This afternoon I set out to measure the weight of some yarn I had just spun. Eyeballing it, I expected it to come out as a fingering weight yarn. So I pulled out a ruler and commenced a-wrapping. It came out to 18 wraps-per-inch (WPI).
Next, I called upon the mighty internet to find a WPI conversion chart. I said to myself, “This whole spinning and knitting thing has been around for so many centuries. There must be a standardized conversion chart.”
The results of my search were so wildly and comically inconsistent I had to write them down.
And having written them down, I felt compelled to share the pain with all of you.
Not only do different sources fail to agree, they seem to be actively at war with one another.
Depending on the source you consult, my hand-spun yarn could be considered sport weight (Knitpicks, Spinderella) or lace weight (Woolfestival, Yarnwench, Woolery, Crochetspot). Yikes.
The grossest irregularities come when measuring WPI for lace weight. The WPI values range from 18 to 40. Seriously?
I was floored to find out that the Craft Yarn Council has nothing at all to say about WPI in their standards. Neither does Spin-Off magazine (although there appears to have been an article called Debunking the Wraps-Per-Inch Myth in the Fall 2010 issue…I need to get my hands on that.)
So, a question for all you spinners out there: how do you evaluate the weight of the yarn you spin? If WPI is such a laughably useless measure, what do you use instead?
I need something I can depend on. I guess there’s nothing for it but to create my own custom WPI charts. What a pain.
I’m a new spinner so perhaps I’ve missed something. Save me from making my own WPI charts. What do you know that I don’t?