A Yarn Weight Key for Holding Two Strands Together

Holding two strands of yarn together can make some beautiful projects. I came across several blogs and lovely patterns on Ravelry which show some spectacular outcomes of holding two yarns of the same weight together.

I’ve got it in my head to do a gradient sweater with a set of Miss Babs Fingering Weight yarn and I’m not too keen on knitting it at a fingering weight. I once knit a sport weight and it took me over a year to complete it (of course not knitting monogamously).  And yet, patterns like the Happily Sweater by Katy Banks, the Progressive Pullover by Faina Goberstein and the Gradient Pullover by Amy Miller are calling my name!


I’ve been looking for a key to holding two strands together and couldn’t find a definitive source. This won’t be one either, as this is not an exact science. But after researching and testing I came up with what you could use as a good rule of thumb. After that, swatching should get you the rest of the way.

First to the Craft Yarn Council to get the “standard weight” categories, including a “new” knitted yarn weight called Jumbo—which I often get by hold three worsted weight strands together. The table below is a modified version of what you’ll find at their site. I encourage you to look there for the full table.

Fingering 10-count thread
Sock, Fingering, Baby
Sport, Baby
DK, Light Worsted
Worsted, Afghan, Aran
Chunky, Craft, Rug
Super Bulky, Roving
Jumbo, Roving
Gauge Range Over 4”
33–40 stitches
27–32 stitches
23–26 stitches
21–24 stitches
16–20 stitches
12–15 stitches
7–11 stitches
6 stitches or less

In general, from standard yarn sources (e.g., Quince and Co, Lion Brand or Cascade Yarns, in general I find the following is true:

  • 2 strands of thread weight = Lace weight to fingering
  • 2 strands of lace weight = fingering to sock to sport weight
  • 2 strands of sock = sport weight to DK
  • 2 strands of sport = DK or light worsted
  • 2 strands of DK = Worsted or Aran
  • 2 strands of Worsted = Chunky
  • 2 strands of Aran = Chunky to Super Bulky
  • 2 strands of Chunky = Super bulky to Jumbo

Always check your gauge, since your mileage may vary. I’m selfishly sharing so I could put the list in a place I could find it. 😊

Maybe next time I’ll do some tests with mixed weights, since I do an awful lot of those combinations too. And after that maybe three strands.

Like so much with knitting, the possibilities are endless!

45 thoughts on “A Yarn Weight Key for Holding Two Strands Together

  1. Thank you so much for this handy key! It also should work in reverse for a number of patterns I have that call for knitting with multiple strands of yarn that’s a little (or a lot) outside my budget 😉


  2. Thank you so much for your idea of doubling thinner yarn for patterns that call for thicker yarn. I am a beginner and get so confused. Marge


  3. THANK YOU! I have a sweater pattern I want to knit, but I am unemployed and unable to purchase 8 skeins of chunky yarn that cost $26 each, but I have a stash of worsted weight yarn languishing in my stash. You have no idea how much this is appreciated! I would definitely be interested in your mixed weight experiments.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent posting, thanks so much. I have lots of yarn in my stash…lots of fingering. I’ll try a marling two colors together and play.


    1. I have been trying a few swatches and I can up with some beautiful results. I have also been experimenting with another technique I discovered on YouTube called Heliacal Knitting. It combines two or three different colors and becomes a stripe or a way to blend.

      Right now I am knitting with a double strand of lace weights that seem nice as a light worsted on US #7 ( my favorite size needle). It will be warm but not hot.

      Thanks for the inspiration!


  5. I have lace weight yarn and the pattern calls for DK weight. I’m hoping that 3 strands will equal DK weight. Do you have a 3 strand chart for what it equals. I’m going to give it a try, I’ll let you know if it works.


    1. That would be great! I was thinking about doing a 3-strand post and even a post on different weights held together–but just haven’t managed it. I’d love to see what you find out.


      1. I have found that if you check the “mm” of the knitting needle and start with the same, or close, “mm” equivalent crochet hook it is usually correct. At least it works for my kitchen sets. I don’t do much in crochet, but me and my kids have this favorite potholder pattern that is crocheted using worsted weight cotton and an H (5.5mm) crochet hook. So, I thought, if I knit the hand towel ??? so I tried the size 9 (5.5mm) knitting needle. It worked! But, if you are doubling up to create a heavier yarn for a project there are a bunch of charts, including from the “Craft Yarn Council” that will give you yarn weight and needle/hook size info–go for the end product size of the doubled yarn. As you said, yarns aren’t an exact science, within a weight family some are lighter or heavier and I’ve had to “adjust” to get the fabric desired. Also I don’t always have access to or can afford yarns listed in patterns. So I have been keeping with the patterns worked info on the brand and type of yarn (weight, fiber, etc.) and what hook/needle I ultimately needed to get the gauge and/or desired fabric. If nothing else, I hope this gets you “in the ballpark” and helps you get started. I hate to swatch, but when “playing” with yarns those little swatches are less painful to redo and redo until you get what you are looking for. Good luck!


