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International Yarn Standards
To standardize the naming of alpaca yarn, the AOA
(Alpaca Owners Association) Fiber and Fiber Products Committee, along with the AOA Board, recommend the adoption of the International Yarn Standards as created by the Craft Yarn Council. This standard represents a language that is universally recognized by knitters and crocheters around the world.
Numerical identification will replace the common practice of identifying yarn based on names such as “fingering weight.” The numerical naming system categorizes yarn by its diameter and assigns a number from zero to seven, with zero being the finest.
It is standard for designers worldwide to recommend the correct size of yarn for their patterns and projects. The adoption of these standards will allow yarn sellers to communicate more effectively with their customers while recommending the correct yarn for a specific pattern.
Communication with mills will also improve as it will eliminate the confusion of identifying yarn weights by name. Mill owners will simply follow the standards for categorizing yarn and supply you with the appropriate numerical name.
For more information regarding the International Yarn Standards visit
Alpaca Fiber Study by AOBA
Results are Here!
An Overview of the AOBA Alpaca Fiber Study
What we can say about alpaca fiber:
Alpaca is flame resistant, meeting the standards of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's rigid testing specifications as a Class 1 fiber for use in clothing and furnishings.
Alpaca is water resistant, making spills easy to clean up before water saturates the fiber allowing stain to develop. It is also absorbent to oils, meaning that the oils do not penetrate the fibers, but merely cling to the fiber for easy cleaning without harsh chemicals.
Alpaca is resistant to external water penetration like wool, but can slowly wick away perspiration because of its unique ability to act like cotton in moisture regain.
These factors are what makes alpaca feel lighter than wool, but warmer than cotton in cool, damp conditions.
Alpaca is free of lanolin, and thus can be processed without the need for high temperatures or harsh chemicals in washing.
Alpaca is a natural renewable fiber with a wide range of applications.
1 ounce = 28 grams
50 grams = 1.75 ounces
Lace weight yarn can be knit at a wide
gauge range, depending on how open or lacy a fabric you want. Needles range from as small as #00000 to #8; crochet hooks are in the steel range.
18 or more wpi (wraps per inch), 1000 or
more yards per pound.
Fingering weight yarn is often used for baby
items, socks, and awe inspiring Fair Isle
patterns. Fingering weight is sometimes
listed as "baby yarn" and is about double the weight of lace yarn. It also works well for a lace shawl with a bit of substance.
Needle size #1-3, 16 wpi, 900-1000 or more
Sport weight yarn and DK (double knitting)
weight yarn are often viewed as
interchangeable, but they do have a slight
difference. Sport weight yarn is a tiny bit
lighter or finer than DK weight.
Use these weights for socks, accessories,
shawls, wraps, and heirloom sweaters like
those inspired by Norwegian ski clothing.
Sport 14 wpi; 800-900 yards/pound.
DK 13 wpi; 600-800 yards/pound.
Worsted weight yarn is the most widely
available weight of yarn and the most
frequently used. At double the weight of
fingering yarn, worsted weight yarn is great
for knitters of all skill levels and can be
worked into nearly anything. Heavy worsted
weight is just a hair heavier than plain old
worsted weight. Good for the same range of
projects as worsted weight.
12 wpi; 400-600 yards/pound.
Bulky weight yarn is about twice as thick as
worsted weight yarn. The greatest part
about bulky weight is that it can be worked
up quickly on large needles. For those who
want instant knitting gratification, try a
project with bulky weight yarn. Use for
sweaters, throws, felted items, or home
10 wpi; 300-400 yards/pound.
Super bulky is the ultimate for making fast
knits. At 2 stitches per inch, you could knit up a small project in a couple of hours; a larger project in a few days.
8 or fewer wpi; less than 300 yards/pound.
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