Complete Guide to Lace Weight Yarn
Lace weight yarn…it makes beautiful projects. But it can be scary. Are you wondering whether you’re ready to try your first lace yarn project? In this post I will break down everything you need to know about lace weight yarn so you can make an informed decision.
Disclosure. This post contains affiliate links.
What is lace weight yarn?
Basically, lace weight yarn is a very thin, fine yarn that is often (though not exclusively) used for making lace. It comes in a variety of types and fibers, but the one defining factor is that it will be very thin.
Lace weight yarn has different names depending on the type; for example, it may be called things like:
- Crochet Thread
- Lace yarn
We’ll get more into the different types of lace yarn further in this post, but for now, let’s talk about other characteristics.
What number is lace weight yarn?
Lace weight yarn is so thin that it is considered a number 0 yarn on the scale of different yarn weights. As far as crocheting goes, people generally use tiny steel crochet hooks with this yarn.
This is not to be confused with Fingering weight yarn, which is considered a number 1 yarn, and is called “superfine” rather than “lace”.
What ply is lace weight yarn?
Generally speaking, lace weight yarn is a 1/2 ply yarn, or sometimes a 3 ply yarn. There seem to be different opinions on the exact answer to this question, however. According to Ravelry’s yarn weight chart, thread doesn’t have a ply, cobweb is 1-ply, and lace weight is 2-ply.
While this may be true in some cases, I am inclined to think it will vary depending on the seller and the specific yarn. For example, We Crochet’s Curio Crochet Thread says it is a 2-ply yarn.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that lace weight yarn probably won’t go over a 3 ply.
What about lace weight yarn held double?
If you’re looking to double up on your lace weight yarn to make it a bit thicker, all the info above will change. Generally, two strands of lace held together will equal somewhere between a fingering weight and a sport weight.
It WILL vary depending on the yarn. For example, two strands of a size 10 crochet thread will probably be a bit different than an alpaca and wool lace weight blend.
The important thing to keep in mind for ANY yarn doubling is that you should make sure you can obtain gauge with your new yarn combination. Don’t proceed with a project if you can’t meet the specified gauge!
What do you use lace weight yarn for?
Prior to common thought, lace weight yarn can be used to make a wide variety of projects – not just doilies!
I think when many people imagine crochet lace, that is the only thing they think of. Grandma’s doilies.
If you think crochet lace is old fashioned, think again. Lace weight yarn can be made into modern, beautiful projects. For specific patterns, read till the end of the post! But here is a quick list to get you thinking:
- Use lace weight yarn to make a stunning shawl
- Make colorful table runners
- Lace Mandalas are another wonderful choice
- Lacy tops and cardigans can be the perfect accent to a summer outfit
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What yarn is used for crochet lace?
Now before we go any further, there is one other distinction that I want to make. See, lace weight yarn can be used for a variety of different projects…
But, you don’t HAVE to use lace yarn to make crochet lace.
Do you hear the difference?
What I want you to understand is that crochet lace can be made in a variety of different yarns – for example, you could make a lacy fingering weight yarn shawl that looks beautiful just as much as you could make a lacy lace weight yarn shawl!
In this post, of course, we are focusing on lace weight yarn itself. But if you are looking for lacy crochet patterns in a variety of yarn weights, check out this ultimate list I put together!
My Favorite lace weight yarns by fiber
As I mentioned earlier, lace weight yarn comes in a variety of different fibers. So in this section, I wanted to show you my favorite lace yarns, sectioned off by fiber. We’ll start with common crochet thread, and then go through alpaca, wool, mohair, and even more types of lovely yarn!
Crochet Thread – Cotton Lace Yarn
There are two brands of crochet thread that I come back to over and over again for my lightweight projects – Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread, and We Crochet Curio Yarn.
Both of these yarns are a Size 10 Crochet Thread, which is pretty standard when it comes to lace.
