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Calculate How Much Yarn You Used

by | Jan 24, 2019 | General Knitting

This has happened to me so many times. I finish a project, love it, and want to make another one. The problem is I have no idea how much yarn I actually used. Even if the pattern states an estimated yardage, that doesn’t take into account the extra rows I added, or the 10 swatches I knitted to figure out my gauge, or the portion of yarn that was ruined by a cat and had to be repurchased.

It is easy to find yourself in a situation where you have no idea how much yarn you used in a project. So, I created a calculator to help you estimate how much yarn was actually used in the project.

What You Need to Determine How Much Yarn was Used

This calculator works best for projects that have a single type of yarn.

If the project used multiple colors, you can still figure out approximately how much yarn was used, but will need to divide the number from the calculator. For example, if it is a stripped chevron baby blanket in two colors, you can pretty safely divide the final number in half, and that is your quantity for each color. Similarly, if you have a hat that was knit in one color, with a different colored ribbing, you can estimate that the ribbing at the bottom is no more than 10% or 25% of the project. I would estimate this by eye. Then you can divide the final number according to how much each color was used.

What you need:

  • The weight and yardage of one skein
    • This information can be pulled from the label. If you do not have the label, but know the yarn, you can look up this information on Ravelry.
  • The total weight (in grams) of your final project
    • You will need an accurate weight of your final project. A kitchen scale works great for this, and is inexpensive.
  • A scale – to weigh your final project

Help, I Lost My Label

If you can’t remember what yarn you used, and have lost the label. All hope is not lost. If you have any yarn remaining you can still use this calculator by following the steps below. Note that the more yarn you have, the more accurate the calculator will be.

  1. Weight your remaining yarn, this will be your “skein weight”
  2. Using a yardage meter, measure how many yards of yarn you have. If you do not have a yard meter, you can estimate by drawing out lengths of yarn and using your body as a measurement. For many people, from their left hand to their right shoulder is about three feet, or one yard. This number will be your “skein yardage”


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