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 What does DK stand for?
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katz1ofmany
New Pal

USA
36 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  8:01:53 PM  Show Profile  Send katz1ofmany a Yahoo! Message Send katz1ofmany a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm feeling rather stupid. Pattern calls for worsted weight yarn or
DK I don't have a clue what that means. Any help?

blwinteler
Permanent Resident

USA
3145 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  8:07:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit blwinteler's Homepage  Send blwinteler a Yahoo! Message Send blwinteler a Private Message  Reply with Quote
DK is Double Knit. It is a lighter weight than worsted, but that is about all I can tell you on that :)

Take care!
Brandy

My finished projects

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Not all Dumbs are Blonde.
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MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  10:06:54 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hope this helps
http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2008 :  02:55:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
DK is double knit which is called that because it is twice the thickness of 4ply (the old std). Anyway it knits up at 22 st and 30 rows over 10cm at a standard tension. Another name for it is 8ply if you are getting Australian or NZ wool.

Most worsted I believe is a bit thicker and knits up at around 18st to 4"?

Wen

2008 stats: 1 FO, 5 WIP, 0 frogpond.
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achrisvet
Permanent Resident

USA
5986 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2008 :  7:48:43 PM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I usually think of worsted as 20 stitches per 4 inch (10 cm). 18 st is heavy worsted or Aran.

There is always some leeway in all these descriptions.

Anita
My completed projects

and here

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Arrabella
Chatty Knitter

New Zealand
100 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2008 :  03:09:39 AM  Show Profile Send Arrabella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
DK is also called 8ply.
Way back, many years ago, 4 ply was the norm for knitting yarns then they came up with a yarn which was twice the thickness so they called it Double Knitting yarn which was shortened to DK.
Now of course, you can also get 12ply which is also called Triple Knit, 14ply which is also called Chunky and 16ply which is also called Bulky.
Wen is correct, this all applies in NZ and Australia but I am no longer sure in the rest of the world where words like Worsted Weight etc are used. Worsted used to be a type of yarn or fabric rather than a ply or thickness.
This is what I found on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worsted

DK is knitted on a 4mm needle with 3.25 for the ribbing and as Wen said, it works to 22 stitches and 30 rows to 10cm on the 4mm needles.
DK is my yarn of choice now because it is much kinder to my hands and so are the needles needed to work it with.

Have fun.
Colleen.
PS Double Knitting now also means 2 layers of knitting done at once.

In NZ, there are about 4 million people & 40 million sheep.
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2008 :  9:51:03 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Up until the early part of the 20th century, virtually all knit and crochet projects were done on what we now term lightweight yarns. Baby, or fingering weight, was about the thickest yarn commercially available up until the 30s some time. Sport weight came in at about 1/3 more thickness than fingering. Fingering was usually 3 or 4 ply of finer plies for durability. Sport weight was brought out as thicker, but in order to make the yarn seem soft and lofty, it was 2 ply with much thicker plies. Eventually, sport yarn got doubled to a 4 ply yarn that for some reason was termed a "worsted" weight. It was popular and prevalent primarily in the states. In Europe, the heavyweight yarn was a doubled sock or fingering weight - thusly called Double Knitting and often just 8 ply of the same number as 4 ply fingering. It is just a bit thinner than the traditional worsted or 4ply weight.

Since the 80s, as there was never any written rules for yarn weight, only an unwritten convention, manufacturers have taken to "thinning" plies to make it seem as if the customer is getting more value. Often they will use thinner plies and still call it 4 ply or DK. There is no solid industry wide standard, overall the customer must navigate this quagmire with little help.

Llinn
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PamelaA3
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2008 :  09:17:18 AM  Show Profile Send PamelaA3 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While in England, during 1989, I first came across the DK term. There were many beautiful patterns in this weight of yarn. I bought the patterns and came home to the US looking for this weight of yarn. It did not exist here. DK weight is only 22 stitches per inch according to the books of that time period. US manufacturers became aware of this DK weight and started making it here. Then less expensive yarns put their label on it. However, the less expensive yarns did not make this gauge. I guess they did not have the manufacturing set up to do it. DK was knitted originally with two strands of finger weight. If you want to increase your choice of colors or use a particular fiber, you can use two strands of finger weight that normally knit to 7.5 stitches per inch and get very close, if not on target, for DK. I use this method a lot of the time. I love Dale Baby Ull merino and make DK weight items from it. If you decide to try this, change to 4mm needles with the two strands. US 5 is smaller and US 6 is bigger than 4mm even though manufacturers will say they are the same. Of course if you cannot get gauge with 4mm, change to one of the US needles. Even different brands of needles will be slightly sized different. Not all size 5s or 6s are equal. Different finishes on needles will give different gauges due to the slicky or grab of the finish.

To figure a gauge using two strands of any yarn multiply the number of stitches per inch on the ball band X .72. That will give you the new expected gauge.

Good Luck,

Pam, in Raleigh
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2008 :  5:16:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you convert to the Aus/NZ weight names it makes working out the conversion easy. DK =8ply fingering=4ply therefore 2xfingering=DK. It works on every weight as that is how the names were derived. A 12ply pattern can be made with 3 strands of finger or a fingering and a DK. Aran (10ply) = 2 x sport(5ply).

8ply/DK has been the standard for most adult knitting in Australia since the early 1970s. We are only just starting to get Aran and worsted weight yarns, readily available we 8ply or 12 ply(16st to 10cm) nothing in between.

Wen

2008 stats: 1 FO, 5 WIP, 0 frogpond.
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