Calculating knitting yarn quantities

Essentially how many yards/metres does it take to produce how much knitted fabric ?

I have a wee problem - my mother gave me "Stitch & Bitch for Christmas and I am tempted by the patterns. Only technical hitch is that I’m in France and the only yarns I can find are from Phildar outlets which only stock phildar yarns (to go with their patterns of the season). I’m having problems “translating” the yarn requirements for the different patterns. The book will tell me “X skeins of Y yarn with size Z needle” - now I can find a substitute re composition, needle size, guage etc. but how do I work out how many skeins that may be ? A selection of random yarns today showed that some came in skeins of 37m, some 93 m some 73m … Short of googling the yarns specified in the pattern to find the length of the skeins is there any way to calculate the length of yarn required ?

Many thanks for any pointers, I won’t be back to check this thread until tomorrow.

Usually you don’t want to go by length, but by weight. So if Stitch & Bitch callls for 3 skeins of Luxurowool (I just made that up) go Google for “Luxurowool” and find out how many grams there are in a skein, then get as many skeins of Phildar as you need for that. Sorry to force you to resort to Google :slight_smile: but the amount of yarn in a “skein” is up to the manufacturer’s whim.

Another thing you can do is ask someone at the store. I don’t know how Phildar is, but most yarn stores are staffed with reasonably knowledgable people who can help you estimate your yarn needs.

I’ll second the weight recommendation. Most knitters count by weight, not yards. Once you have a ballpark comparable weight, add 10%-20%; far better to be stuck with too much yarn than not enough. Too much, at least you can finish the sweater. Not enough, good luck matching the yarn exactly to finish it with.

Actually, usually in the US, you go by length, not by weight.

(To me, international patterns are strange that way. 50g is useless to me. 50g may be 20 yards or multiple hundred. I have no idea how much yarn that is. Nor how much material I’m going to be able to make with 50g of yarn. Tell me 500 yards, and I know.)

So, for me, I’d google the yarns (or if I were at a knitting store, I would have them look up the yarn - most stores in my area have lists of yarn information, not just for the brands they carry, but also for yarns they don’t). Then, I’d find out “Yarn X is 80%wool/10%cashmere/10%microfiber, knits at 5st/in, and comes in 100m balls.” Then, I’d find a yarn with a similar composition and gauge and figure out how many balls I need.

A problem I can forsee is that yarn weights also use different terms in France. Here in the US, the weights have names like fingering, sport, DK, worsted, bulky and Superbulky. There is a 1-6 system as well that is growing in popularity but not universal. I bet France has its own terms.

So here’s what you do: For a given pattern, write down the name of the yarn they recommend. Go on the internet and look up that same yarn on the manufacturer’s website or a craft retailer. They should give you information on the weight, fiber composition, yardage per skein and gauge (how many stitches and rows to make a given area).

Now, go to your craft store. Buy yarn with similar weight, gauge, and fiber characteristics as the one recommended. Since a yard is quite nearly a meter, figuring out how many meters you’d need shouldn’t be difficult.

of skeins US yarn X yardage per skein + 20% = meters per project

meters per project / meters per skein = number of skeins of local yarn

:dubious: Is that so? Not where I am in the US.

You can weigh a ball or a partly-used skein on a kitchen scale if you want to know if you have enough. How exactly would you go about accurately measuring a ball of 50 yards of yarn?

Most patterns have both, anyway.

Thanks guys - so google and guesswork are my friends and, on closer (daylight hours) I see that most of the patterns do indeed have yardage as well as weight, except nof course for the idiot proof easy scarf pattern for beginners which just says 2 skeins :smack:

My rule for scarfs is, when I run out of yarn, it’s done. :slight_smile:

Like this. I’ve seen other tools as well that do the same thing.

However, I’ve always bought yarn by yardage, never weight.