In this post, we will look at DK weight yarn or double knitting yarn.
Double knitting yarn falls in the lighter yarns group at the standard yarn weight system
And it’s the ideal weight for a variety of projects, from baby items to garments, and accessories.
Know Your Yarn Weights
Being savvy about yarn weight can come a long way in your projects.
Knowing the yarn weight you need for a pattern and the approximate stitches you get from yarn per inch can help you to substitute the yarn suggested in a pattern.
It’s highly recommended to make a gauge swatch before starting a project that requires sizing.
This is because not all yarns of a certain weight are exactly the same and it’s really important to have the correct sizing if you are making a sweater for example.
When we are talking about yarn weight it has less to do with the actual weight of the yarn and more about the thickness of the yarn.
According to the Craft Yarn Council, Yarn weights range from lace weight yarn to super bulky yarn, 0-7 the higher the number the fewer stitches you get per inch.
DK Yarn FAQ’s
Double knitting yarn is a 3 Light yarn weight along with light worsted yarns.
It’s heavier than 2 Fine yarns (aka sport weight yarn) and thinner than 4 medium yarns (aka worsted weight yarn).
You might hear DK weight yarn called “baby yarn” or “light yarn”, ”lightweight yarn”, ”light worsted yarn”.
Originally it was used for double knitting with a nice color design on both sides.
There are many yarns that are DK/Light Worsted/8 Ply including Pima cotton, Superwash merino wool, Swish DK, merino wool, Bernat Softee baby, and Baby alpaca.
DK yarn has a gauge of 21-24 stitches per 4 inches using the 5-7 US needles and UK 4 mm or 4.5 mm knitting needle size.
The most commonly used knitting needles are 3.75-4.5 mm needles (US 5-7) and 4.5-5.5 mm (7 to I/9 US size) hook sizes.
There is no general rule that you cannot use larger needles and the needle size depends mostly on the pattern you will choose to make.
Sometimes people ask – ‘Is worsted weight the same as 8-ply yarn?’ and the answer is no.
8-ply would normally refer to double knitting yarn.
Ply basically refers to the number of strands plied together to make yarn. It’s another way to describe the yarn’s weight and it’s mainly used in Australia, New Zealand, and in the UK.
In the USA you would probably see this called a medium weight yarn or DK yarn, in the UK DK yarn or 8-Ply, and in Australia also 8-Ply.
For more information and to see a yarn weight chart please read this post – Yarn Weights | A Beginners Guide.
This is an 8-Ply yarn below:
Double knitting yarn is perfect for any kind of knitting project as it is easy to knit and works up faster than superfine yarns.
Due to its light weight, it’s ideal for a good stitch definition in a big project like a blanket or a long summer cardigan and still thin enough for small projects like baby socks.
You can use DK yarn ( a light weight yarn) on projects such as baby blankets, spring cardigans, shawls, arm warmers, scarves, and cowls.
Everything you need to know about your yarn, you will find on the yarn label.
The yarn manufacturer provides all the necessary details about your yarn.
From the weight, the yardage, the fiber content, and the size of hooks, and needles you will need for this specific yarn.
Check out how to read a yarn label here.
TIP – If you end up throwing away the label, just Google the yarn and you will find everything you need on the brand’s website.
You could also use two strands of DK weight yarn together while knitting or crocheting to substitute a worsted weight yarn.
Be sure to make a knitting gauge swatch or crochet gauge swatch before starting your project.
The gauge may vary depending on the type of fiber you use also – for example, wool, cotton, or acrylic yarn.
My Favorite DK Weight Yarns
If you are looking to add some double-knitting yarn to your yarn stash these are some of my personal favorites.
This is a DK version of Berroco’s classic Modern Cotton yarn.
It’s available in a huge range of fresh colors, and its Pima cotton blend makes it gorgeous on the skin.
An excellent choice if you need cotton yarn.
Deramores Studio DK is a wonderfully soft acrylic yarn that has been developed with anti-pilling technology.
The most popular choice for knitting or crocheting garments, toys, accessories, and blankets.
Paintbox Yarns have created a huge palette of 56 colors in their Cotton DK range of yarns.
Made from 100% cotton, there is an enormous choice of colors on offer, and you are sure to find the perfect combination for your next knitting project.
Ideal for colorful stripes, intarsia, fair isle, or knitted toys.
Cascade 220 yarn is the perfect combination of affordability, quality, and versatility that can be used for a huge range of projects.
Ultra Pima offers a stunning range of shades in 100% Pima cotton.
Cascade Ulta Pima’s beautiful cotton will be perfect for most DK patterns.
It has a dreamy, light texture, perfect for summery cover-ups and shawls, and super-soft babywear.
The kettle-dyed semi-solid and variegated shades will inspire you to knit the most exquisite shawls, wraps, and accessories you can imagine.
Malabrigo yarn is hand-dyed, meaning that each beautiful skein is unique.