How to Know If You Have Enough Yarn for a Project

Of course, most of us have "enough" yarn (although, arguably, there's no such thing), but do you have enough for the project you want to make?

In this guide we'll show you how to figure out how much yarn you need, and how much you already have. It's pretty simple, but having a calculator handy is helpful!

How much yarn does your pattern call for?

When calculating yarn amounts, you should ALWAYS go with how many yards or meters the pattern calls for. Do NOT go by how many skeins it calls for, because different yarns have different amounts in each skein, and the yarn you're using may have much more or much less than the yarn they used in the pattern. You should also NOT go by how many *grams or ounces it calls for, since different kinds of yarns weigh differently and this is a less accurate measurement.

Ideally, your pattern should tell you how many yards (or meters) you need exactly by saying something like, "You'll need 200 yards of yarn A and 50 yards of yarn B."

Many patterns will instead tell you how many skeins of a specific yarn you need. For instance, they'll say something like, "You need 5 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted." Hopefully if they say this, they'll also tell you how many yards are in each skein of the yarn, usually written like so: "(100% merino wool; 210 yards / 192 meters; 100 grams)." In this case, you would be able to easily calculate that 5 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted at 210 yards each would be 1050 yards total.

If they only list the specific yarn and don't give you the yardage of each skein, you should look up the yarn on Ravelry to find out how many yards are in each skein, then do the same math above.

*Some older patterns will list yarn quantities in grams or ounces instead of yards or meters, and not list a specific yarn. In these cases, you'll have to do some guessing. We will usually look up other yarns that are the same weight (weight as in sport weight, DK weight, worsted weight, etc.)

How much yarn do you have?

If you have a yarn's label and only full skeins, you can calculate how much yarn you have by multiplying the number of yards per skein by the number of skeins you have, like the Malabrigo Worsted example above.

If you have a partial skein of yarn, there are two methods to find out how many yards are in a partial skein. For each method you will need to know how many yards/meters and grams/ounces are in each skein, and have a scale or means of weighing the yarn in grams.

All yarn labels should tell you how many yards or meters are in each skein. They should also tell you how much each skein weighs (typically they'll either way 50 or 100 grams). You can use this ratio, yards to grams, to find out how many yards are in a partial skein.


This guide is still being written! Check back tomorrow for more :)