What Is Bulky Weight Yarn? – Yarn Number 5

Bulky yarn is a great option for quick knitting projects.

In this guide, learn what it is and the best ways to use it.

Table Of Contents

What Is Bulky Weight Yarn?

Bulky weight yarn is a thick, heavy yarn works up quickly.

  • AKA – Chunky Yarn 
  • Weight Category – Bulky
  • Number 5
  • Wraps Per Inch (WPI) – 6 – 9
  • Knitting Gauge Range Equaling 12 – 15 stitches over 4 inches
  • It’s thicker than Lace, Fingering, Sport, DK and Worsted
  • It’s thinner than Super Bulky and Jumbo

What Weight Number Is Bulky?

It’s weight number 5. 

Yarns In This Category

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What’s It Made From?

Bulky yarn is typically made from

  • Acrylic
  • Wool (often merino wool)

Or blends of the two or with other fibers like

  • Alpaca
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Rayon (Viscose)
  • Silk

Why Use It?

It works up quickly, making it great for knitting up projects faster.

Also, it’s perfect for winter garments since it keeps you warm and has great stitch definition.

Here’s a step by step tutorial for Knitting a sweater in bulky yarn by Ashley Lillis

YouTube video

It’s a great option for beginners as it knits up on large needles with chunky yarn.

What If It’s Held Double?

When you hold two strands together, it can create a fabric like super bulky weight yarns.

What Is Bulky Weight Yarn Used For?

It’s perfect for projects like

  • Chunky sweaters
  • Hats
  • Blankets
  • Scarves
  • Ponchos
  • Bags
  • Cowls
  • Accessories

Bulky Yarn Patterns To Try

Here are great free patterns for knitters using bulky weight yarn. They’re divided by skill level to make it easier for you.

Hope you find a wonderful project to do next!




What Knitting Needles To Use

  • US Needle Size – 9 – 11
  • For those of you in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand – 5.5 – 8mm

Note: The above are guidelines only. Always swatch before starting a project.


If you’ve run out of this yarn or can’t find it, here’s what to use instead.

  • Lighter Option – Two strands of DK, Sport or Worsted weight yarn
  • Heavier Option – One strand of Super Bulky or Jumbo weight yarn


How Do You Spot Bulky Weight Yarn At Craft Stores?

By looking at the ball band!

It states the weight category of the yarn, and other useful information like fiber content.

A great shop that sells bulky weight yarns is Lion Brand.

Also look into Knit Picks (who also sells knitting and crochet supplies and tools). They have great recommendations for items to make.

Here’s a collection of great brands to choose from at a fair price for some project inspiration.

  • Premier Yarns
  • Malabrigo
  • Plymouth Yarn
  • Tahki Yarns
  • Ella Rae
  • Red Heart

How Popular Is Bulky Yarn?

It’s not super popular, but the trend of chunky knits like a bulky blanket is catching on.

How Much Bulky Weight Yarn For A Blanket?

For a small baby blanket, you’ll need about 600-700 yards.

A throw blanket will need around 850-950 yards, and a larger afghan could use 1,100-1,200 yards.

How Much Bulky Weight Yarn For A Sweater?

A women’s size small will need about 600-650 yards, a medium will use 700-750 yards.

A large could use 800-850 yards.

How Much Bulky Weight Yarn For A Scarf?

A scarf needs about 200-300 yards.

Is Bulky Yarn The Same As Chunky?

Yes! These terms are used interchangeably in the yarn world.

What’s The Difference Between Worsted And Bulky Yarn?

Worsted weight is one weight category thinner than bulky.

Here’s a video explaining the difference by Littlejohn’s Yarn.

YouTube video

This excellent breakdown of this subject is sure to help you!

What Is Bulky Yarn In The UK?

In the UK, it’s also known as chunky yarn.

Bulky yarn is a great yarn for creating soft cushions and blankets, plus snuggly garments.

Have fun knitting at a faster pace!

Have questions, comments or tips? Leave them below.


  1. Craftyarncouncil.com. 2022. Standard Yarn Weight System | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council. [online] Available at: <https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/yarn-weight-system> [Accessed 29 September 2022].
  2. MICA Store. “YARN – BEAR CREAK BULKY SAGE – MICA Store.” Accessed September 29, 2022. https://shop.mica.edu/yarn-bear-creak-bulky-sage.html.
  3. PubChem. “Bulky Yarn – Patent US-4248036-A – PubChem.” Bulky yarn – Patent US-4248036-A – PubChem. Accessed September 29, 2022. https://testpubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/patent/US-4248036-A.
  4. How to Measure Wraps Per Inch (WPI) | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council. “How to Measure Wraps Per Inch (WPI) | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council.” Accessed October 1, 2022. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/how-measure-wraps-inch-wpi.

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