Help finding out yarn size

I am in need of some help trying to figure out what weight my yarn is, this might get confusing. I bought this
http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/cascade-yarns-highland-duo
A few years back, balled it up, used some to make a hat and never used the rest of it. I unwound the hat today and did a knitted swatch with 3.25 mm needles and that is when I finally got 18 stitches for 4", I also got 12 wpi, however the end result is a stiff object…not attractive or desired. obviously the yarn has stretched out some since it has been balled up for a while, so what would the weight be for it? Any help is appreciated, i do know it says worsted weight.
thank you

I’m not sure what you’re asking since you know the yarn is worsted/aran weight. Even stretched it would still be considered worsted. If the fabric is too tight you can try using a bigger needle size then measure again. I’m not surprised it was too tight because the needle suggested is 5-6mm or US 8.

What are you trying to make with it? Does the pattern have a gauge you are trying to work with?

Well, since the yarn has stretched out it has apparently thinned some too,
meaning it appears not to be a worsted size in diameter. I am trying to
make a hat, but first I was seeing if the gauge of the yarn itself was
still able to be met on 5.0mm needles, which is what I got the first time
I knitted a hat with it a few years ago. When doing a swatch the 5.0mm was
too big, the 4.0mm was 16 stitches for 4". When I used the 5.0mm the fiber
seemed too airy, the 4.0mm seemed less airy, but still the gauge of that
wasn’t met. The hat I want to make is this one


The gauge is 20 sts= 4" in stockinette woth 4.0mm. This is the first yarn I
have actually had trouble with in meeting the gauge where the needles size
is either right on or a partial size up/down. After knitting a swatch with 5mm needles, it came out to 15 sts and 23 rows = 4"

Okay, I see. It may be a little thinner being stretched. It’s a single and I don’t think singles have much memory or springiness to them because they aren’t plied. Based on what your gauge was with a 3.25mm and a 4.0 mm (which seemed in the middle of what you need) I’d say try a 3.5 or 3.75. But you may have to do it a little tighter because the yarn isn’t going to puff back up and fill in the gaps as easily as plied yarn might.

I don’t know metric so having to look all this up as I go along. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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If I were trying to use it, I’d unwind it from the ball into a hank, tied with cotton twine in several places I don’t use anything that will stick to the yarn) dampen it slightly and fluff it, either in a dryer on cool or with a hair dryer set on cool and a lot of shaking the hank. It may never be its full original size again, but it should be puffed up enough to give you a more realistic idea of the gauge. You won’t be happy with the texture of the finished piece if you knit it on those small needles.

Anything washable around here that is pulled from being wound too tight gets un-skeined, hanked and sent through the laundry.

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I don’t think you can really fluff it up all that much. If you do try getting it wet make sure you don’t agitate at all and I suggest only air drying. It felts too easily.

Thank you soo much for that helpful information, I’ve never actually washed
yarn that was all natural fibers, thank you.

I did notice that when I unwound the old hat I made that it sort of pilled too, is that normal? Will the washing help though since my gauge for the hat pattern and yarn itself is still not right with reasonable needles? I wonder if maybe I should just not bother wish the washing unless I had a yarn that was thinned and I needed to use a lot bigger needles to get the right gauge. Oh also, being as I don’t get exactly 20 sts per 4" for the hat pattern, wont the hat be smaller than expected and wanted? I have only done the gauge with flat knitting, since the hat is obviously knitted round, should I make a smaller circumference object and measure from that ?

I’ll get back to you (or someone else will) in a bit, but the type of fiber and fact that it’s unplied it tends to stick together which is is what makes it felt. I’m surprised you didn’t have trouble frogging it. Yes, the pilling would be normal. I think what you see is what you get with the yarn now. If you can’t get gauge you may need to use another yarn and use this one for a different hat/project. I’ll get back to this in a little while. Gotta run now.

I agree with Jan and Becky. And yes, this yarn would be better saved for another project. The hat looks very nice and it’s worth getting a thinner yarn, a true worsted for it.

Okay, thank you. Would you happen to know which one is a true worsted?

Cascade 220 is typical as is just about anything that knits at 20sts/4inches. 18sts/4inches is just a bit too heavy a yarn and it may be contributing to your problems getting gauge.

I’d say go ahead and give the yarn the dampen and fluff treatment, then find a pattern for it. Don’t wind it into a ball again until you’re ready to use it (and even then, don’t wind it tightly; it won’t hurt anything for it to be wound loosely, so it doesn’t stretch.) The pilling is normal for yarn that isn’t tightly spun. It’s trying to felt, as Jan says. In fact, it might make something really nice if you felt it.

For the hat you want Cascade 220 is not only worsted, but comes in regular (which will felt and must be handwashed) and superwash, which will put up with most laundry. If it were me, I’d buy the superwash. That particular yarn comes in a LOT of colors and blends, and it isn’t expensive.

Ok, I will keep that in mind. Thank you for your help.

I was actually just looking at the Cascade 220 superwash a minute ago, it
does have a lot of colors, something I’ve been struggling to find in yarn
that is affordable yet not crappy. I believe my LYS has cascade 220.
So what would my Highland Duo be good for making? I have lots of patterns
on my phone and ravelry page, but I don’t know what to make with it now.
Thank you for the advice, I will try that and see the difference it makes.

I like Cascade 220. I’ve mostly used the sport weight, but it’s very soft and knits beautifully.

Maybe a loosely knit scarf or cowl that don’t have to worry so much about gauge? I don’t know how much you have so I’m not sure.

I have 1 skein- 197 yards, 100 grams. Maybe about 1 inch less from 197
yards from the part where I tied the ends back together after unwinding,
but I assume it’s more than enough for a cowl, maybe not a scarf.

Salmonmac said Cascade 220 was a true worsted because of the 20 stitches =
4", when you look at the Ravelry page it says 18 - 20 stitches = 4". If the
Highland Duo I am using is supposed to be 18 stitches = 4", then wouldn’t
they be very close in size? Just a thought, I still will give the Cascade
220 a go.

They probably are close but it sounds like the Highland is just a bit thicker. The gauges given for yarn are a recommendation like needle size. I’m a loose knitter and sometimes struggle to get enough sts/inch to make gauge although i can get 20/inch readily enough with the 220.
Ultimately, you’re going to have to try it out yourself and see how it works.

The size/gauge given on a pattern are what the designer got. Since everyone knits differently it may take a larger or smaller needle to get gauge. For something like a hat that stretches you have a little more leeway. Go to Ravelry and look at cowls. You can filter for various things to narrow it down and look at the pattern info for yardage.

12-15 wpi is actually bulky on the yarn weight scale. The weight of the yarn does not usually change with winding but its appearance can, I suggest going up in needle size, the 3.25mm needle you used to swatch is actually recommended for a 2 weight yarn which might explain why your swatch is too tight and you’re not pleased with it, The yarn you reference with the link in your question is actually an Aran weight which is closer to bulky than worsted because it is 8wpi and the recommended needle size is 5-6mm