INFORMATION PAGES

Yarn Tensions

Tension Squares

We always suggest you do a tension square before you start. The size of a garment can vary enormously between different people even if they knit or crochet the same garment using the same yarn and needles or hook. Most patterns will tell you how to do a tension square but a typical instruction would be as follows.

22 sts and 28 rows = 10cm (4in) over stocking stitch using 4mm needles. For best results it is essential to obtain the correct tension. If there are too few sts on test swatch, use thinner needles; if there are too many sts, use thicker needles.

Typical Tension Square Details

These are generally the tensions that are most associated with each ply - but manufacturers can use slightly different figures - it is not an exact science. You should always check the ball band and your pattern for accurate figures.

Yarn Square Size Needles Stitches Rows
2ply 10cm x 10cm 2.25 to 3.25mm 30 to 34 approx 42
3ply 10cm x 10cm 2.75 to 3.25mm 27 to 32 approx 40
4ply 10cm x 10cm 3.25 to 3.75mm 23 to 28 approx 36
Quick Knit* 10cm x 10cm 4mm 26 approx 32
Double Knit 10cm x 10cm 3.75 to 4.5mm 21 to 24 approx 28
Aran 10cm x 10cm 4.5 to 5.5mm 16 to 20 approx 24
Chunky 10cm x 10cm 5.5 to 8mm 12 to 15 approx 19
Super Chunky 10cm x 10cm 8mm or larger Less than 12 16 or less

Fashion Yarns are usually yarns with a fancy finish and often do not have the exact tension details of a 'standard' ply yarn - below is a list of some past and present Fashion Yarns with their tension details. Chunky and Super Chunky yarns can vary in tension too so we have added some of those to the following list. This list is sortable on some internet browsers. Click the Headings to sort the list.

YARN NEEDLES STITCHES ROWS
Sirdar Baby Snowball 06.5mm 06.5 12
Sirdar Just Bamboo* 05.5mm 19 25
Sirdar Bigga* 15mm 06 09
Sirdar Big Softie* 10mm 09 12
Sirdar Blur* 05.5mm 16 22
Sirdar Boa 04.0mm 20 27
Sirdar Confetti* 07mm 11 15
Sirdar Curly Wurly 06.5mm 11.5 17
Sirdar Denim Ultra* 10mm 09 12
Sirdar Duet* 05.0mm 21 28
Sirdar Dune* 05.5mm 19 29
Sirdar Filigree* 04.0mm 18 24
Sirdar Firefly 04.0mm 25 34
Sirdar Foxy* 07mm 12.5 17
Sirdar Frenzy 08mm 12 16
Sirdar Fresco 04.0mm 23 35
Sirdar Funky Fur 04.0mm 22 32
Sirdar Gigi* 04.0mm 25 34
Sirdar Hug* 08mm 13 17
Sirdar Illusion* 06.5mm 15 21
Sirdar Indie* 12mm 08.5 12
Sirdar Juniper* 07mm 13 16.5
Sirdar Medici 06.0mm 15.5 21
Sirdar New Fizz 05.0mm 18 24
Sirdar Nomad* 05.5mm 14 21
Sirdar Ocean* 06.0mm 17.5 24
Sirdar Organza* 12mm 10 13
Sirdar Persia* 05.5mm 14 19
Sirdar Reflection* 04.0mm 23 32
Sirdar Surfer* 07mm 17 22
Sirdar Tufty 05.0mm 22 30
Sirdar Tuscany 08mm 11.5 15.5
Sirdar Vegas* 05.5mm 16 21
Sirdar Wow!* 07mm 08 15
Sirdar Yo-Yo* 04.5mm 15 24
Sirdar Zanzibar 05.0mm 20 26
Sirdar Babouska Chunky* 05.5mm 14 19
Sirdar Big Bamboo Super Chunky* 10mm 09 12
Hayfield Bonus Chunky 06.5mm 14 19
Sirdar Click Chunky* 06.5mm 14 19
Sirdar Crofter Chunky* 06.5mm 14 19
Sirdar Snuggly Snowdrops Chunky 06.0mm 14 20
Sirdar Snuggly Snowflake Chunky 05.5mm 14 19
Sirdar Squiggle Super Chunky 10mm 09 12
Elle Crochet No.5* 02mm 30 44
Elle Encore 04.5mm 20 30
Elle Furry Friends 03.75mm 28 38
Elle Alaska Chunky 05.0mm 14 19
Elle Galaxy 08mm 10 14
Elle Heaven* 07mm 10 16
Elle Lussuria* 03.75mm 18 28
Elle Monet* 06.5mm 12 17
Elle Pizzazz* 05.0mm 18 25
Elle Plume 04.0mm 18 26
Elle Rustica Ultra* 06.5mm 11 17
Elle Sensual* 04.0mm 22 30
Elle Stretch* 03.25mm 27 37
Stylecraft Ragtime Chunky 06.5mm 14 20
Stylecraft Safari Chunky* 06.0mm 14 20
Stylecraft Signature Chunky 06.0mm 14 20
Stylecraft Alpine* 12mm 07.5 11
Stylecraft Chloe* 06.0mm 16 24
Stylecraft Fantasia* 04.0mm 28 46
Stylecraft Loop the Loop* 08mm 10 14
Stylecraft Milan 08mm 09 14
Stylecraft Pompom* 06.0mm 18 24
Stylecraft Super Chunky 10mm 09.5 13
Sublime Kid Mohair* 05.0mm 19 25
Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed* 06.5mm 14 19
James C.Brett Fusion Chunky* 06.0mm 12 20
James C.Brett Marble Chunky 06.0mm 14 20
James C.Brett ChaChaCha 04.0mm 12 14
James C.Brett Rustic Mega Chunky 12mm 07.5 10

Some countries use different names for their yarns - there is not usually a direct comparison but the following may be the typical tensions (we don't know what needles) - if anyone has any further details please let us know.

Yarn Weight Square Size Stitches
Fingering / Baby / Lace* 4 inch 27 to 40
Sports* 4 inch 24 to 26
DK* 4 inch 21 to 23
Worsted* 4 inch 19 to 20
Aran* 4 inch 17 to 18
Chunky* 4 inch 15 to 16
Bulky* 4 inch 12 to 14
Polar* 4 inch 8 to 11

* We do not stock these yarns - these details are for information only

 

 

 

 

 

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