How Can I Tell If I have Enough Yarn?

I thought this was a good topic to cover and will copy and paste the message that was with the previous post here, as it dealed with figuring yardage for a project. I have all of my worksheets set up in Excel Spreadsheets, so the math is done automatically by the computer. I double check the numbers going in, and where I have to watch it on the patterns is making sure the correct number gets transposed. At any rate, this is the same way that I figure yardage for my designs (I take it one step further by dividing the finished weight of the yarn needed for the sizes by the weight that the yarn comes in , for example 3 for 3 ounces, as this tells me how many skeins or balls I need).

 Linda is getting ready to knit Charlotte, the stole and scarf, and will be knitting it out of Zephyr (a beautiful laceweight yarn which she will be using doubled). She wondered if I would be able to tell her how much yarn she would need.

Dear Linda

Ah, I wish I could. You can actually do it singly, if you wish, although you can do it doubled also. I would guess that doubled, it would be similar to fingering weight, and that you would want about the same weight in yarn as that on the pattern, plus some extra for the “fudge” factor. That’s how I would estimate it for my project, anyway. I am in the midst of working up some of the lace in yarns such as Helen’s Lace (very similar to the zephyr) so that I have photographs of the projects in both weights. The other thing you can do is knit a swatch and block it. Weigh the swatch, measure it and figure the square inches of the swatch. Do this by measuring the length, and the width, and multiplying the two. Next, look at the finished dimensions of the piece (I don’t remember if this is on the pattern or not, as I don’t always list that with lace as it varies with the yarn being used, look either at the beginning or through the directions, which will give you a length to knit to if it doesn’t give dimensions to block to). Figure the square inches for the finished piece. If the directions do not give you a blocked width (again, this can vary depending on the weight of yarn used) look at your swatch. You can determine what your finished width is by looking at how many stitches you have in a given width  on your swatch and comparing that to the number of stitches you have in your cast on.

Okay, now divide the finished stitches per inch by the swatch stitches per inch. This is how many times that amount of yarn it took to do the swatch will go into the finished piece. Now, multiply that number (how many times it goes into the finished piece) by the weight of the swatch. This gives you the total amount in weight that you need for the finished project.

As for getting ahold of me, this place works. Also, look on the top left hand corner of the front page of the pattern. My logo and email address are located there on every pattern. You can also find a link to contact me on my website that I share with Katherine Misegades,

Hope this helps!

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace


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