September 2004

Using Coned Yarn

This month I want to talk about coned yarn and its differences with yarn in skeins/balls or hanks.

Coned yarns are usually prepared for knitting machines. They may be treated with some kind of chemical or wax to smooth them out for easy passage through carriage and needles. Other than that, there is no difference between coned yarn and yarn in skeins, except that coned yarn is not as expensive.

To figure out how exactly coned yarn will look after it is knit, just make a swatch and wash it. Once the wax is out, the yarn looks different from its cone status. It becomes fluffy and will feel different.

Some hand knitters/crocheters do not like the feel of the wax on their hands when they work with coned yarn. To address this problem, wind off some yarn into a hank, wash it, and let it completely dry. Then make it into a ball and work with it. It may be too tedious to unwind yarn and rewind it into a ball, but it is worth it.

The advantage of using yarn off the cone is that the yarn is a very long continuous piece and there is no need to join it at the end of each skein.

The weight of coned yarn is similar to the weight of yarn in skeins/balls. A yarn that has 1000 yards per pound is worsted weight or heavier. A yarn with 1000 to 1400 yards per pound is about DK weight. Yarn more than 1400 yards per pound could be either sport or fingering (baby) weight. The best way to figure out the weight of the yarn and the appropriate needle/hook to use, is making a swatch and seeing for yourself. This works for yarns in skeins too. You might not like the recommended needle/hook size on the label.

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

Your comments about the appearance and function of this site are welcomed by

© Copyright NeedlecraftUniversity.com