Tuesday, September 24

crochet 101 :: read a yarn label

Crochet 101 is a series of crochet tutorials where I will teach you how to complete the basic stitches needed to crochet.

Hi :) 

So far, in Crochet 101, we have learned how to:

• Make a slip knot
• Chain stitch
• Slip stitch (part II)
• Single crochet (part II)
• Half double crochet (part II)
Double crochet (part II)
• Treble crochet (part II)
Crochet in the back loop (part II)
Crochet in the front loop (part II)
Switch colors (part II)
Fasten off and weave in ends
Begin crochet in the round


You have made it through the stitches and techniques part of this series!

Now on to the next lesson!

Lesson 21:

Yarn labels have a lot of information packed on them. But what do all the symbols mean? Let's find out!

You will need:

Pictured above is the label on a skein of  RedHeart Soft yarn that I have waiting to be worked up into a cozy scarf. 

So what do we know by first glance?

If we take a look at the label, we can see that it is made by the RedHeart company and that it is the "Soft" yarn line. (Shown with the turquoise box in the picture above.) 

Turning the yarn over forwards:
We see that this yarn is made in the USA (pink box).
We see there is no die lot (turquoise box). - I'll explain why this is important information in a second.
We see how much yarn is in this skein (purple box). - This label shows how much yarn there is in ounces, grams, yards, and meters. Sometimes a label will only show yards and meters or it will show ounces and grams, so depending on your pattern, you might have to figure out how many skeins you will need based on this information. If you are a math wizard, then you will be able to guess how many yards or meters are equal to the ounces or grams of a skein (or vice versa). Me, I just estimate based on how big the skein looks. And I keep my receipt, that way I can exchange or return whatever I don't use.
We see any extra info the company might want to share (gray box). - Some yarn labels include a free pattern on the back of their label or a link to patterns that use that yarn. In this case, they also share where you can follow them on social media sites.

Turning the yarn over forwards:
•Again, we see that this yarn is made in the USA (pink box). - This time it tells us that this particular yarn is made in the USA, but it is made with imported fibers.
•We see an address (gray box). - This address is provided for anyone that wants to write in regarding this yarn.
We see what this label is made of (turquoise box).
•We see where the imported parts of this yarn come from (purple box).

Turning the yarn over forwards:
We see all the information that has to do with the color (purple box and pink box) and the batch (turquoise box) of this yarn. - The color is pretty self explanatory. The information in the pink box also has to do with the color. If you look online for this color, you would look up the name (white) and/or the color number, which in this case is 4601.
Since this yarn does not have a dye lot, it tells us what the batch number is and what time the skein was made. I would try to find another skein from the same batch if I could (since there is no dye lot number to match) that way the yarns are as close to one another as possible. Dye lot is important when you are purchasing more than one skein of a certain color because not all skeins are exactly the same. I've learned from experience that this is something that can't be overlooked. 

And finally, turning the yarn over forwards once more:
We see (again) that there is no dye lot for this skein (pink box).
•We see what weight the yarn is (gray boxes). - I will include a chart for this below.
We see what needles and what hook are recommended for this yarn and also how many stitches you should get in each 4 x 4 inch/10 x 10 cm section of your project (purple box). - In this case, they suggest using 5mm/8US knitting needles, which will give you 17 stitches across by 23 rows to equal a 4 x 4 inch/10 x 10 cm section; or a 5.5mm/I-9 crochet hook, which will give you 12 single crochet stitches across by 15 rows to equal a 4 x 4 inch/10 x 10 cm section.
Of course you can use whatever needles or hook you want, but it will change the gauge of whatever you are making. Be sure to make a small sample swatch so that you can see how the yarn will work up (especially important if you are making a piece of clothing!)
We see the care instructions for this yarn (turquoise box). - This is important if what you're making is expected to be washed. I will include a chart for what these symbols mean below.

So, as you can see, there is a lot of information included on a yarn label, but it is all useful information. Not all labels will include everything that this label does, but there should be main information available.

Below is a chart that I found (can't find the source) that lists the different weights that yarn comes in, what type of yarn category the yarn falls in, how many crochet stitches (couldn't find knitting) you should get to measure 4 inches, and what the recommended hook size is for that yarn.
You can find more yarn weight information here.

Also, this cute picture may or may not help you remember yarn weights...
And here is a chart that shows what the care symbols on the label mean.
There are tons more that you can see here.

If I have left anything out, or if you have any questions about this topic, please let me know!
Come back tomorrow to learn how to read written crochet patterns!

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1 comment:

  1. This is the best tutorial on reading yarn labels I have found tonight using Google. The box colors, and your detailed explanations make it easy to understand. Thank you.


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