  6. Hi! This is great! Thanks for the chart. Have you, perchance, a charge for mixed weights? I want to knit a laceweight mohair/silk yarn with a fingering or sport weight merino yarn but I do not know what yarn weight I will end up with. Thanks!


    1. I haven’t, but it seems like a good thing to do. And it wouldn’t be too hard. I can just take the two strands together and see how they work against a single strand like I did with the doubling. Maybe I’ll get to that next month! I’m just buried right now!


  7. Any thoughts on how to modify pattern after you double up? Specifically: I have a pattern that calls for fingering weight but I want to double it. I know how to check gauge, so is my only option to use a smaller needle to match gauge? And that way i’m still working the same # of stitches that pattern calls for? If that’s the only option then I probably WON’T double up (altho it would look beautiful) because I don’t want to have to knit on Size 1 needles! Do you think generally the heavier weight adds to length more than width of the stitches?


    1. Doubling the weight would be the same as ising a yarn that is twice as thick. What you need to do is knit a guage swatch with the doubled yarn. When you know the gauge of your swatch you can then apply it to your desired measurements.

      I find it never exactly half the number of stitches, even when I use the called for yarn. But it will be far less than if you use a single strand and go much faster. The fabric will also be thicker, which I think of as a plus, not a minus.


  8. This is brilliant. Very helpful. I have been stranding yarns for years but never understood exactly how this works. Its really helpful because I found I have accumulated lots of lace weight which I just do not want to knit up as lace weight so I was trying to work out how to strand to make something I actually want to knit. Thanks so much. I am intending to link back to you – probably in a few months because I would like to let my own readers know about this. I will do that once I have knitted something from your chart. I hope you do not mind. If you do please let me know so I do not do that. Until then I have two other knitting projects to finish. I tend to have two on the go at once. One has plain knitting and the other has something more complicated so when its late at night and I am tired I stop doing the difficult one and swap. This in theory means I have to unpick and reknit less. It does not always work but kind of helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found it useful! I’ve got several more things in the hopper to write up, but have just been too busy. You’ve inspired me to put them back to the top of the queue. Cheers!


  9. So very helpful. I have heard different knitters allude to this type of substitution, but could not find a good summary. Thank you and thank you “Google!”


  10. Really useful. I just started a Lacey scarf pattern and it is clearly coming out too fine, so I’m going to try doubling the yarn. Many thanks.


  11. I have saved this to my profile page on Ravelry along with your website link so I can refer back to it often. If this is not okay with you, please let me know. This is such a big help to me and I know I will use it often. Thank you so much for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve just discovered this site — and your chart, and thrilled! I’m dying to do an ombre sweater and have found the perfect pattern I want in Lion brand wool-ease worsted – and been fiddling about trying to figure out what weight yarn for two strands. Will definitely try out a 2x DK combo!


  13. Could you take this to the next step, please, and provide some guidance on how to calculate the yardage that’s required for an item when using two strands of yarn? When using two strands of the same yarn? Two different weights of yarn?

    For two strands of the same yarn it seems as if I’d need twice the yardage required for an item knit up at the gauge of the combined yarns but that’s an instinctive conclusion, not one based on the math.

    For context, I frequently use two strands of fingering that knit up at six stitches per inch and combined knit up at 4 stitches per inch on 9s or 4 1/2 stitches per inch on 8s.

    Coming back to calculating gauge for two strands of the same yarn, the formula I learned is to double the number of stitches for one strand and divide by three. That works for me,

    Thank you!


    1. Hi Hope!

      That would take a whole lot of knitting to work out and it would never be accurate because everyone’s gauge is different.

      I appreciate your equation and I believe it works because you are using only fingering yarn, but I suspect it may not work as well for other yarn weights.

      There is a way to get a good estimate. It requires a swatch and a bit more math. I started to write it here, but it got a bit to long. How about I post a blog about it?

      Thanks for the inspiration!


      1. Hi Kristin,

        Thanks so much for your response! I’d love to see a blog post on this.

        As for calculating gauge for two strands of the same weight held together by multiplying by two and dividing by three, I’ve used it for a variety of different yarn weights and found that it works consistently. I wouldn’t think that one’s tension would affect the equation because the tension would vary consistently whether one were using one strand of yarn or two. That said, it’s still just a rule of thumb.

        For the question of how to calculate yardage, not gauge, when knitting with multiple strands of either (1) the same yarn or (2) different ones, I’m assuming that I’m working with a pattern that has yardage requirements for various gauges.

        I can think of several possible algorithms for calculating that yardage. I may go swatch a little and see what the results are.

        Thanks again!


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