How many ply?

sheilajoyce_gwAugust 15, 2008

I have been looking on EBay lately for new pattern books, and am somewhat puzzled by the mention of various ply yarns the patterns call for. Some of these patterns may be European.

What is 8 ply as compared to the 4 ply worsted? Is it twice the width?

What is 5 ply?

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Zipper_TX

I think I know this one lol. I bought myself a spindle and some roving so I've been making yarn.

From what I've been reading, ply is how many singles are twisted together to make one yarn.

Twist two singles together and you have two ply.

Take a piece of scrap yarn and untwist a bit of it if it is 4 ply you should see 4 pieces of single yarn twisted together.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:38AM
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pandora429

I found this info on this website:

http://www.yarnforward.com/tension.html

8-Ply
Used in Australia and New Zealand for Double Knitting or DK.
5-Ply
Used in Australia and New Zealand. 26 stitches to 10 cm (4 inches) on a 3.75 mm (US 5) needle. See also Quickerknit
Hope this helps!! :~)marlene

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 1:41PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

Zipper, I know what a ply is. I just wondered at all the patterns for 8 ply, etc. If 4 ply is worsted, I might think 8 ply is really thick yarn, but that would not explain all the patterns for 8 ply, IMHO.

Thanks, Marlene. So 8 ply is clearly thinner yarn than the 4 ply worsted! Shouldn't be so complicated.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 6:41PM
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Zipper_TX

Sorry, just trying to help won't happen again ;(

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:14PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

Zipper,

Thanks for your input. Did I say something to hurt your feelings? I did not intend any such thing and apologize for any wording that did so. Your explanations were right on. But it is still so confusing when an 8 ply is finer yarn than a 4 ply, isn't it?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 3:28PM
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Zipper_TX

Thank you SheilaJoyce.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 8:33PM
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qiviut

2 ply lace weight
3 ply, 4 ply fingering
8 ply, double knit(dk)sport weight
10 ply Aran worsted weight
12 ply Chunky bulky

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 7:53AM
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sheilajoyce_gw

That chart is good,quivit. Now my question is that worsted weight in the USA is 4 ply. How is Aran worsted weight different with its 8 ply????? Is it thicker? A lot thicker?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 1:36AM
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damascusannie

This is pure speculation, but I think that in the U.S. we are used to the acrylic yarns. In acrylics, the individual ply is heavier so a four-ply acrylic is a heavier yarn than a four-ply wool. Is this a correct assumption?

Annie

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 6:10AM
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qiviut

In the U.S. forget about the ply. You can have a 4 ply sock
yarn that is more like a baby weight despite the number of
ply. On the other hand you can have a 1 ply bulky weight like Brown Sheep's. Aran weight in my experience is usually a tad more tightly spun and runs between a sport and closer to a worsted weight. But, because of how it is spun I guess, a true aran makes those cables "pop" in the pattern rather than making them almost flat and less noticeable. If you want to look at an interesting book that talks about ply and the nature of yarn and different fibers, see _The Knitter's Book of Yarn_ by Clara Parkes

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 3:41AM
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damascusannie

Quviut: Thanks! And I will check out the recommended book. Personally, I tend to ignore little details like the yarn recommendations anyway, using whatever I have that will give me the correct guage, or making adjustments for yarns that don't. I tend to knit a bit more loosely than most designers, so I often find myself having to use entirely different yarns or needles in order to get the sizing right on a project. One reason why I like to make up my own patterns, I guess.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:23AM
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