Doubling Yarn and Gauge

by Paradise Staff January 31, 2014

Smallest to Largest descending Madelinetosh Lace Yarn, Three Irish Girls Sock Yarn, Hikoo Kenzie Yarn Oceania, Hikoo Simplinatural Yarn, Cascade Yarns Pacific CHUNKY Yarn, Malabrigo Rasta Yarn

Foremost these are guidelines, PLEASE knit your swatches! You don’t know what your piece will look like unless you play around a little with the gauge.

Here is where I have to admit that I am a spinner who sometimes knits, everything I do is wraps per inch. I rarely knit unlike many of the people who I work with at Paradise.  I’d rather be at a wheel than with pokey sticks in my hands, but I’m learning and knitting is growing on me. Here’s what I’ve learned…

I started by just looking up what the standards are for doubling up yarn when knitting. Here’s the quick and dirty that almost everyone agrees are the basics in US terms:

2 laceweight = 1 fingering

2 sock = 1 DK/ light worsted

2 fingering = 1 Worsted

2 Worsted = 1 Bulky/Chunky

2 Bulky/Chunky = 1 Super Bulky/Chunky

Standard Yarn weight system USA terms United Kingdom Australia Suggested needle size (mm) Wraps per inch Doubling Yarn (USA terms)
0/ lace-weight Lace-weight 1 ply 2 ply 1.5–2.25 mm 18+ wpi  -NA-
1/Super fine Fingering 2 ply 3 ply 2.25– 3 mm 16- 14 + wpi 2 lace = fingering
2/Fine Sock/ Sport 3 ply 3 ply 2.25— 3.25 mm 14- 12 + wpi
3/ Light Sport 4 ply 5 ply 3.25— 3.75 mm 11 + wpi
DK/ Light Worsted DK 8 ply 3.75— 4.5 mm 8-10 + wpi 2 sock = DK
4 Medium Worsted Aran 10 ply 4.5— 5.5 mm 9+ wpi 2 fingering = Worsted
5/ Bulky Bulky Chunky 12 ply 5.5– 8 mm 7 + wpi 2 Worsted + Bulky
6/ Super Bulky Super Bulky Super- Chunky 14 ply 8 mm and up 5-6 + wpi
2 laceweight = 1 fingering 2 Lace weight Madelinetosh is about 1 fingering Three Irish Girls Sock Yarn
2 fingering = 1 worsted 2 Three Irish Girls Sock Yarn to about 1 Worsted Hikoo Simplinatural Yarn

Now you know you’re doubling something, so how do you know the gauge?

Out smarting gauge math when doubling yarns

Swatching is the only way to know for sure that your yarns will work doubled in your pattern!

2 Chunky = 1 Super Chunky 2 Cascade Yarns Pacific CHUNKY Yarn is about 1 Malabrigo Rasta Yarn

2 worsted = 1 Bulky 2 Hikoo Simplinatural Yarn is about 1 Cascade Yarns Pacific CHUNKY Yarn

The general rule of thumb is: Multiply the single strand gauge by 0.7 to get the doubled gauge. This amazing math was provided by The Knitting Fiend click here if you want the whole geometric principles.

Gauge is decided by diameter of yarn not area (total thickness).

But the math totals out to be: 2 strands thickness aka area, added together is equal to the new area not the new diameter, the diameter is the square root of 2 which is equal to about 1.4 divided by the gauge, or because [X per inch gauge / 1.4] is equivalent to [X gauge * (1/ 1.4)] and (1/ 1.4) = .7

 you can take [X per inch gauge* .7] to find your new gauge with doubled yarn

If you’re tripling yarn you would divide the stitches per inch by the square root of 3 or any other number of strands knit together.

Please remember everything is subject to swatching everyone knits different!

Happy Knitting!



Paradise Staff
Paradise Staff

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