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Designer tips - Yarn details

Your choice of yarn is always an important element of your design. The thickness and fibre content will dictate how the finished fabric behaves when worked at the given gauge.


To help the maker you need to tell them all about the recommended yarn. Information to include:

  • Weight of yarn- the thickness of the yarn, 4-ply, double knitting, aran etc

  • Yardage of yarn- usually given as number of metres or yards in the weight of one ball or skein, for example 220 m per 100 g.

  • Fibre content - this is important as fibres behave differently, a sweater you design in wool would look very different if it was made in cotton.

  • Amount of yarn needed for each size, this might be given as a number of balls/skeins or as a number of metres/yards required.

  • Details of the sample yarn, many makers like to know exactly what yarn was used, include the colour used for the sample.


Here's an example:

45 (50, 55, 60) g 4-ply weight yarn, approximately 390 m per 100 g.

Shown in: Northern Alchemy New Mylne 4ply in colourway “Martyn’s Madder”; 4‑ply; 100% wool; 390 m / 426 yds per 100 g.


Including all this information will help the knitter choose the yarn for their project, it will allow them to substitute their own choice and still have a successful project. Even if you are making the pattern for a specific yarn, perhaps as a collaboration with a dyer, you should make sure all the information is there. To make it yarn specific you could rephrase the above example as:

45 (50, 55, 60) g Northern Alchemy New Mylne 4ply in “Martyn’s Madder”; 4‑ply; 100% wool; 390 m / 426 yds per 100 g.

But all the information is still there.


You might also wish to include suggestions for other yarn(s) that could be used, for example if your sample yarn has been discontinued, or to show a range of price point options.


Skeins of multi coloured yarn sat on a black cloth.

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