Today we’re taking a deeper dive into the technique of knitting using two yarns held together, also known as double stranding yarns. For this post, we’re pairing Wooly, our classic 4-ply worsted weight superwash merino, with Skylark, our lofty one-ply fingering weight superwash merino. Read on to see how combining these yarns can open up your spring knitting to a fresh bloom of color combinations!
WOOLY AND SKYLARK
Wooly and Skylark make a perfect pairing for a number of reasons. First, each yarn is available in a collection of twelve neutrals, jewel tones, and pastels, many of which coordinate between the two yarns. Second, both yarns are made of 100% superwash merino wool, which means that projects can be blocked and washed as usual without having to adapt for different fibers. And third, both yarns are put up in 100g skeins, which makes it very easy to determine what needle size to use.
CALCULATING NEEDLE SIZE FOR DOUBLE STRANDING
In our previous post about double stranding with Wonder and Marvel, we tried out different needle sizes to find a gauge we liked. And while we always recommend knitting a swatch no matter what, it’s also great to use all the tools at our disposal.
Math is a great time saver in knitting. Looking at the standard yarn weight system, we can see that a yarn’s weight determines the range of needle sizes that are recommended for knitting it. Wooly is a worsted weight yarn, which has a recommended needle range of US size 7 – 9. Skylark is a fingering weight yarn, for which the recommended needle range is typically US size 1 – 3. So, what needle size would you use to knit with Wooly and Skylark held together?
Knowing that a yarn’s weight is determined by the number of yards per 100g, there’s a simple formula we can use to estimate the recommended needle size: (Yarn A Yardage per 100g + Yarn B Yardage per 100g) ÷ 4 = Double Stranded Yardage per 100g. Wooly is 219yds/100g and and Skylark is 350yds/100g. Let’s see what result we get when we do the math.
(219 + 350) ÷ 4 = 142.25
A yarn with roughly 142yds/100g falls squarely in the Aran weight range, which is one step heavier than worsted weight. The next heavier weight, Chunky, has a recommended needle range of US size 9 – 11. I decided to split the difference and knit my double-stranded swatches on US size 9 needles, which produced a plush, cushiony fabric similar to what you would get from a chunky merino wool yarn. US size 10, 11, or possibly 13 needles could work for this combination as well, with larger-sized needles producing loftier fabrics with more drape.
Stay tuned for our next post, where we break down the color selections we used to knit our swatches using Wooly and Skylark!