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A Helpful Hints Page for Spinners, Weavers and Knitters!

Thread Counts
Yarn count or count of thread is the number of yards required to make one pound of size one cotton, linen, or wool. This is the larger number in the thread count (i.e., the '10' in 10/3). Note also that with cotton, the larger number is generally on top (as in 20/2) and with wool, the larger number is generally on the bottom. Size 1 cotton is 840 yards; size 1 worsted wool is 560 yards, size 1 linen is 300 yards. Size 2 indicates that there is twice the yardage which is half the diameter of size 1. Size 3 indicates that there is three times the yardage which is 1/3 the diameter of size 1. Size 10 indicates that there is 10 times the yardage which is 1/10 the diameter of size 1, and so on. The smaller number indicates the number of plies (i.e., the '3' in 10/3). For example, in cotton, take the yarn count of cotton (840 yards) times 10 (because it is #10), to equal 8400, and divide by the 3 plies to get 2800 yards per pound. For 20/2 cotton, take 840 yards times size 20, divided by 2, to equal 8400 yards per pound. Each different type of fiber will have a different weight. Cotton, spun silk, rayon, and acetate, are all 840 yards per pound. Wool, Cut System, is 300 yards per pound. Wool, Worsted System, is 560 yards per pound. Wool, Run System, is 1600 yards per pound. Linen, hemp, jute and ramie are all 300 yards per pound. Silk and Synthetic silk in weights of 1 through 20 denier are all 450 yards per pound.
10/2? 3/12?
To convert wool yarn weight (as in 3/12 yarn) to yards per pound, multiply the bottom number (in this case 12) by 560 (for wool) and then divide the total by the top number (3). For example, 3/12 wool is actually 2240 yards/pound. Fingering weight yarn is usually considered around 1650 - 2200 yards/pound.
Viscose (or viscose rayon) is a regenerated cellulose fibre discovered by C.F. Cross and E. J. Bevan in 1891; the first commercial production was done in 1905 by Courtaulds. It is made from cotton linters or wood pulp usually obtained from spruce and pine trees. Initially viscose was called 'artificial silk' and later named 'rayon' because of its brightness and similarities in structure with cotton - the name is derived from sun ray plus cotton.
Knitting Needle Conversion Chart
US          Metric

0            2   
1            2.25
-            2.5  
2           2.75
-            3   
3           3.25
4            3.5  
5           3.75
-           4   
6           4.25
7           4.5  
8            5   
9           5.5  
10            6   
10.5        6.5  
-             7   
-            7.5  
11           8   
13           9   
15           10  

Fahrenheit or Celsius
To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 and multiply this number by .5556.To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 1.8 and add 32.
Ratios in Spinning
Most spinning wheels come with more than one whorl on the flyer or bobbin in order to help you choose the appropriate whorl for the type of fiber and thickness of the yarn you wish to produce. If using a wheel which is set up to give an 8:1 ratio, for each 'push' of a treadle, the drive wheel (large wheel) goes around once, which causes the flyer to revolve 8 times. A 15:1 ratio would cause the flyer to revolve 15 times per each treadling, or per each revolution of the large drive wheel; the end result would put more twist into a given fiber per treadling, than using an 8:1 ratio. Spinning very fine yarns will require more twist, and thus a 15:1 ratio would be more appropriate for spinning silk than it would be for spinning a thick wool yarn. OPINION: But, the amount of take-up that your wheel is capable of providing to place the yarn onto the bobbin is of as much importance as the ratio you are using. Some types of wheels do not allow the flexibility of tension adjustment that is necessary to provide a strong take-up. All spinners have difference preferences, and some wheels are more versatile than others . . .
Reed Substitution Chart
When planning a weaving project which utilizes a reed you do not have, you can substitute by sleying your reed with open dents or extra threads in the dent. To use this chart, choose a reed, which you have, from the numbers along the horizontal row at the top of the chart. Follow the column for that size straight down until you find the reed that your pattern calls for. Then, go all the way to the left of that reed, to find out how to sley your reed to match the one specified in your project.


Here are a few more helpful pages:
Washing Rambouillet & Merino Fleeces
Sock Pattern
Replacing Drive Bands

For a complete listing of all of our pages, please visit the
Apple Hollow Fiber Arts Home Page

Copyright 1998 - 2011, Apple Hollow LLC. Permission is required before using or reproducing material found on any of the pages on this site, regardless of whether text or images or unique ideas. Much of the art is original. Permission is NOT granted to anyone who intends to use our name, Apple Hollow, alone or in combination with any other words, for commercial or personal reason, on or off the net. Additionally, I have made every effort to both ask permission and give proper credit where necessary when using material from others, however, if any of this material is being displayed in a manner you feel is inappropriate, contact me via email so I can correct the situation.

a Mac, of course This page last updated: 16 May 2012

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