There’s something to be said about the experience of walking through a store and physically touching yarn to find the best material to complete your next project. As you shop in a brick and mortar shop, you tend to look for certain things: colour, feel, material, yarn weight, and price.

It can be a lovely experience to chat with the shop attendants and other hobbyists in the store as you make your selection. The shopping experience can be enjoyable, but sometimes we can’t always make it to a store to buy your yarn.

What’s more, there are plenty of reasons why you might not be able to find yarn you need in a store. Maybe the specialty yarn store is too far away or simply inaccessible. Maybe you’re looking for a certain yarn that isn’t carried in the store near you. Then there’s the appeal of online shopping: the convenience and even the possibility to save big from an online yarn store like Yarnspirations thanks to deals and coupons.

Buying Yarn Online

Buying yarn online doesn’t have to be difficult an there’s really no need to worry about your expectations not lining up with what arrives in the mail. In fact, getting your yarn shopping done online can be incredibly efficient and even satisfying as you load up your online shopping cart.

There are some things to consider when buying yarn online. You should read reviews, know what you’re dealing with when it comes to yarn basics, contact the provider if you have any burning questions, and look to your knitting community for advice or pointers.

Below is a brief guide to yarn weights and their specifications to help you with your online shopping endeavours.

Yarn Weights

The thickness of the yarn has a major impact on the look and feel of a final knitted or crocheted item. Yarn weight also affects the amount of time you need to commit to a project. Yarn weight refers to how many stitches it takes to knit one inch. Yarn weights don’t have official categories laid out like industry standards, but most resources work with some common terms when discussing the weight of yarn.

Here is a brief outline of the sizes to help you with your online yarn purchases:

  • Lace (Cobweb): the thinnest yarn, best for lace and dollies
    • Requires size 000-1 needle, Steel 6-8 or Regular B hook
  • Fingering: still very thin, best for socks and lace projects
    • Requires size 1-3 needle, B-E hook
  • Sport: fine and ideal for baby clothes, knits thin
    • Requires size 3-5 needle, E-7 hook
  • Light Worsted: smooth and even textured, this weight yarn also goes by “DK” and is sometimes used for double knitting
    • Requires size 5-7 needle, 7-I hook
  • Worsted: thicker and a popular for sweaters and blankets, creates warm material
    • Requires needle size 7-9, I-K hook
  • Bulky: very thick, a favourite for scarves because its bulk can create interesting effects, also used to create rugs
    • Requires needle size 9-11, K-M hook
  • Roving: this wool is unspun and typically used for getting though very large needles can work with this material
    • Requires needle size 11+, M+ in hook

It’s important to know yarn weights when shopping online because you don’t have the luxury of feeling the yarn or comparing it to other materials in the store. With this information at hand, you can truly take advantage of the perks of shopping for yarn online.