Worst World of Worsted

The hat I’m designing for Knitscene calls for worsted weight yarn, of which I have plenty in my stash. It’s my favorite weight of yarn to design with because it’s so versatile, easily working at multiple gauges with everything from a size 3 to a size 9 needle.

Knitscene sent me the yarn in the colors they want me to use, and I’ve had it for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t want to knit with it until the design was final, which happened this week.

As part of my design process, I take lots of notes as I knit prototypes, then I write up a formal pattern, then I knit a final from that written pattern, adjusting my instructions as necessary. All of which I did for the Knitscene hat.

In two months, I’ll have no idea what these notes mean.

I caked the hanks and started to cast on, and…zoinks! This yarn was fat.

Had I read the yarn label, I would have had a clue that something might be amiss when it showed 140 yards in 100 grams. For comparison, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted, has 110 yards per 50 grams; Cascade 220 worsted has 220 yards per 100 grams. The difference is ~50 grams of girth, not 80 yards of length, which makes it more like a heavy worsted/aran weight.

(For the record, I never consider the yardage vs. weight, but I know it’s something you should do, so I tried to impress you with the above paragraph.)

There’s nothing wrong with a heavy worsted, but it’s going to impact my design. If I knit the hat according to the pattern I spent weeks perfecting, it’s going to be bigger than I intended, starting with having to go up one or two needle sizes because aran don’t play on size 3 needles.

On the bright side:

  • This isn’t the first time I’ve done this to myself, so I know I can recover.
  • I have bigger needles.
  • Knitscene wants both a men’s and women’s version of the hat, so maybe I’ve been working on the men’s version all along.

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