What is Bulky Weight Yarn?

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  • Written By: S. Gonzales
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2019
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Bulky weight yarn can also be referred to as rug, craft or chunky yarn. Though the terms are often used interchangeably with each other, it is important to note that bulky weight yarn is considered to be in a class of its own. As the name implies, it is a bulky or heavy yarn used in a variety of projects. Its simplicity and ease of use makes it popular amongst knitters who like to tackle large and/or simple projects.

Bulky weight yarn is commonly chosen by knitters who want to create an item that is fast and easy. They may also be chosen by knitters who seek to create garments that can function as protective wear. While the weight of the yarn itself can be heavy, yarns may also be light and capable of providing the warmth necessary of outerwear clothing. As such, thickness can vary and the yarn can be used to create heavy sweaters, jackets, coats, parkas, afghans and other items used during cool or inclement weather. For example, it's not uncommon to use bulky weight yarn while creating hats, gloves and scarves.


Bulky weight yarn is appropriate for only certain needle sizes. It goes well with United States (US) size 9 and up and crochet hook size K and larger. Knitters may find that they can knit up to 12-15 stockinette stitches per 4 inches (10.16 cm) or 3-3.75 stitches per inch (2.54 cm) using needles that are sizes US 9 to 11. Those who crochet may find similar results when crocheting 8-11 single crochet per 4 inches (10.16 cm) or 2-2.75 single crochet per inch (2.54 cm) using US K10.5 to M13 crochet hooks.

Wools, wool blends and other types of heavy blends are popular in bulky weight yarn. Regardless of the specifications provided above, the labels on each bulky weight yarn product should be checked. Knitters should make sure that they are aware of the specific gauge requirements for the yarn and have the appropriate equipment, including needles, to create crafts or clothes.

This yarn is often available in many different colors and styles. The yarn's pleasantly plump stitches lend to a soft appearance. Yarn can come colored or dyed to suit the needs of any knitter and it is uncommon to have trouble finding a bulky weight yarn in a color that is available in other yarn types. Given this, crafts and projects are only limited to the knitter's imagination.


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Post 2

Another option for using a different weight, which can be more accurate but a lot more work, is to take the gauge, switching needle sizes until it is what the pattern calls for, and then knitting stitches by measurement rather than number. This can lead to a very well fitted garment, though it can take a lot more time in some projects, since patterns are typically written with stitch counts as the main basis of reconstruction, rather than measurements, which might be given at the end for the final garment.

Post 1

If you want to try to replace a bulky yarn in a project with a worsted weight yarn, remember that you will need a different needle to get the gauge. Generally in knitting patterns, a smaller weight means you need to go up a needle size. This will also, of course, change the look of the pattern and make it less closely knit.

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