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One of the essential skills for a crocheter is knowing how much yarn you’ll need for your project. Calculating yarn yardage ensures you have enough to complete your masterpiece without running out or having excess left over. You can use a yarn yardage calculator or multiply the numbers yourself. 

Determining Yarn Yardage – First Steps

Before you begin your yarn yardage calculation, make sure you have the following:

  • The crochet pattern you plan to follow.
  • The specific yarn recommended in the pattern or the yarn you intend to use – a full skein or leftover ball of yarn. If you don’t have this yarn in your hands yet, try gathering as much info about it as possible. 
  • Your crochet hook.

Gather Yarn Info

Most yarn labels provide important information about the yarn, including the yardage per skein (or ball), which helps to calculate how much you need. Look for the label on your yarn, and take note of the following details:

  • Yardage: This is the total length of yarn in the skein, typically measured in yards or meters. It’s often indicated as “Yds” or “m” on the label.
  • Yarn Weight: Categories, such as worsted, sport, or bulky, can help you choose the right yarn weight for your project. These categories provide a general idea of the thickness and density of the yarn.
  • Skein Weight is crucial to determine yardage. How much the ball of yarn weighs – how many ounces or grams of yarn you’ve got in the skein of yarn. Please remember that the label shows the weight of a full skein, so use a scale if your ball is not full. 
  • Gauge: Some labels include recommended gauge information, which can be helpful when substituting yarns in a pattern.

How to calculate yardage in crochet?

To calculate the yarn yardage needed for your project, follow these steps:

  1. Consult the Pattern: Start by thoroughly reading the crochet pattern you’ll be working on. The pattern will often specify the yarn brand, weight, and the number of skeins or balls required.
  2. Identify the Yardage per Skein: Check your yarn label to find the yardage per skein. For instance, if it indicates 400 yards per skein, make a note of that number.
  3. Determine the Total Yardage: Look at the pattern to see how many skeins or balls of yarn are recommended. If the pattern calls for 3 skeins and each skein has 200 yards, your total yardage requirement would be 3 x 200 = 600 yards.
  4. Adjust for Substitutions: If you plan to use a different yarn than what’s specified in the pattern, compare the yardage per skein of your chosen yarn to the recommended yarn. Adjust the total yardage accordingly. Keep in mind that variations in yarn weight may affect your project’s size, so consider making a gauge swatch if you’re uncertain. 
  5. Factor in Extras: It’s a good idea to add a small buffer to your total yardage to account for any discrepancies, mistakes, or extra yarn needed for weaving in ends and joining pieces. Sometimes tangled yarn can affect your total yardage. A 10% to 20% buffer is a common recommendation. 

Resizing The Pattern

You’ve found the perfect crochet pattern for a blanket, but you want to make it bigger than the original. How do you calculate the yardage you need for a project like this?

Use our calculator:

This project will require making a swatch, then providing the number of stitches and the number of rows. You will then be able to count how many yards you need. Remember to stick to the right system – follow imperial or metric measurements. If you need to convert from one to another, do that before you start a project. 

How to Figure Out How Much Yarn is in an Unlabeled Skein?

If you have some mystery yarn in your stash, determining yarn yardage might be hard. However, you can calculate it by making a swatch and using a kitchen scale. We want to find out 

  1. Make a small swatch – knitted or crocheted.
  2. Weigh the swatch on the kitchen scale and write down the number.
  3. Unravel the swatch and measure how long was the thread that made it. 
  4. Now weigh the remaining skein or hank of mystery yarn. 
  5. Calculate: swatch weight / swatch length = skein weight / X (skein length)
  6. X is the length of your skein. 

Save Your Calculations

Once you’ve determined the required yarn yardage for your project, jot down your calculations and keep them with your pattern. This way, you’ll have a reference in case you need to purchase additional yarn or consult the details later in your crochet journey.

By mastering the art of calculating yarn yardage, you’ll be better equipped to plan your projects efficiently and ensure that you have the right amount of yarn to bring your crochet visions to life. 

Summary

You are now ready to determine yarn yardage by weight and know how much yarn you need for your crochet or knitting project. Whether you use a fingering weight or worsted weight yarn, you will easily calculate meters or yards of yarn per gram or ounce.