Wool ply query

Hi. I just picked up some really cheap wool. Problem is i cant work out what ply it is. Its called Bella Baby Parade and says you work with 5mm needles at a tension of 24 st x 28 rows (10cm x 10cm sq). It certainly appears thicker than your average baby wool. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Karen

Hiya Karen,
It’s a worsted weight yarn. Based on the needle size and the sts per 10x10 cm or 4x4 inch square. It’s about double the size of baby or sport weight yarn. So any patterns calling for worsted weight yarn should be ok.

ETA: I am wondering if you are from Australia or the UK as they gauge a yarns particular weight by it’s ply(ies).
I bet suzee is runnin round here somewhere and she could answer you question better than I can.

Yes. I’m from Australia. Most of our wool tells us the ply but unfortunately not this one

Hmmmm, I can’t even find it on yarndex… I did find 7 matches for “bella” but none for “bella baby parade”. Does it say anywhere on the ballband who the manufacturer is? Say maybe in real fine print (I’m guessing that this isn’t an Australian yarn but perhaps an american or even italian yarn).
You can go to yarndex.com and see if you can find the yarn you are looking for.

That sounds like a yarn from Spotlight? I haven’t seen or used it, but I did find a couple of listings on eBay so was able to look at a photo of it. Its a fuzzy-eyelash-fleecy type of yarn, hence the need for the 5mm needles. But it is odd for the required tension to be 24sts per 10cm -normally using that size needle, the tension would be fewer stitches.

However, don’t worry about what ply it is. I’m in Australia, but never think in terms of ply. I look at the required tension and use a pattern that stipulates that tension.

Most Double Knit (which you probably might think of as 8ply) patterns have a tension of about 22 stitches per 10cm. Peter Pan DK baby patterns require 24 stitches. You’ll probably have to do a bit of searching for a pattern with the tension needed, which would also look good knitted in that yarn.

Alternatively, could you use a plain Double Knit yarn for the main part of a baby garment and the Bella Baby Parade for the bands, cuffs, collar? A matching beanie in plain double knit, with Bella Baby turned back brim?

I would agree with you fibrenut, mostly based on the needle size. 5mm is the one usually used with worsted weight, or 10 ply I think it’s called over there.

Problem is, if she decided it was worsted weight and therefore used a worsted weight pattern… doesn’t worsted weight yarn usually knit to a tension of about 20 stitches per 10cm, or perhaps I’m confused.

But as I see it, if she uses the yarn with the recommended 5mm needles to create the tension (gauge?) recommended for the yarn, the tension will be 24 stitches per 10cm. This tension wouldn’t be compatible with a worsted weight pattern. The sizing would be out, wouldn’t it?

I just checked Ravelry. The pics of the yarn look bulky, a lot bulkier than 24 stitches per 4 inches gauge. And interestingly, Ravelry has the gauge as 14 stitches. I wonder if there’s a mistake on the ball band?.. I’ve had a brand of yarn (not this one) where I found there was a mistake with the gauge on the band.

It might, depends on what yarn is substituted. Maybe an 8 ply would work better?

I was very interested to follow the answers to karenh’s question re: Bella Baby wool. I found a pattern (in an Op shop) for Panda Soft Crinkles using 5mm needles. I’ve read your answers re: tension and mine is 19st abd 25 rows over 10cm. I don’t think we have a standard 10ply in Australia and 12ply would be too thick so I’d best give 8ply a go. Some 8ply’s can be a bit thicker than others (I hope) so I’ll start looking. If the tension square doesn’t work I’ll try using 4mm with the 8ply and just do it for a 4yr old instead of the 3yr that I want. What do you think?


Barby…this is a very old post. Not sure the original posters are still active. If you have a question make a new post.