I recently got this question from an Etsy customer. She was curious about the pattern-writing process and wondered how I was able to determine the exact amount of yardage needed for the pattern that she purchased. I was happy to share the secret with her, being that I too didn’t understand this concept when I was first learning crochet. If we’re being honest? I didn’t understand how to calculate yardage even a year into my pattern design career – but don’t worry. I’ve gone back and updated my patterns since then 😉 So, you want to know the secret? Keep reading!
This blog post should help answer some of these questions for you:
- How do I calculate how much yarn I used in my crochet project?
- How do I know how much yarn to buy for my project?
- How many skeins do I need for my project?
- Best way to figure out how much yarn I need?
- How much yarn do I need for a project with no pattern?
- How much yarn did I use?
- How much yarn do I have left?
- How much yarn is left on a skein?
- How much can I make out of one skein?
I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to be using just a little bit of math. But don’t worry! It’s real simple; I’ll walk you through it!
Before you begin, you’ll need to gather these supplies:
- yarn label
- kitchen scale
- finished crochet project
- optional: remaining skein
Let’s say you’ve made a crochet coaster and you want to make more. If you knew exactly how much yarn it took to make one, then you can easily plan out how many coasters you can make out of one skein, or how many skeins you need to make the amount of coasters you want.
First, let’s take a look at your yarn label and take note of the yards (or meters) and grams (or ounces). We need to figure out the amount of yards per 1 gram of yarn.
We’ll use Dishie as an example. One skein of Dishie contains 190 yards and weighs 100 grams. If you divide 190 yards / 100 grams, you learn that 1.9 yards weighs 1 gram (1.9yds per 1 gram).
For the next step, you will need a kitchen scale. Set the scale to measure grams. Grab your finished crochet project and set it on the scale. Let’s say your finished project weights 6 grams.
From our previous calculation, you know that 1 grams contains 1.9 yards of yarn. If your project weighs 6 grams, simply multiply 6 grams x 1.9 yards to equal 11.4. This means you’ve used 11.4 yards in your project!
To recap, here are the steps for calculating yardage used:
- Find your yarn label and jot down the total yards and total grams in one skein.
- Divide the total yards by the total grams to learn how many yards are in one gram of yarn.
- Weigh your crochet project on a kitchen scale and jot down the weight in grams.
- Multiply the grams of your crochet project by the number you calculated in Step 2.
- You’re done! Grams of crochet project x (total yards/total grams) = total yards used.
Now, you can use this small bit of information to answer a multitude of questions about yardage and crochet projects! I’ll walk through a few of them with you.
How much yarn do I have left in my skein?
Let’s use our example from above again. We calculated that our finished crochet project used 11.4 yards, and the yarn label showed that a full skein is 190 yards. 190 yards – 11.4 yards = 178.6 yards left!
How many things can I make out of one skein?
If one project uses 11.4 yards and there are 190 yards total in your skein, simply divide 190 / 11.4 to equal 16.67. This means that you will be able to get 16 full projects out of one skein of yarn, with a little bit left over at the end.
How many skeins do I need for my project?
Let’s move on from our coaster example and say you are following a pattern to make a blanket. The best way to determine how many skeins you need for your project is to check the pattern information! The pattern might say that you need 1200 yards of bulky weight yarn. First, you need to decide what kind of bulky weight yarn you are planning to use. I’ll use Hue and Me as an example. One skein of Hue and Me contains 137 yards of yarn. The pattern requires 1200 yards total, so you need to divide 1200 / 137 to equal 8.76. This means that you would need 8.76 skeins to finish the project. 8 skeins wouldn’t be enough, so go ahead and buy that 9th skein!
How much yarn do I need for a project without a pattern?
You’ve decided to wing it, or you’re going to try designing your own pattern – yay! You’ll want to have a good idea of how much yarn you might need so that you buy enough. I’ll use the blanket and Hue and Me example again.
Let’s say you already have one skein of Hue and Me, and you’ve decided to design your own blanket. Once you’ve decided on what stitch you want to use, you’ll want to make a swatch. Pick a nice and even measurement, like 4” x 4”. Work up your chosen stitch design into a 4” x 4” square, with the yarn you want to use for the full project.
Weigh your swatch on your kitchen scale, in grams. Let’s say your swatch of Hue and Me yarn weighs 20 grams. Using the yarn label and the steps above, we can quickly learn that a 20 gram swatch used 21.92 yards. Write this down and pause this thought for a moment.
Next, decide how big you want your blanket to be. Say you’ve decided on a 40” x 40” blanket. This means that your 4” x 4” swatch would fit within this blanket size exactly 100 times.
Now, you can multiply 100 x 21.92 (yardage used in your original swatch) to get 2,192 yards. That is the total amount of yards you would need for your blanket design!
I hope this answered all of your questions concerning yardage and crochet projects. If you have any other questions, or if you need help figuring out the formulas for your specific project, leave a comment below – I’d love to help!