Fingering weight yarn, also known as 'superfine yarn', 'baby yarn', 'sock yarn' or '4-ply yarn', is one of the most popular yarn weights for many knitters and crocheters. Its versatility, durability and softness makes fingering yarn the perfect yarn for socks, soft baby clothes or baby items, sweaters, shawls and other lightweight garments. Fingering weight yarn is a tough but very fine fabric and is ideal for everyday wear.
Fingering weight yarns fall into Category 1: Super Fine under the Craft Yarn Council's system. They're thicker than lace weight yarn (Category 0) and thinner than fine weight yarn (Category 2). Fingering weight yarn includes several types of fibers: merino wool, merino nylon blends, cotton, or cotton-acrylic blends.
What is the origin of the term "fingering"?
There are two theories about the origin of the term “fingering yarn”. The first one come from the Old French term “fin grain,” which means “fine grain”. The second origin is based on the Scots word “fingerin(g)”, which refers to a particular yarn spun on a small spinning wheel.
The right needle and hook sizes for fingering weight yarns
The right knitting needle or crochet hook size to use with fingering weight yarn will always depend on your project. The ideal needle size for fingering weight yarn is a US Size 1 to 3 (2.25-3.25 mm) and the crochet hook size suitable for this fine yarn is US size B-1 to E-4 (2.25 – 3.5 mm). But, of course, the chosen pattern might call for bigger or smaller needles or crochet hooks.
Knitting or crocheting gauge
We always like to mention that your gauge will vary a bit depending on the needle or hook you're using, but when knitting with fingering yarns, expect an average gauge of 27-32 stitches per 4-inches of stockinette stitch. When crocheting, expect an average gauge of 21-32 stitches per 4-inches of single crochet.
If you’re looking for a versatile, budget-friendly fiber, fingering weight yarn can be used to make beautiful and durable design and is the right yarn for your next projects.