"3-Ply Heavy Fisherman Weight" need clarification

Good evening all!

I’m planning a future project and have a question about yarn weights.

Is “3-Ply Heavy Fisherman Weight” bulky or worsted weight? What is “fisherman weight”?

My research lists “3-ply” as a fine weight yarn, but the yarn for this project looks pretty obviously a heavier weight. The pattern recommends using this yarn, but I actually have another yarn I would like to use if it’s the right weight.


i found a few places online that specifically advertise ‘heavy fisherman’s weight yarn’ instead of just ‘fisherman’s wool’… one of them is beaverslide dry goods at http://www.beaverslide.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=BDG and their ‘heavy fisherman’s weight’ yarn says "- 100% Merino Tweed-

  • Heavy Fisherman weight - 3-ply
    3.5 - 3.75 stitches to the inch on #8 - 10 needles, 9 wpi. 160 yards per 4-oz skein. "

the plies are just how many individual parts there are to the yarn braid/twist, so you can have 3-ply sock, 3-ply sport, etc. if you use bigger plies, that’s how you get thicker and thicker yarn up to aran, worsted, bulky…

the gauge beaver slide suggests would put it right in the #4/#5 weight categories according to the craft yarn council. (worsted #4 is 16-20 stitches per 4" on US 7-9 needles, bulky #5 is 12-15 stitches per 4" on US 9-11 needles). so you’d definitely want to swatch it out.

Thanks XtopherCB!

That really helps. I thought that ply had to do with yarn weight, which is why I was so confused. I googled the standards on the craft yarn council. Hopefully I can figure that out in future. Gauge is still something I’m learning : )

In any case, I’ll definitely have to do a swatch. The yarn I have is worsted, so it might not be heavy enough for this project.

In the UK and Australia, maybe in Canada, different yarn weights are referred to as 4 ply, 8 ply, and probably others. I never can remember which yarn weight they mean. It is confusing! I’m thinking your pattern will need a bulky yarn with that gauge, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten less than 4 sts/in with worsted. What’s your pattern?

I was wondering about that! Several of the sites I went to referred to 3-ply yarn as being “fine”, but I was pretty sure this pattern was calling for a heavy weight yarn. It is confusing : )

Interestingly the Ravelry adaptation calls for worsted yarn, but the recommended yarn is listed separately from the worsted weight. Like what you both have said, I think it might be closer to bulky but would need to do a swatch first.

The pattern is a modification of the Children’s Tomten Jacket. I have her book “Knitting Without Tears”, but found it done with some modifications by Jared Flood. There’s quite a few changes, but I really like the finished result, and would really like to try it. I have a family member who is very in to Tolkien, and this reminds me of something from one of his books.

There is a gallery on flickr as well as two posts on the modifications.
Adult Tomten Jacket
Sleeve Caps

I am planning to make a fisherman’s Gansey and all the resources I have checked say the traditional yarn is 5 ply Guernsey worsted yarn I don’t know if that is any help.