School of Yarn Semester #3 - Fingering-weight Yarns


Semester Three… It’s all about the weight! Fingering weight, to be exact. Join us as we delve into the yarn ‘weight’ system in general and then play with what that means in the fingering-weight range.

We chose fingering-weight for this foray into weights because they are enjoying a bit of a heyday in the knitting design world right now. Also they are so versatile, you can knit just about anything you heart desires out of a fingering-weight yarn: starting at the top of our heads with hats and working down to cowls, scarves, shawls, sweaters, skirts, leggings and (last but most certainly not least) cozy comfy wool socks!

We’ll continue to explore the ins & outs of fiber type, spin, plies, and final yarn construction – all of which translates into which type of fingering-weight yarn is the best fit for your chosen projects. This will give us ample opportunity to discuss why all fingering-weight yarns are not  the same! What makes for a good sock yarn, for example, as opposed to one you might use for a shawl. All of this information is good to have on hand when you’re wanting to combine different yarn bases in one project; what do you need to know so your project will end up balanced and stand the test of time and wear? Since so many fingering0weight yars are Superwash treated we will be looking at that process and what it does to yarn and it's footprint in world.

Since all yarns start with a single, we will begin there before working our way through the plies, all the way up to a yarn made with four plies as a cabled yarn.

On the history end of all of this we will be looking more closely at the what, where, where and why of the yarn weight system, which should be fun and illuminating.

We are very excited about this semester. There’s so much for us to explore that we have expanded this semester to FOUR shipments!! Since we all have super-busy lives with a host of things to knit, we have changed the timing of our shipments to every other month instead of every month. (Phew, more swatching time!)

We will be working with five bases because honestly I just could not leave any of these out. (And besides, we really wanted to make sure we covered all the bases (hee hee). We’ve chosen some of my favorite yarns for this in-depth fingering-weight study of ours.

Oh… and look at that: we have five yarns ~ five fingers, hehe. Each of these yarns tells its own diversely twisted story about weight while varying in fiber types, blends, and construction. I hope you are as excited as we are to learn and explore with our own two hands what each of these skeins has to say in terms of spin, ply, weight, color, knitting and wearing.

We will be dyeing all five of these bases in brand new and different colorways, each designed to accentuate the yarns’ attributes:

  • 1 skein of Featherlight will be dyed as a multi-hued speckled wonder, keeping with the current trend of “all about the speckles” on superwashed singles.                  
  • 1 skein of Gaea Fingering (a mighty 1100 yards!) will be dyed as a shaded solid, to show Merino's character in its purest form as a stitch magician and special garment yarn.
  • 1 skein of BFL Fingering Superwash will be dyed as a layered color, one we build on the skein hue by hue, amplifying the long-wool luminescence of BFL.
  • 1 skein of  Socks that Rock Lightweight AND 1 skein of Tigger Targhee will each be dyed the same bright and happy multi-colorway, so we can compare the differences in superwash and non-superwash sock yarns, dye-wise.
As with prior semesters of the School of Yarn, each shipment will come with a companion set of PDFs with pages and pages of invaluable information about the breed; the qualities of the fleece; how it’s spun at the mill; dyer’s notes about how it takes dye; swatching prompts to help you play with needle sizes and gauges to find each yarn’s ideal range; and project ideas both small and large. We will discuss pattern support for each yarn and have pattern recommendations and discounts for a few select patterns. Plus there will be a few little goodies in each shipment to go along with your skein and your course PDFs!

You'll also receive:      

  • A super cool Semester 3 patch
  • A nifty and useful wraps per inch gauge

Join us in the new year for a whole new set of fabulous fibers to play with, all in the fingering-weight playground!


100%  Superwash Merino
Length: 430 yds / 393 m
Weight: 4 oz / 113 g

Featherlight is a superwash-treated, fine Merino single. One of great things about a well-spun single is the airiness and loft it embodies. The trick with any single yarn (but especially a fingering-weight one) is getting just the right amount of a twist on it: enough that is holds up to both in the knitting and wearing, but not so much that is is kinky and rough. Featherlight is that perfect balance between softness and durability, like a feather dancing on a breeze.



Gaea Fingering
100% Certified Organic 21.5 Micron Merino
Weight: 8 oz / 226 g
Length: 1120 yds / 1024 m

Gaea Fingering is scrumptious yarn made from 21.5 micron certified organic Merino from Argentina. It's combed in Germany and spun in the U.S. and both mills are certified organic. I love the whole-world aspect of this yarn. Gaea has such a light and lovely hand; so much so that I didn't want to put it down when we were putting it through its paces! Gaea Fingering is a seriously versatile fingering-weight yarn, good for everything for shawls to sweaters! Also…it’s as much of a dream to dye as it is to knit.


BFL Fingering Superwash
100% Bluefaced Leicester
Weight: 4.5 oz / 127 g
Length: 405 yds /  370 m

BFL Fingering Superwash is a 100% longwool wonder! A worsted-spun 3 ply with a sheen that just won’t quit. BFL’s longwool creates high-quality semi-lustre yarns with a soft hand, beautiful drape, and superb dyeing properties.



Socks that Rock Lightweight
100% Superwash Merino
Weight: 5.15 oz / 146 g
Length: 405 yds /  370 m

Socks that Rock® is our signature sock yarn. STR Lightweight is a tightly plied, 3-ply high grade superwash merino. Socks that Rock has a lot of energy (what we like to refer to as boing factor). The 3 plies make it a well rounded yarn, which is great for stitch definition. We call it ‘Lightweight’ instead of ‘fingering weight’ because of the elasticity, which puts it in the heavier range of the fingering weights. This yarn truly rocks!


Tigger Targhee

100% Targhee
Weight: 4 oz / 113g
Length: 405 yds /  370 m

We thought: let’s take this elastic, bouncy fiber and make a cable yarn! I have to say we have not been as excited about a yarn since we made Socks that Rock. Every single person we have given it to test knit with just loves it. I think you will too! The possibilities with our super-bouncy, fun-fun-fun, Tigger Targhee are endless… just endless! We wanted a non-superwash sock yarn and we think this one is a great sock yarn because of its cabled construction. Now, it doesn’t mean they’ll last forever (what hand knit socks do, really?); what it does mean is that they will wear really well, and with all that stretch, they will be super-cozy to boot.


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