One of the issues New Zealand knitters often face is finding a suitable replacement yarn for an overseas pattern. It’s not always possible to obtain the same yarn as noted in the pattern, so the quest begins to look for a yarn that matches it in weight and tension performance.
Here’s a table that I have put together that I find useful when matching yarn:
|US yarn weight||NZ/UK equivalent||Gauge/tension guide (stitches per 10cm, or 4in)||Recommended metric needle size|
|Lace||2 ply, lace||33-40||1.5 – 2.25mm|
|Sock, fingering, baby||4 ply, baby, sock||27-32||2.25 – 3.25mm|
|Sport, baby||4 ply, 5 ply||23-26||3.25 – 3.75mm|
|DK, Light worsted||8 ply, DK||21-24||3.75 – 4.5mm|
|Worsted, aran, afghan||10 ply, aran, 12 ply||16-20||4.5 – 5.5mm|
|Chunky, craft, rug||12 ply, 14 ply, chunky||12-15||5.5 – 8mm|
|Bulky, roving||Super chunky||6-11||8mm and larger|
I’ve used the Craft Yarn Council’s Standards to reference all my US weights and gauge and needle recommendations.
This chart generally helps me to work out what I can use as a replacement yarn for US patterns.
The only note of caution I’d add to this is around the DK yarns. Quite a few New Zealand yarn brands sell yarn as “DK” when the tension is closer to the lighter end of an American worsted weight. Look at the ball band for the tension recommendation if the yarn looks a little chunky for a true DK weight. It will usually say to knit to a tension of 20 stitches per 10cm.
Hope that’s useful.