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Fine yarn, often used for weaving, comes measured in the New metric, or Nm system. This was rather confusing at first but I have now figured out how this converts to knitting weights.

The weight is expressed as two numbers, with a backslash separating them, such as 2/30, 2/60, 1/30, 1/15, etc. Sometimes these two numbers are reversed.

The second (and larger) number refers to the meters of yarn per gram of a single strand of the yarn, so 30 indicates that each gram of the single strand of yarn is 30m in length.

The first (and smaller) number refers to the ply, so how many single strands have been wound together to make the finished yarn. This does not necessary indicate the thickness, as fatter yarn can be made as single ply, and very thin yarn can have several plys.

So, a 2/30nm yarn is two strands of 30m/g yarn, plied together, giving 15m/g for the finished yarn. A 1/15nm is a single strand of 15m/g yarn. A 100g of either 2/30nm or 1/15nm yarn therefore is 1500m long.

1/15 and 2/30nm are approx. laceweight.
1/60 is approx. cobweb weight.

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Blocking

I have been thinking about blocking quite a lot, wondering what it’s all about. I dry-block (warm iron on a damp towel over) knitted pieces to reduce the curl on the edges before sewing up, but until recently I have not noticed any difference. With the Zig Zag ribbed vest, I used a warmer iron on a damper cloth over the pieces and it seemed to have neatened out the stitches somewhat. With Hollis’s cable vest, I had to wet-block to stretch out the ribs. Read More

Clover point protecter

When I started knitting, I liked usingĀ  metal straight needles because they are inexpensive and somehow seem traditional. But I have since converted to Japanese bamboo needles. Knitting with circulars also changed my preference to knitting with shorter needles (less elbow room needed). Hollis’s cable vest needed 4.0mm to achieve the correct gauge and it seemed a waste to buy yet another set of needles. So I converted my double-pointed bamboo needles into straights using point protectors. Read More