Yarn question

I am very new to knitting – learning by book, and a lot of trial and error. Please forgive my elementary question, but why do some
directions refer to the required number of [U]balls[/U] of yarn, while others refer to the required number of [U]skeins[/U] of yarn? Are they interchangeable, and if not, is there a way to convert balls to skeins and vice versa? Thanks for any and all help.

Some yarns are wound into ‘ball’ shapes and then the label is added; others are packaged in a ‘skein’ shape which is more like the shape of a package of paper towel. Sometimes I just need to look at the yardage and type of yarn that the pattern is calling for. If the pattern is calling for ‘x’ number of balls of a particular type of yarn, the pattern maker may be aware that the manufacturer packages that particular type of yarn in ‘balls’ as opposed to the skein shape. (Hope that helps a little!):wink:

You want to go by the total yardage called for, not the number of skeins or balls or the ounces/gms. Some are packaged with up to twice as much yardage as others.

And what suzeeq says about not using the weight is very important. When I was new to knitting, I learned this the hard way, because two different kinds of yarn may weight exactly the same and have different yardages based on the fiber content, how tightly they are spun, and how they are dyed.