Tuesday, August 10

Cotton Crochet Thread Sizes & Equivalents

Here's how I explain the thread weights in my crochet jewelry patterns, in order of thick thread to thin, with US, UK and AUS terms:

Size #3 crochet thread is fairly equivalent in thickness to CYCA #2 Fine or US "sport weight" yarns {UK Light DK, AUS 5 Ply}; however, yarns don't necessarily behave like a cotton crochet thread of the same thickness. Jewelry patterns often require crochet thread because of its smooth, finely twisted and plied mercerized cotton, usually “z-twisted.”

Photo shows Aran Rozsana Cuffs in a range of Size #5 cotton threads and equivalent sock yarns and embroidery flosses; beads are size 6/0 ("E") seed beads.

Size #5 crochet thread is fairly equivalent in thickness to CYCA #1 Super Fine or US "fingering weight' yarn {UK & AUS 3 Ply or 4 Ply}; however, not all yarns behave like a cotton crochet thread of the same thickness, so substitutions may not work well. Six-strand cotton embroidery floss falls in this size range when crocheted with all 6 strands together.

Size #10 crochet thread: some thread crocheters call this popular size “bedspread weight.”  It's lumped together with thinner thread sizes in the yarn industry’s catch-all “lace weight” category: CYCA #0 Lace weight yarn {UK & AUS ??}; and most lace weight yarns don’t behave like a cotton crochet thread of the same thickness. Most of my thread crochet jewelry is designed for use with smooth, finely twisted and plied mercerized cotton, preferably “z-twisted” (i.e. has a counterclockwise twist).

Photo shows two jasmine bracelets, one in Size #10 thread, the other in Size #3 thread.

Size #20 crochet thread: As with Size #10 & #30 crochet threads, equivalent yarn weight names are not helpful with these extra fine threads. For the best looking and lasting crochet jewelry, use a “6-cord” thread, sometimes called "cordonnet." It has recently become easier to find in more colors than the traditional white and ecru.

Size #30 crochet thread: As with Size #10 & #20 threads, equivalent yarn weight names are not helpful with these extra fine threads. For the best looking and lasting crochet jewelry, use a “6-cord” thread, although it's difficult to find it in modern colors.