10cm.
Heavy worsted weight is between worsted weight (20 sts/4") and aran weight(18sts/4cm).

But with such a big needle I am sure that somewhere in the instructions ut it will tell you to use a double strand of the wool for DK.

If you use DK there are all sorts of all wool choices you could make. Cascade 220 is a bit too think but makes gorgeous afghans. If you went that route you would just need a bigger needle and you would make a bigger needle. Experiment. Remember it is just a rectangle so you don't need to worry about shaping.

Good luck.

Tallguy's picture

That is the problem with such vague descriptions of yarn. It is totally meaningless! I came from a weaving background, so our yarns are described more accurately. For example, 2/24 means it is a 2-ply, and each ply is size 24. Of course, there is a meaning to what that size means! The same went for cotton, linen, silk, wool, etc. There is a definite correct method to naming of yarns, which everyone can understand. I still don't know what worsted, sport, lace mean. They are all too vague and indeterminate. Spinners tend to go by wraps per inch, which is a good measure as well. That sure helps in substituting a yarn, although content has a lot to do with it as well. Some people like the Bradford system. Or you can use the micron measurement ( Stitch gauge is a good measure... but I would think 4 sts/inch is a pretty hefty yarn! But my reasoning is that if you are making an afghan, size is not critical. So go ahead and use any yarn you have handy, make your mandatory gauge swatch, and go from there. I prefer to use a yarn that has good stitch definition (smooth round yarn) for an afghan so that your stitch patterning can be seen, (and not a very dark colour) but that is up to you.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I'm inclined to agree with Rick on this one. DK is about the same as worsted weight in diameter but slightly thinner. Most often you can substitute one for the other with only minor considerations. Heavy worsted is not quite the same as "bulky" but is similar to "craft/rug" yarn. However, you can do as TallGuy suggests and pick a yarn you really like and try a test swatch in the pattern, adjusting needle size until you get the look you want. That is a very sharp looking afghan and would look good in a variety of yarn weights. You may have to make more -or less - blocks to get the size you want so you may want to ensure you have plenty of yarn in that dye lot available. Good luck. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks for all the information, guys. I'm still very confused though. Sorry. Since I am still so new to all the different physics of yarn, I'm afraid that much of what you all shared is falling on very confused ears and an even more befuddled brain.

From what I can glean from all your words of wisdom, I will just go out and buy some different weights of yarn and experiment. Since this thing is going to take about 15 skeins, I just want to get things figured out. Finding 15 skeins of the same dye lot may be an issue as well. I wish that patterns would do a bit of teaching as well as providing patterns and instructions. Helping others learn about the yarns is a good thing, but I would like to see the writers include some comparisons with other yarn types. The book by this author is very big into using double-stranded knitting, but I would rather use a single strand of a thicker yarn.

This why I would love to be able to go to the Colorado retreat. I know if I could steal you all away for a bit you could show me things with yarn that would really help me. Maybe I can still attend if my mom can deal with things with the help of friends, but I know how much she likes family when she goes under the knife, especially in here eyes. So, if she changes her plans, I will contact whomever to see if there any beds left in the cabins.

I wonder if there are any beds left? If they aren't are there day fees that we could pay and then stay at a nearby hotel, although that wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Again, thanks for all the technical information. I will absorb and digest what I can, otherwise the pattern will go in the WIGB file. (When I Get Better file)

Tallguy's picture

Patterns are usually put out by a yarn manufacturer and they are all designed to show off a particular yarn. Did you know that most people will buy the exact same yarn as in the pattern... and in the SAME colour too?!!? Yarn manufacturers know this, and they want you to buy their yarn if you are going to use their pattern. They aren't about to suggest a competitor's yarn! It's up to you to determine which yarn to use.

Remember that you need to use the same fibre content to get the same weight of finished item. Cotton is heavier in weight, and it may not have the same comfort that wool has. And silk also is heavier without any bulkiness and would not be the same. A fuzzy yarn won't show the patterning of the stitches. So you need to consider all this to be able to get the same feeling in the texture and weight of the afghan without using that same yarn.

There are some good sites that explain how to find a substitute yarn, but the pattern maker is not about to do that for you.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks TallGuy.
I figured that since the author of this book is pretty much only recommending a particular yarn manufacturer, she is probably got some kickback to help her pay for the book publishing. It's a rather one-sided approach to for a DIY project book, but this is a capitalist country, so who can blame her. I have two skeins of medium (4) wool and will work up a swatch to see if it is what I want to use.

Thanks again for helping to clarify things for me.