The different weights of crochet cotton refer to the thickness based on the number of plies. A ply is made when two or more threads are twisted together to form a single strand. Different weights of cotton are produced when different plies are created. The weight of the cotton is listed on the label signifying the thickness of the strand. As the number grows larger, the cotton becomes thicker.
One of the thinnest weights of crochet cotton, baby weight crochet cotton is also commonly known as fingering yarn. It is a 4 ply weight of cotton, meaning it is very thin and lightweight. It is one of the thinnest weights of crochet cotton, second only to lace. This weight of crochet cotton is generally used for thin socks, shawls, and baby clothing. A small crochet hook can be used for this weight of cotton.
Also known as double knitting yarn, sport weight is a crochet cotton that is labelled as sport weight is usually a 5-to-9 ply weight. It is the third thinnest cotton used for crocheting. A medium sized crochet hook is used with this weight of crochet cotton. Sport weight is usually used for vests, blouses or doilies. It can also be used for some baby clothes and lightweight sweaters or blankets.
This medium width crochet cotton is a heavier weight cotton and thicker than sport weight. Worsted weight is a 10 ply cotton. It is used for a wide range of projects such as hats, blankets and heavier blankets. Most beginners of crocheting use this weight cotton because it is easier to work with than thinner weight cottons. Worsted weight cotton is the most commonly used weight of crochet cotton because of its ease of use and versatility. Depending on the thickness, medium or large crochet hooks are usually used with this crochet cotton.
Also known as rug, craft or chunky yarn, bulky weight cotton is very popular among those who wish to tackle large projects. Bulky weight is a 12-ply cotton. Because of its thickness, this weight of crochet cotton is generally used to make afghans, parkas, coats and other cold weather items such as scarves and gloves. Only large crochet hooks are recommended for this weight of crochet cotton.