Ply & Gauge
By Anne R.
Ply actually means how many strands make up the strand of yarn.
The following is what is generally meant when sizing yarn. Fingering weight is what is commonly called baby weight.
Three ply is usually sport weight. Four ply is mostly worsted weight. There are other categories, too. Following
is a table:
7 stitches per inch on #2 or #3 needles is baby weight.
6 stitches per inch on #6 needles is sport weight.
5-1/2 stitches per inch on #5 needles is double knitting or
4-1/2 or 5 stitches on #8 needles is worsted weight.
3-1/2 stitches per inch on #10-1/2 needles is bulky weight.
To complicate things even farther, some yarn companies have
a super bulky weight, which is 2-1/2 stitches per inch on a #11 needle. You may also see some yarns which don't quite
match the table. The best way is to determine the number of stitches obtained on a certain size needle. If you
do not get the same number the pattern has, then play around with your needle size until you do get it. Don't think
if you're a half stitch off that it isn't going to make any difference. It can change your garment size one or two inches,
more or less.