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starryblu

bulky, super bulky, huh?

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I've had a lot of trouble building a stash of plain 'ole four ply worsted weight yarn. It was a great challenge when I wanted to change brands. I used up the old brand, (which was feeling rather stiff) for a more expensive brand that was softer. Now all of the patterns I'm finding are bulky and super bulky. It's very frustrating. I apologize if someone has asked this question, but is there a conversion chart to calculate the number of strands of worsted weight yarn that will equal the thicker sizes? And are the thicker sizes going to be the new norm? Is that what I should be buying, instead of trying to stay with the worsted weight yarn? Am I being old-fashioned by staying with the worsted weight size?

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It all depends on what you want to make. Personally, I prefer patterns for worsted weight yarn or lighter. When I am looking for a pattern, the ones with lighter weight yarn attract my attention. It's a matter of taste. I have looked at bulky patterns, but I don't like the look, even though there's nothing wrong with them.

I rarely buy yarn just for the sake of buying it. I live close to AC Moore, Michaels, Jo-Ann, Hobby Lobby, Walmart and a LYS. So, I buy/acquire patterns. When I'm ready to make something, I shop for that project (my stash, and then stores.) The exception is cotton, because I make kitchen & bath things when I need a break.

Back to your question. I don't know of a conversion chart. I think it depends on the pattern. Your best bet it to swatch multiple strands when you're ready to substitute. See if you can match the gauge. 

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I agree, it depends on what you want to make.  I don't think it is old fashioned to stick with WW.  I am not even sure why you would think that.  There are tons of patterns for WW and lighter yarns.

What do you want to make?  That might be easier to help with than you trying to make something for bulky.

 

 

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Yarn weight classes are a range, here is a guide on how to tell buy 'wraps per inch https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/11/determining-yarn-weights/  (the lace has a typo, WIP should be WPI).  This is the closest thing I can think of to a conversion chart, but still would depend on which yarn, and your personal tension, and the designer's tension.

If you look at a lot of vintage patterns, they use much finer yarns - like sock (US#1) or sport weight (US#2) for garments and blankets.  REALLY old patterns from the 1800s termed anything heavier than that as 'coarse'.  "DK" weight came from "double knitting", where the "normal" knitting weight (say in the first half of the last century) would be sock or sport weigh.

There are still lots of patterns out there for US #4 or finer yarns, and really I think the stores carry more #4 weight, or as least an equivalent amount, than bulky.  My observation is that non-crafters don't understand why you can't get a king sized blanket out of 1 skein of yarn and why it should take more than a couple of hours to crochet it, and IMO a little of that spills over to NEW crafters until they learn better. Also, I think if you do a cost comparison, you make get a 'thing' of the same size (say a baby blanket) for less $ in worsted than (comparable material content) than bulky.  There are fewer yards in bulky skeins, so it would need more skeins in bulky.

I hope bulky yarns aren't the new 'norm'.  I'm not a fan of the resulting product.  I know it seems to be a historical trend for commonly used yarn and thread to keep getting bigger, but there's a point where it just doesn't look as nice--my 'old lady' opinion. 

Edited by Granny Square

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