Which weight is "aran"?

On Ravelry, they don’t use the Icon numbers for weights of yarn and I’m having trouble with “Aran”!!! Is that a #4 or 5 or WHAT exactly???

I mostly use Ravelry to search out equivalent yarns that are cheaper.

Thanks muchly!

One of the pattern mags I get uses lots of “aran weight yarn,” which they have listed as 4 medium (flipping to the back to check the chart to make sure). Yup, it’s worsted weight yarn.

It’s slightly heavier than worsted (4), however many worsted weights are heavy enough to pass. You can interchange them really, subbing one for another.

Thanks so much for your help!

I have noticed that even within each of the “official” weights of yarn, there’s a LOT of variation between them! There are thin #4s and thick #4s and everything in between!!

I will keep my eyes open for a thick #4 to use instead of “aran weight”!


I’ve noticed the same thing, and it drives me nuts! I found a pattern that called for sport weight yarn, so I went to Joann’s to find a similar yarn. But since none of the yarns are labeled with specific weights, just those annoying 3s and 4s and whatnot, I bought a size 3 yarn, which I thought was sport weight. Nope, according to Ravelry, that yarn that I bought turned out to be Fingering weight so my gauge was all off!

I’ve noticed it’s a bit less confusing if I look at the needle size that’s recommended with the yarn, rather than looking at the weight number. If a yarn calls for an 8 needle, it’s usually worsted, and if it calls for a size 9 needle it’s usually aran.

Although right now I’m working on a striped pattern with 2 different colors. One of my yarns is worsted and the other is aran, and I haven’t had any problems using both weights in the same pattern. They look very similar to me.

May I humbly suggest marking the page for the Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Yarn Weight System. This is a guide I use. On the other hand as noted by the stitches per inch for each weight there is a variance within each weight.


While it’s technically considered a “4”, I’ve always considered it sort of a heavy worsted. If you look at the link above you’ll see that worsted weight/aran varies from 16-20 stitches over 4 inches. That’s a pretty big gauge difference.

Laura - After awhile you can usually look at the gauge on the yarn and have a pretty good idea what weight it is. :thumbsup:

Thanks for everyone’s help! I’m looking at a pattern that calls for “Wool Clasica” by Manos del Uruguay. Ravelry says this is an “aran” weight yarn.

I pretty much shop at JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels. Can anyone recommend a yarn from there that would be an aran weight???

Thanks AGAIN!!!

Vanna’s choice is a heavier worsted, and Caron’s Country looks really thin, but it knits up to an aran gauge and fluffs up a lot when washed.

Thanks SuzeeQ!!!

Anyone else have some “aran” yarns they want to recommend?? How about Plymouth Encore or KnitPicks new Brava worsted…are they aran??


Encore may work, it’s a little heavier, haven’t seen Brava yet. But most worsteds will be a good substitute.

Encore is 4.5 -5 spi so it’s considered worsted. I use it a lot and IMO it knits up pretty true to the gauge for me.