As a beginning crocheter, I was mystified by all there is to know about yarn and craft supplies. My stash was exclusively Red Heart yarn and cheap-o wooden hooks from Amazon (don’t judge me!). Over the years, I’ve expanded my horizons and even played around with lighter weight yarns that are rarely advertised to us hookers. In this quick post, I’m clearing up any confusion about my current favorite yarn weight: DK.
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What is DK Weight Yarn?
In the craft world, DK stands for double knitting. Double knitting can be a lot of things, like an actual knitting technique, or holding two lengths of yarn together while knitting or crocheting. In this case, DK only references the weight of the yarn and has no obvious deeper meaning. You may also hear DK weight yarn called “baby yarn” or “light yarn”.
According to Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Yarn Weight System, DK weight yarn falls into the category 3-Light yarn weight, along with light worsted yarns. It is thinner than category 4-Medium yarns (a.k.a. worsted weight yarn) and heavier than 2-Fine yarns (a.k.a. sport weight yarn). Often, holding two strands of DK weight yarn together can be substituted for worsted weight yarn.
Nearly every kind of project is suitable for DK weight yarns, as they are easy to handle, work up faster than super fine yarns, and are available in a range of brands and colors. The lighter weight of DK yarn makes it ideal for pieces like baby blankets, spring cardigans, shawls, and cowls.
DK Weight Yarns
Mandala from Lion Brand Yarn. Mandala was an instant hit when it arrived on shelves in 2017. I’m guilty of snatching 5 balls of the Centaur colorway before I had a project planned. The idea of putting 5 colors of yarn in a single “cake” was genius and it continues to fly off of the shelves. See all of the available colors on the Lion Brand website. (Photo credit – LionBrand.com)
Cloudborn Superwash Merino. There’s a lot to love about this yarn: it’s super soft, affordable (currently on sale for $9.10), and washing machine friendly. I could easily see a simple striped baby blanket or late-winter shawl made in Cloudborn Superwash Merino. (Photo credit: Craftsy.com)
City Tweed DK. 2017 was a great year for new and inventive yarns. Tweeds made a comeback in a big way, and (in my opinion), Knit Picks did it best with their City Tweed series. The DK version is an Merino/alpaca blend with a subtle sheen and the most gorgeous shades. (Photo credit: KnitPicks.com)
Bernat Softee Baby. Baby blankets were my very first foray into DK weight yarns, and they were the perfect place to start. Bernat Softee Baby wasn’t around when I needed to make a blanket, but I’m glad it’s around now. The premium acrylic yarn means it’s soft to the touch, lightweight, and easy to care for. Craftsy has this gorgeous yarn in 27 solids, tweeds and variegated shades. (Photo credit: Craftsy).
Swish DK. If you’re looking for a better alternative to everyday, big box yarns, Swish DK is the way to go. This yarn comes inclusively in solid colors and has amazing stitch definition. It is made from superwash Merino and incredibly soft. Two dozen reviews don’t lie – this yarn is perfect for everything. (Photo credit – KnitPicks.com).
Cotton Bamboo from the LB Collection. I’ll be honest – I’m not a huge cotton yarn fan. I just have a lot of problems with 100% cotton yarn. But the Cotton Bamboo skeins offered from Lion Brand’s web-exclusive LB Collection makes up for all of my reservations. It’s a blend with bamboo, which adds softness and drape to projects made with it. (Photo Credit – LionBrand.com)
DK Weight Patterns – Crochet
The Adore Shawl, my newest pattern, available on TLYarnCrafts.com.
The Berlin Hat from Kiku Corner. Pattern and photo credit.
Granny Stripes Blanket from Attic 24. Pattern and photo credit.
DK Weight Patterns – Knit
Copenhagen Calling from Isabell Kraemer. Pattern and photo credit.
Hilla Hat from Alexis Winslow. Pattern and photo credit.
Simple House Slippers from Temple of Knit. Pattern and photo credit.
Have you tried DK weight yarn before? What are some of your favorite yarns and patterns? Tell me in the comments below.
Stylecraft Special DK is another great DK weight yarn! It’s 100 percent acrylic and extremely soft. I bought some from LoveCrochet’s website a couple of years ago and it works up great with any kind of project. Plus, it’s pretty cheap at less than three dollars each for 322 yards.
Toni L. says
I haven’t tried Stylecraft yarns yet. Thanks for the recommendation!
Thanks for the article- I was stumped because I am a new crocheter, but also not living in my home country trying to figure things out in a different language… well, it’s a little rough xD
Debbi Broderick says
This article was so helpful, thank you for sharing. I am wanting to make a temperature blanket and the one I found suggested DK yarn. When going to our local store I could not find anything that said DK yarn on it, now I know what to look for. Thank you!!
Toni L. says
Hi Debbi! I’m so glad that you’re interested in trying out a temperature blanket. When looking for DK weight yarn in the store, look for a yarn with a Category 3 weight. It may just say “light” on the label.
Double knitting does in fact have a “deeper” meaning. It was used in British terms to describe the thickness you would get when holding two strands of thinner yarn together, before they started making all different yarn weights. I’ve read people say that “knitting” yarn was lace weight, fingering weight, or “4-ply” which is what they call fingering or sock yarn in British terms. So if they needed thicker yarn they would hold or ply 2 together, thus double knitting.
I bought Patons beehive baby sport. Actually that is all I could find in the stores today because of the situation in deliveries. I am going to double it because it is 3 weight and too thin for a blanket as a gift. I can’t get my mind around about all these different types of yarn. I just go by feel and what I am going to make. I am fairly new to crocheting but have been happy with the few things I have made,although I do a lot of taking out if I’m not happy with how it looks or just not happy with it. Thanks Carolyn
Toni L. says
Thanks for sharing, Carolyn. It takes skill to gauge what to do with the feel of a yarn. I hope your baby blanket turns out great 🙂
Hannah K says
love the blog! I am a fan of cotton bamboo yarn, love to use it for my scarves.
Susan Clark says
I still don’t have a clue what DK yarn is – 4 ply? 8 ply? Something else? Theses are the type of measurements we use where I live. Help!
Toni L. says
Hi! DK is a term used a lot here in the States. I found THIS chart which should clear things up.
Thanks Toni! This chart is great and I love your blog. This article particularly is so helpful. Plus I think you’re a genius with your patterns.