If you recall, about a week ago I was frustrated as a newb guy trying to get into weaving by the lack of comparisons with different yarn lingo and parity with the online sales, which seemed to throw much of the jargon out the door.
Here’s a tidbit of info I found in case others stumble onto this page looking for similar information (wool and cotton and synthetics may all be slightly different). I don’t know how accurate this is and I can’t recall where I jotted it down from:
- 8/2 yarn is roughly the same as #0 lace yarn
- 5/2 yarn is roughly the same a #1 sock or fingering yarn
- 3/2 yarn is roughly the same as #3 DK yarn
- “Worsted” weight is roughly #4 yarn [personal discovery, store visit]
I had purchased some 8/4 yarn based on a website recommendation for newbies using 8-dent heddles but, when it arrived, it is a pretty damn small diameter. I’ll use it, but not until I get a 12.5- or 15-dent heddle (thinking of getting 2, 12.5-dent heddles for my first set after I find my mojo so I can weave some finer fabrics).
So, for a newbie like myself (and working on the 7.5- or 8-dent single heddle), getting #3 or #4 yarn from the big-box stores is all someone needed to say. For some reason no-one says it. “Worsted” and “DK” are what is referenced, which I found very few stores online using either in their yarn description, e.g., JoAnn uses “medium” and eschews most number systems completely, or some would be listed as DK (or worsted), but not all in the same “weight” group for other vendors. Only weaving stores used the X/Y system, but no one told me, for example, that 3/2 would probably be a good starter yarn for my first loom.
I also discovered that the whole “must use weaving yarn for your warp” was more than slightly anal retentive. Almost all the earthy folk say that as long as it doesn’t bust easily, any thread will do because there is far less tension on the warp on a rigid heddle loom than on bigger looms.
And I did consider I was maybe being dense, but I saw others on FB groups asking similar questions.
So, here you go, a total amateur who has yet to even try weaving anything, trying to decipher things so you don’t have to. I apologize for any misinformation above and I will correct it (if I remember to) as I continue to learn. Any errors are completely unintentional.