We’ve all been there – a new project, and we get stuck at, ‘how much yarn do I need?’ Learn all about the factors involved that can help you determine the yarn requirements to make projects such as a blanket, shawl, or even a hat.
Most of the crochet and knitting patterns come with a defined set of requirements, including how much yarn you will need, the size of knitting needles or crochet hooks, and everything you need to complete the project. However, for some projects, you will end up with the most important question, “How Much Yarn Do I Need?“
Although the answer is quite dependent on the type of project, whether you are planning on making a beanie, socks, scarf, shawl, afghan, or a baby blanket. But, you have to keep in mind that these are simply very rough estimates as every pattern is different. Several factors need to be accounted for when deciding which and how much yarn to buy.
Factors to Consider When Determining Yarn Requirements
Before diving into the general requirements for each project, here are a few things to keep in mind when you are buying yarn for any project.
What weight of the yarn are you planning on using?
The higher the weight of the yarn, the lesser you will need the amount of yarn. So, if you are planning to use a lightweight yarn such as fingering yarn, you may need 2 to 3 skeins of yarn, while if you use a bulky yarn, 1 or 2 skeins will be sufficient.
Size of the project is important
This is the most basic point to consider. For example, if you are making a sweater, consider whether it’s for an adult or a child before buying yarn. Similarly, for blankets, there are several different size options.
What type of stitches are in your chosen pattern?
Different stitches use different amounts of yarn. Some stitches are more yarn intensive, while others, such as lace patterns, use less yarn.
What size of knitting needle or crochet hook will you be using?
If you are familiar with knitting and crochet, you know that changing the size of the hook or needle will change the yarn requirement. For example, in crochet, if you change the hook size, the overall size of the pattern can change as the stitches will be closer or further apart. That’s why designers provide a gauge with the pattern so that you can check that the gauge of your chosen yarn is the same as theirs.
What’s your typical tension?
This sort of links with the previous factor as tension will affect the amount of yarn because the stitches will be close or further apart.
1 Skein of Yarn = How Many Yards?
Yarn is generally sold by weight, and the number of yards in a skein or a hank varies. You can know about the yardage of a skein from the yarn label. But, you need to remember that it’s only an estimate. According to Yarnspirations’ article on How to Read A Skein Band, it mentions, “The yardage given is an estimate and is the least amount of yarn you will encounter in the skein; the actual amount may be more.” Even if the weight is the same, no two skeins will have the exact yardage.
Typically, for a worsted weight yarn, for a skein of 7 ounces, it will be approximately 364 yards in length. As the yarn is not sold in terms of yards, use the estimation on the yarn label to calculate how much yarn you need. You can either calculate this manually or use calculators such as Yarn Calculator from Crochet World, Calculator: Yarn Substitutions for Yardages from The Crochet Crowd, or Knitting Calculator from Jimmy Beans.
How Much Yarn Do I Need?
We have covered all the basic factors and other tips that will help you figure out how much yarn you need for any project. For some of the common projects, people have calculated the approximate yardage for different yarn sizes over time.