If I had to pick just one, I would probably pick Curio. It has such a lovely twist and was a little easier on my hands. That said, Aunt Lydia’s is a classic and can be found in your local craft stores, while Curio is online only. Shop below!
- Curio - Hollyberry
- Price: $3.99
Wool Lace weight yarn
I must say, I am particularly partial to wool lace yarn. Cotton crochet thread can be so hard on your hands. In fact, I think this thread is the reason people often have a preconceived idea that lace is difficult and only for grannies.
When you start to explore OTHER fibers of lace yarn, you will be amazed! They are softer and easier on the hands, at least in my experience.
Below are my two favorite Merino wool blends of lace yarn. Gloss is a blend of 70% merino wool and 30% silk, while Shadow is 100% merino wool. They both] contain 440 yards/50 grams.
- Gloss Lace Yarn - Mermaid
- Price: $6.49
- Shadow Lace Yarn - Oregon Coast Heather
- Price: $4.99
Alpaca lace weight yarn
Another DREAMY type of lace yarn is alpaca. I think Alpaca makes for the ultimate softness in a yarn, and lace is no different!
The only thing to keep in mind with alpaca is it can be slightly more fuzzy, making the tiny stitches more difficult to see. If you can get past that though, it is definitely worth it!
To the left below is Living Dreams Queen Anne Lace yarn. This luxurious blend of 70% baby alpaca and 30% mulberry silk is sure to be a dream to work with!
To the right is Alpaca Cloud lace by Knit Picks, which is 100% alpaca with 440 yards/50 grams.
Mohair lace weight yarn
Mohair is another lovely fiber you can get in lace weight. However, if you think alpaca is fuzzy, look out! Mohair is even fuzzier. 😜 If you're a beginning crocheter, I would caution you against using lace weight mohair yarn. However, if you're more experienced, you should do fine.
Knit Picks has a lovely mohair yarn called Aloft Super Kid. The fiber content is 78% super kid mohair, and 28% silk. It is a small ball in terms of weight - 260 yards/25 grams! However, the nice thing is you can buy it in individual balls OR in the lovely sampler packs you see below for a discount.
- Aloft Super Kid Mohair Yarn
- Price: $6.99
- Mod - Aloft Sampler
- Price: $26.20
- Lullaby - Aloft Sampler
- Price: $20.96
Silk lace weight yarn
The last lace fiber we'll talk about is silk. Lace weight silk yarn is pretty much as luxurious as it gets. I have a skein of Luminance Lace Yarn by Knit Picks...and honestly it is so amazing I haven't wanted to turn it into a project yet! 😂
Yes, this fiber type is more expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. Luminance is soft, inviting, and comes in amazing colors. You'll get 439 yards in 50 grams.
- Luminance Lace Yarn - Peaceful
- Price: $10.99
- Luminance Sampler
- Price: $123.64
Lace Yarn Patterns
Once you've selected the perfect lace weight yarn, it's time to find the perfect pattern to go along with it! I have designed some patterns specifically for a few of the yarns above, so I'm excited to show you!
First of all, meet the Stellar Mandalas - living proof that crochet doilies aren't just for old people! These feature classic pineapple lace with a modern lace.
Small Mandala: Curio Size 10
Large Mandala: Gloss Lace
Second, we have the Royalty Scarf, a beautiful lightweight summer accessory! This scarf also uses Gloss Lace (this is probably my favorite lace weight yarn, lol!)
Easy Summer Earrings
If you want to get used to working with crochet thread, a pattern like these Quick & Easy Earrings would be great to get you started! Because they're so small, they're great for people who aren't used to thread.
Bead Crochet Chain Jewelry
Last but not least, here is another amazing use for crochet thread - making bead crochet necklaces and bracelets! This can be a great way to use up leftover lace weight yarn, and it is also super easy.
Lace weight yarn can be such a fun realm of the crochet world to dive into! You can make so many different modern and beautiful projects with it. If you haven't tried lace yarn yet, you should take the leap! You won't regret it.
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