This is a very newbie sort of question: I see cotton yarns designated as 8/2, 10/2, etc. What do these numbers mean?
I asked the same thing of a weaver friend of mine. I'll be quoting from Rachel Brown's The Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing Book, ed.1987.
"These are numbers by which yarn size and ply are described.... Cotton, linen, woolen, and worsted yarns can all be described by count. #1 describes the size of the yarn that will be produced when spinning a certain base yardage from 1 pound of fiber.... For cotton, No. 1 is the size thread that results from spinning 840 yards from 1 pound of cotton fiber. #2 would be the size thread if twice this yardage (1,680 yards) was spun from 1 pound of cotton... #10 would be a thread 8,400 yds long weighing 1 pound. So the higher the number, the finer the thread. This is single-ply thread.... When the thread is plied, the number of plies is given along with the thread size, as 10/2 (2 plies of #10 thread) or 6/3 (3 plies of #6 thread). The first number is the size of the thread and the second number tells how many threads of this size there are in the final plied yarn.
So, in a nutshell, your #8 thread is not as fine as #10.
Ahh! Now I know - thanks.
Denise, thanks for the information. Unfortunately I'm still in the dark here, as I've never spun a pound of cotton into 840 yards of single. I have no point of reference.
Wraps Per Inch I can grasp. Is there a graph somewhere, a yarnish Rosetta Stone, that will say to me 6/3 = # wpi, 10/2 = # wpi, etc.
10/2 is probably a laceweight.
5/2 would be something akin to sportweight. If you go online to these stores, they will list wpi in the descriptions.
This discussion on Spin-Off will give you a rough idea of sizes in comparison.
Thanks Denise! I started an Excel sheet which gave me the info I needed and then stopped working on it. Essenially,
5/2 or better yet 4/2 on the 12 dent heddle for >25 wpi
4/2 or better yet 3/2 on the 10 dent heddle for > 20 wpi
Since it seems to jump down 5 WPI for every 2 spin width you'd be looking for a 1/2 or 2/2 for an 8 dent heddle. Here's how far I got: