How to Calculate Yarn Yardage When Pattern Designing or Testing

Hey guys! Are you surviving lockdown? We are surviving over here, but my candy supply is low, which is a problem.

I’m finding myself eating way too much, so I decided to write this blog post to help distract me away from making myself some cookies. (I want some cookies SO bad!)

Anyway, one of my most frequently asked questions is:



HOW DO YOU CALCULATE YARN YARDAGE?



Is it something you just estimate? Do you just pick a wide range of yardage because you know it isn’t lower than x but not higher than y? Can I just say how many skeins of yarn I used instead?

The answer is no. And no, no.

When pattern designing or testing a pattern for a designer, you need exact yardage, and exact yardage of each color used.

This is a common mistake that I see all the time. Heck, I did it myself when I first started! Great thing is that it really isn’t that hard to calculate the yardage once you understand how.

To begin, you will need a kitchen scale or a shipping scale. I have used this one for years and love it.

Once you have your scale, you need to weigh the skein you will be using. it doesn’t need to be a brand new skein. It can be a partial skein.

Write down how many ounces are in the skein. (I will be using oz as an example in this post, but you can just swap grams for ounces, as well as meters for yards if you are outside of the United States.)

After you have written down the beginning amount of oz in the skein, you make your crochet or knit project. When finished with the project, weigh how much is left in the skein. Write down the oz. Take that number and subtract it from your beginning number.

So if you started out with 6 oz in your skein but after you finished your project, your skein weighed 3.7 oz, then you take



6-3.7= 2.3 OZ



Which means you used 2.3 oz in your project. Write that number down.

Next, look at the label on the skein. There are two numbers you need to note. First, the amount of ounces per skein and second the amount of yards in each skein.

In the above example, there are 6 oz and 106 yds in each skein.

6 OZ AND 106 YDS

Now it’s time for the fun part! Algebra! But don’t be scared. Seriously. Let me show you how easy it is.

We are trying to solve for x, or how many yards we used.

So let’s plug in our example numbers.

2.3 oz is how many oz we figured we used to create our project (remember 6-3.7=2.3?). 106 yds and 6 oz we plugged in from the skein label.

To solve for x (remember, don’t be intimidated!), you take the 2 blue numbers and multiply them.

106*2.3 = 243.8

Take 243.8 and divide it by the red number

243.8/6 = 40.63 YDS USED

Boom! You figured it out! 40.63 yards used, but just round up to 41 yards used.

If you are a pattern designer, it is best to round up to the next “pretty” number and give a range to account for yarn tension. For this example, I would say 45-50 yards used.

The great part about figuring out yardage this way is that you can do it for multiple colors. You just weigh each individual skein at the beginning, make the project, and then weigh the remaining amount in each skein. You do this for each color, which is what you will need if you are a pattern designer or a tester.

So to recap:

 

STEP 1: WEIGH SKEIN(S) BEFORE YOU BEGIN

STEP 2: MAKE YOUR CROCHET/KNIT PROJECT

STEP 3: WEIGH THE REMAINING PART OF THE SKEIN(S)

STEP 4: SUBTRACT THE REMAINING SKEIN WEIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING SKEIN WEIGHT TO GET THE OUNCES YOU USED

STEP 5: INSERT THE NUMBERS INTO THE EQUATION (PICTURED BELOW)

STEP 5: MULTIPLY THE 2 BLUE NUMBERS TOGETHER AND DIVIDE BY THE RED NUMBER.

BINGO! YOU HAVE YOUR YARDAGE USED

Yay! You did it. Who said you would never use algebra again?

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