ball vs skein?

knit_knot_eat's picture

I have a pattern that calls for 4 balls of yarn. Is this the same as a skein? I thought things came in different amounts so you need to get the right amount by either weight (ounces) or yards.
It just seems odd to me because it is for a sweater and it wants 4 balls. Another pattern for a sweater wants 8 skeins of the same yarn. Seems like a big difference if you ask me. I just want to make sure that I get enough yarn when I buy it.

AndrewNiehus's picture

Normally with Lion Brand the

Normally with Lion Brand the yarn they are talking about is the yarn the pattern is attached to. Which pattern are you trying to make?

YugiDean's picture

My experience with Lion

My experience with Lion Brand is that their free patterns are typically found on the same page as one of their yarns. So if you need four balls of yarn and you found the pattern from the Wool-Ease page (or if the pattern refers back to that), then you would need four balls of THAT yarn. If you don't want to use that particular yarn/brand, then just look at the yarn there and base your purchase/yardage off that. Using Wool-Ease as the example again, one ball/skein is worsted weight and has 197 yards. So any worsted weight yarn with a total of 788 yards is what you would need. The ball/skein/hank wording is irrelevant since you can turn a skein and a hank into a ball by winding them. :-)

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright

knit_knot_eat's picture

I do plan on buying their

I do plan on buying their yarn. My question still remains though. Do they sell both balls and skeins, and can I buy the wrong thing? Or basically if I find their yarn, I will be getting the right thing

YugiDean's picture

There's not really a

There's not really a specific yardage difference between a "ball" of yarn or a "skein" of yarn. The term just indicates how it is packaged. A ball would be (obviously) a ball, which TYPICALLY means (from my experience) that you can use it as a center-pull ball without doing anything special. A skein seems to me to be the neatly coiled and twisted bundles of yarn that are not wrapped into a ball yet and either a store can do it or you can do it yourself. A hank, from what I have seen, ends up being a lot like a skein only not usually neatly coiled and twisted...just a big, floppidy bunch of yarn with a label around it.

I could be wrong on that, but that's how my LYS seems to want to designate them.

In other words, it doesn't matter what they call it. The important part is how many yards and what weight the yarn is. If their pattern calls for a specific Lion Brand yarn type, and you plan on getting that same yarn, then just get four of it, whether they call it a ball, skein, or hank. If you want to get a different yarn, you'll have to refer back to the specifications for the yarn they designate in the pattern. Look to see the yardage per ball/skein/hank and purchase that amount of yardage in a yarn that has the same weight.

In short, if you find the yarn mentioned in the pattern (i.e., Wool-Ease) and buy the quantity of balls/skeins/hanks they specify, that should be perfect. :-)

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright

knit_knot_eat's picture

It says nothing about weight

It says nothing about weight or yards. It is a free pattern from Lion Brand.
they do mention gage as 4.5 sts and 8 rows to be 1 inch. Using 4 balls (or lion brand yarn of course) and size 8 needles.

Does it say what the weight

Does it say what the weight of each ball is?

MasonM's picture

Yeah somewhere in there it

Yeah somewhere in there it should give you an idea of how many yards are involved. If not, it's a poorly written pattern.


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