Defining Ply of Yarn with Crocheting
Yarn ply is a spinning technique which takes a single strand of yarn to create various size and colors of yarn. In the picture example, I have taken the individual strands of yarn apart so you can see what ply mean.
- 4-ply is 4 strands of yarn. Crochet hooks sizes I recommend for 4-ply are G,H, I, J, K. 4-ply is used with warm hats, mittens and heavy sweaters.
- 3-ply is 3 strands of yarn. Crochet hook sizes I recommend for 3-ply are D, E, F. 3-ply is what I use for baby booties, sweaters, hats and afghans. 3-ply is also a nice weight for adult size sweaters or a lighter weight afghan.
- 2-ply is 2 strands of yarn. Crochet hook sizes I recommend for 2-ply are B, C, D. The 2-ply is a very light or sportweight type of yarn. 2-ply is the type of yarn used in most commercial type of knit sweaters. 2-ply would be a good weight for crochet or knit socks. It would not be to light or to heavy.
There are many different types of yarn to work with. The companies are coming up with new and different types of yarn the time.
Keep in mind that different yarns will affect the outcome and size of your project. One example I can think of is Caron 4-ply and Red Heart 4-ply. Both are great yarns to work with. Red Heart is stiffer and works up larger than Caron which is softer and more flexible. I have made a granny square out of each from the same pattern, hook and there is a difference in size. The Red Heart square turned out larger. You can use 3-ply yarn with a pattern that calls for 4-ply yarn. All you will need to do is gauge and adjust your project for the smaller size yarn.