a variety of yarnsYarn Swapping
Part 3: Working with Handspun Yarns

Handspinners have the distinct advantage of being able to create custom yarns exactly to their specifications. Unfortunately, their yarns don't come with labels specifying their gauge and yardage.

To determine the gauge of your handspun yarn, you must use the "wraps per inch" unit of measurement, also known as WPI. Here's how to do it.

Using a standard ruler, start wrapping your handspun yarn around the ruler, being careful not to overlap the strands or create gaps between them. Once you've wrapped your yarn around an inch of the ruler, simply count the number of wraps you made.

Then, use the chart below to find the closest corresponding gauge, yarn category, and needle size that will work for your yarn. You can use this information to match your handspun with the best pattern.

In This Article

WPI Category Gauge Needle (U.S.)
19-22 Fingering 7-8 sts = 1" 1-3
14-19 Sport 6-6.5 sts = 1" 4-6
11-13 DK 5.5-6 sts = 1" 5-7
10-12 Worsted 4-5.5 sts = 1" 7-9
8-10 Bulky 3-3.5 sts = 1" 10-11
4-8 Superbulky / Polar 1.5-3.5 sts = 1" 13-17


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