How do I Read a Yarn Label?

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  • Written By: Erika Peterson
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
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  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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A yarn label is more than the piece of paper that keeps the yarn together in a ball or bunch. Labels include everything from the yarn’s brand name to the color name and the dye lot number. Veteran knitters and crocheters read yarn labels in order to find the right type of yarn for their next project, but a newbie to the craft can learn the finer points of a yarn label as well. All an amateur needs is a few tips for understanding a yarn label and its overabundance of information.

Check out the symbols on the yarn label. Basic yarn labels include three symbols: standard care symbols, the crossed knitting needles symbol and the small grid symbol. Keep in mind the following points concerning each symbol.

  • Standard Care Symbols: these are your directions on how to care and clean the yarn and any items that are made using the thread. Some yarns can be machined washed and others need gentle care.
  • Crossed Knitting Needles Symbol: this symbol will tell you what size of needles will work with the yarn.
  • Yarn Weight Symbol: this is a great tool for projects where you might need to use a substitute yarn.

Other information that is contained on a yarn label is not necessarily in the form of a symbol. Before deciding on a type of yarn, remember to read and keep track of:

  • Brand Name: Colors and fiber can vary according to brand name. You should buy the same brand name for any large project.
  • Dye Lot Number: Any type of yarn that has been dyed will have a dye lot number on its label. It is best to purchase yarn from the same lot for color consistency.

Long time crocheters and knitters will also check out the weight of the yarn, the yardage or length of the yarn, fiber content and any recommendations concerning hook size for crocheting. All of these tips are essential points of knowledge for anyone to gain about a yarn label prior to beginning any project with yarn.


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