Have you ever found yourself needing to know how much yarn (in yards) you used in your crochet or knitting project? This number might come in handy if you’re a seller, and wanting to keep good track of inventory and cost (for instance, how many scarves you can make and sell from those 20 skeins of yarn you just bought at the big sale). You can check the pattern designer’s notes for an estimate, but what if you use a different yarn than she did, or your tension is a bit different than hers? What if you didn’t even use a pattern? As a designer, the total yardage of a project is a number I have to figure out every time. It’s crucial info for you, my readers, so that you know how much yarn to buy to make my patterns.
Figuring it out might seem complicated (am I supposed to measure all the yarn left in the skein on a yardstick or something?) …and not worth the effort.
Lucky for us, it’s not that complicated at all. In fact, it’s pretty simple! I’m kind of a math nerd, so I made a fun little chart that will walk you through the process, step-by-step!
Figuring out the total yards used in a project is actually quite simple. You just need your finished project, a calculator, a scale that weighs in ounces or grams (a food scale or a postage scale will work), and the information on the label of the skein you used (or if you’re like me and threw it away early on in the project, you can look up the yarn’s stats on the company’s web site). Using the diagram below, follow the directions to quickly find your answer. (If you aren’t a fellow math nerd, don’t let the diagram scare you away. Just follow the directions. It’s easy, I promise.)
So, let’s walk through this with an example. I’ll use a new slouch hat pattern that I just finished my sample for.
Step 1: Fill in the info for the pink and blue boxes. According to my food scale, the hat weighs 2.3 oz, so I’ll plug that into the pink box on the bottom left. I also have the skein’s label right in front of me, which tells me that one full skein of the yarn I used has 312 total yards (pink box on the top right), and it weighs 5.3oz (blue box). Here’s what I have so far:
Step 2: Multiply the numbers in the pink boxes together. 2.3 x 312 = 717.6
Step 3: Take the total from step 2, and divide it by the number in the blue box. 717.6 / 5.3 = 135.4
Step 4: My total yardage for the slouch hat is about 135 yards! (As a designer, I always add a bit so that if someone is really cutting it close, and their gauge is slightly more loose, they won’t run out of yarn at the very end. So for this pattern I’ll probably recommend 140-150 yards of the suggested yarn.)
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy (as my 5 year old would say)!