HOW TO: Calculate yardage

I’m sharing an easy way to figure out how much yarn you’ll need.

HOW TO- Calculate yardage

A typical question when you’re starting a crochet project is: How much yarn do I need? Mostly my solution is to buy extra! I always think that I may use the excess yarn in a scrap project later on. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. But the worst case scenario for me is to end up with missing one skein & not being able to finish up the time consuming project that is almost done. It’s simply not worth it. Thus I’m always buying 1-2 extra skeins of yarn even though I know lots of solutions to calculate how much yarn I need.

There is many ways to calculate how much yarn you’ll need. Two of the most common ways is; you can measure it in weight & you can measure it in length. Today I’m focusing on length or yardage.

Why do I need to know this?

You might be thinking why do I need to know this, since most good crochet projects should give you this information. Well in most cases the information given in the pattern is sufficient. However in some cases you would choose to change the yarn type, & the yardage might differ from the one suggested for this particular crochet project. In other you might crochet tighter or looser & the amount of yarn you would need will change. The more reason to calculate how much yarn you’ll need in yards/inches or meters.

The information on your yarn:

Most skeins of yarn have lots of information you’ll need. How thick, name, material, washing instructions & what’s important for this calculation the length. For the most this is given in either yards, inches or meters. For more details om what all the information on the yarn means – follow this link.


The steps you’d need to take:

1. Make a test square:

If you choose to calculate yardage for your crochet project you should start by making a test square for each of the most used stitches in the pattern. Mostly I suggest that you crochet a test squares that are 10 stitches wide & 10 rows high. In that way you can also check the gauge for the pattern at the same time.

2. Measure how long  10 stitches are:

When you have tested the gauge you will focus on the yardage again. Check how much yarn the last 10 stitches you made contains with a tape measure. All you need to do is pull out the stitches & measure the length.

3. Calculate how long 1 stitch is:

Make your self a list of how many different stitches is used for the pattern & how long 10 stitches of each is. Then divide by 10 to know how long 1 stitch is.

4. Calculate how many stitches the crochet pattern contains:

Read the pattern in detail to figure out how many stitches (of each stitch type) there is in each row, & multiply by the number of rows. Then you have the number of stitches.

5. Calculate the how much yarn for each stitch:

Use the length of each stitch & multiply it with the total number of stitches in the crochet pattern (repeat for each stitch that is frequent in the pattern).

6. Add together how much yarn in total:

Add together how much yarn each of the stitch requires & you have the total yardage for the crochet pattern.


When you have calculated yardage for the whole crochet pattern you can check to see if your total is close to or similar as the suggested amount for the crochet pattern. If you are not sure if you would follow the crochet pattern in detail I would always suggest that you buy an extra skein to be sure. It’s the worst if you almost finish a project, but can’t find the last skein of yarn.

Hope you enjoy testing this method.