Estimating How Much Yarn to Buy
You need to know how much yarn to buy whenever you start a new knitting or crocheting project. You can figure out the yardage by using yarn calculations, whether you’re substituting one yarn for another in a pattern or whether you just have a general sense of what you’d like to knit.
If you’re using the yarn called for in a pattern, the pattern usually tells you how many balls to buy for each size.
However, if you choose to use a yarn different from the pattern’s suggestion, you may need to do a little calculating:
Number of skeins called for in the pattern × yards per skein = total yards needed for the pattern
Total yards needed for the pattern ÷ yards per skein of your chosen yarn = number of skeins you need (round up to the nearest whole number, if necessary)
If you aren’t working directly from a pattern or are working at a different gauge than a pattern recommends, you don’t have a tidy way to determine how much yarn to buy. Estimate how much you need. This table gives yardage approximations for various projects in a variety of gauges.
|Yarn Weight Category||Stitches per Inch||Yards Needed for a Hat||Yards Needed for a Scarf||Yards Needed for an Adult Sweater|
|1 Superfine||7 to 8||300 to 375||350||1,500 to 3,200|
|2 Fine||6 to 7||250 to 350||300||1,200 to 2,500|
|3 Light||5 to 6||200 to 300||250||1,000 to 2,000|
|4 Medium||4 to 5||150 to 250||200||800 to 1,500|
|5 Bulky||3 to 4||125 to 200||150||600 to 1,200|
|6 Super bulky||1.5 to 3||75 to 125||125||400 to 800|
Patterns usually call for a little more yarn than you’ll actually use, but because you want to swatch and account for the unknown (you actually hate three-quarter sleeves, or you've had some terrible yarn accident), buy a little extra yarn, particularly if it’s being discontinued. A ribbed or cabled pattern takes more yarn than stockinette stitch, and your knitting may vary.