by AD Staff November 01, 2018 3 min read

How much yarn is needed for Sweaters? Shawls? Socks? Find out here!

Here's a simple calculator to help you estimate the total yarn needed to knit a project. This yarn yardage calculator can help you answer that question quickly and easily. The calculator will help you figure out how much yarn is needed to knit sweaters, scarves, socks, hats, blankets, and more!

 

Calculator placeholder
 

Determining how much yarn you need for a project is a very common problem we see in our store and with our online customers. You don't want to over buy but you also don't want to run short and not be able to match your dye lot or worse yet, find another skein if it is no longer available.

Fortunately, most knit and crochet patterns include a list of materials, including how many skeins of yarn you will need to complete the project. However, sometimes we have to ask the question, How Much Yarn Do I Need?

These tips for planning your knit and crochet projects will help you figure out the averages of yards needed for each type of popular project like hats, shawls, cowls, sweaters and gloves. We will also go over how to determine how many yards are in a skein of yarn, tips for deciding how much yarn to buy, and free knit and crochet patterns for each type of project.

Because every pattern is different, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding how much yarn to buy. These suggested numbers of skeins and yards to buy are approximate estimates, but use as much knowledge as you have to determine how much yarn you will need to purchase for your project. On our website we try our best to list the actual yardage for each yarn we sell. On our patterns we try to list the recommended yarn and the number of skeins needed for a typical size associated with the specific pattern.   

 

Things To Consider When Determining How Much Yarn You Will Need

These are a few of the key things I consider when choosing a yarn and determining how much to buy.

  1. What weight of yarn will you be using? The higher weight, the fewer yards/skeins you will need. So, if you're using a lightweight yarn, like lace, you may need two or three skeins of yarn when you would only need one or two of a worsted or bulky yarn.
  2. What is the size of the item? For clothing, consider whether it's a child or adult size before buying yarn. If it is a scarf with a repeat pattern, you can determine how much yarn you have left based on how much you user per inch of length. For socks, I prefer knitting toe-up socks so I can just knit the leg of the sock until I run out of yarn. (I don't like to waste yarn!) 
  3. What types of stitches will you be using? Every stitch uses up a different amount of yarn. A Single crochet is going to use a lot less yarn than a bobble stitch. Be aware of the "yarn eater" stitches and buy more yarn if needed.
  4. What size needle or crochet hook will you be using? If you knit, you know the needle size will have a big impact on how much yarn you used. Likewise if you crochet, then you know that using a different size hook on a pattern will change the size since the stitches are closer together or farther apart.
  5. What is your typical tension and gauge when knitting and crocheting? Or, what is the recommended gauge for the knit or crochet pattern you're using? The gauge and tension is going to make a difference with the amount of yarn used because it allows for more or less space between stitches. Also, if you are a tight knitter, you'll use more yarn.
AD Staff
AD Staff



Also in Alpaca Direct Blog

How to Avoid Rolled Edges With Your Knitting Projects
How to Avoid Rolled Edges With Your Knitting Projects

by Meg Bateman September 17, 2020 2 min read 0 Comments

It's a problem as old as knitting itself – curling and rolled edges on stockinette or lace!Kelley decided to experiment and see what finishing edges she could use to prevent the curling without altering the look of her knitting project. These tricks for preventing rolled edges in knits will work for almost any knit project!
Read More
Tips for Color Work Knitting the Sugarplum Hat & DIY Pom Poms
Tips for Color Work Knitting the Sugarplum Hat & DIY Pom Poms

by Meg Bateman September 03, 2020 2 min read 0 Comments

Kelley is continuing to whip up hats for holiday gift giving! This week she shared the Sugarplum Hat by Knitterella, a colorwork hat that's great for using up odds and ends of worsted weight yarn. To finish off her hat, Kelley made her own pom pom with Knitter's Pride Pom Pom Makers and has some tips for using those! 
Read More
How to Knit a Sweater That Fits Perfectly
How to Knit a Sweater That Fits Perfectly

by Meg Bateman August 28, 2020 2 min read 0 Comments

There's nothing worse than investing in a sweater quantity of yarn and countless hours of knitting only to end up with a sweater you don't like. What if we told you that the key to finding the right knit sweater pattern is already in your closet? With these tips, you'll learn how to knit a perfectly fitting sweater. 
Read More