How to know the right amount of yarn to use? // a Little Wendy crochet blogpost

We’ve all been there… You just found a wonderful new project to crochet.  In the pattern there’s a very clear instruction on how many skeins of a certain brand of yarn you’ll need.

And you have some skeins of yarn at home that are perfect for this project.  Only…  they’re from another brand…  maybé even another weight…  So now you’re uncertain about wether you have enough skeins to finish the project.

Or sometimes you might even already start with a project, only to discover that you run out of yarn the last few stitches.

But how do you know the right amount of yarn to use?  In the technique below I’ll explain you the secret about how to calculate the amount of yarn necessary for a project.  And with this technique you’ll never have to run out of yarn again!


How to know the right amount of yarn to use? // a Little Wendy crochet blogpost.

1. Make a swatch

It can’t be emphasized enough, but a swatch is the number 1 problem-solver of most projects.

For some projects it is essential to make a swatch exactly as described in the pattern and to make sure that the gauge is identical to the one described in the pattern.  I’m thinking about patterns like sweaters, vests, but also scarfs, beanies and gloves.  Even if the pattern doesn’t mention a swatch, it is highly recommended to make one.  In this case, make a small swatch in the stitches that are used in the pattern.

The technique I’m using here works for any pattern, but I’m focussing a bit more on amigurumi patterns.

For most amigurumi patterns you can use the yarn weight suggested in the pattern or even choose a thicker or thinner yarn weight.  In this case a swatch is the perfect method to determine the amount of yarn you’ll need for your project.  Make sure you crochet the swatch in the same technique as the amigurumi.  Mostly this will be a flat circle crocheted continuously in the round.  About 5 rounds will be sufficient.

In this blogpost I explain how to crochet continuously in the round and keep it flat.

2. Count your stitches

Okay.  So you have your swatch.  Now it’s time to count your stitches.

For 5 rounds this are:

round 1: 6 single crochet
round 2: 12 single crochet
round 3: 18 single crochet
round 4: 24 single crochet
round 5: 30 single crochet

We add up all the stitches:  6 + 12 + 18 + 24 + 30 = 90 stitches

Next we’re gonna do exactly the same with the stitches in the pattern.  If the pattern uses several colors, you might want to count the stitches of the different colors seperately.

3.  Weigh the swatch

Lastly we’re gonna weigh the swatch and calculate the grammage per stitch.

My swatch weights: 10 gram
The stitch count of my swatch is: 90 stitches
The project counts a total of: 2000 stitches

(10 : 90)*2000 = 222

We’ll need 222 grams of yarn for this project.  I recommend to add a little extra for the yarn tails and in case of mistakes.

222 * 1,10 = 244 -> 250 gram

I added 10% extra and rounded up.  That gives me a total of 250 grams of yarn for my project.
You don’t have to add 10%, but I do recommend to add at least 5% extra.

Let’s say we have 230 grams of this yarn in stash.  After you’ve used this technique, you’ll know that this is probably enough to finish the project, but that you won’t have a lot of room for errors.
And in case that you need to buy yarn, you now know for sure that you’ll need to buy 5 skeins of 50 grams each.

Which projects are on your to-do list? Show me what you’re crocheting.


Crafty greetings,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *