What Is DK Weight Yarn? (Your Guide To Double Knitting Yarn)


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. 

What is dk weight yarn?

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. 

Learn everything about the different yarn weights here – Yarn Weight Guide (+ Conversion Chart)

Related Post: How To Measure Gauge In Knitting

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double knitting yarn

DK Yarn FAQ’s

What is double knitting weight yarn?

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.
Rico Baby Cotton DK

What is DK yarn’s gauge?

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. 

What is the recommended knitting needles and crochet hook size for DK yarn? 

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. 

What number yarn is DK?

DK yarn has a symbol of 3 and a gauge of 21–24 stitches per 4 inches using 5-7 US needles and UK 4mm or 4.5mm knitting needle size.DK yarn Paintbox

What Ply is the double knitting weight yarn?

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 Weight Guide (+ Conversion Chart)
This is an 8-Ply yarn below:

What can you knit with DK yarn?

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.knitted arm warmers in worsted weight yarn

How do I know if my yarn is DK?

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. – How To Read A Yarn Label (Step By Step)
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.
how to read a yarn label the petite wool

Can I use Worsted instead of DK?

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.Holding 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.

Berroco Modern Cotton DK by Berroco

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 Acrylic by Deramores

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 Cotton DK by Paintbox Yarns

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 Superwash by Cascade Yarns

Cascade 220 yarn is the perfect combination of affordability, quality, and versatility that can be used for a huge range of projects. 

Cascade Ultra Pima by Cascade Yarns

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.

Malabrigo Dos Tierras By Malabrigo

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.

DK Yarn Knitting And Crochet Patterns

If you are ready to start your DK yarn / double knitting yarn adventures check out the knitting and crochet patterns below and you might find your next project.

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What is double knitting yarn?

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