How much yarn do I need?

How Much Yarn Do I Need - hoe to calculate it from FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World

It’s a question every crocheter asks… how much yarn do I need? And what if I change the thickness of yarn?

Today, I’ll show you how to calculate how much yarn your project will need… no more guessing!

crochet hooks and yarn

Discover your yarn + hook combo

The only way to know for sure is to calculate how much yarn each stitch (using your yarn and hook) takes. Using some yarn and hooks I had on hand, I did few examples:

How much yarn do I need crochet

As you see, the thicker the yarn (and the bigger the hook), the more yarn you’ll need.

How much yarn you need crochet

Your calculations may be different depending on your exact yarn and gauge… but this should give you an idea! This tutorial will show you how to calculate how much yarn you use for each stitch.

How to calculate the total for the pattern

To find out the total amount of yarn you’ll use for your project, multiply the number of stitches in your pattern by the number of inches each stitch uses.

Let’s take Jay the Bird as an example. The pattern contains the stitch count at the end of each line.

stitch count in crochet

Adding those up gives me a total of 1656 stitches.

How much yarn do I need if I want to crochet him in a fingering weight yarn?

how to calculate how much yarn you need

46 yards! That’s less than the 85 called for in the pattern because fingering weight yarn is smaller, and the project needs less!

Calculate away!

Using this method, you can calculate how much yarn a project will require with any weight yarn and hook! No more guessing!

Best,
Stacey

33 COMMENTS

  1. What a great strategy! Thank you so much for putting this together, Stacey! I love the colorful visuals.

  2. Sherryl Lynn Gooch. SAYS...

    I crochet very tight. When a pattern calls for a set hook size to make gage I must use a larger hook, even when using the same thread. Help!

    • Not a problem! You can do the calculation for your hook + yarn combo!

  3. Awesome! Thanks for figuring all that out! 🙂

  4. Anna SAYS...

    When I first read the title in my head I was thinking, lots and lots, (inventory) Yikes! I hope there’s someone else that thinks like me. Thanks for the practical information. I struggle with that all the time, especially with small stash buster projects.
    Cheers!

  5. Ginger SAYS...

    Thank you so much for this. I have many times when I use a different yarn than is called for in the pattern. I have always used guesstimates, but this gives me a strategy so I don’t run short or have so much extra all of the time.

  6. WES SAYS...

    This is fantastic, I have to book mark it. I also really love the visual with the colors and clean look of your blog.

  7. SUPER helpful! Thanks so much. 🙂

  8. Minerva SAYS...

    Thank you for the calculation tutorial. I am very grateful for your efforts and time.

  9. Jennifer Greenall SAYS...

    As I live in Australia, this comes in handy as I have a mountain of wool and cottons to use up and until now have been finding it difficult to work out the ply etc to do your patterns. Thank you for this page.

  10. Jan SAYS...

    Have to bookmark this one! Your instructions are so gorgeous – so easy to read and understand.

  11. Maria SAYS...

    Great idea!
    And a perfect reason to dig up (and modify) the program I’ve written to calculate the number of stitches in a pattern.

  12. Connie SAYS...

    I love to read your blog. You have lots of wonderful ideas and very helpful. I am very new to crochet. Can you please tell me what it means by “inches per stitch”? What is the stitch? Sorry if I sound ignorant but if I don’t ask I will never know!! Thanks for your help. Connie (Perth Australia)

    • Hi Connie!
      When you crochet, each single crochet (double crochet in British English) uses a certain amount of yarn. The chart is a listing of how much yarn that stitch will use!

      • Connie SAYS...

        Thanks Stacey! 🙂

  13. Kris Van Allen SAYS...

    Is this calculation for sc (British dc) only? Meaning that adjustments need to be made for hdc, dc and tblc?

    • Actually, this calculation is only for *my crocheting of an sc*. You will need to do your own calculations not only for the other stitches, but for your own gauge! This is just an example 🙂

  14. Michelle SAYS...

    Does this go for any pattern? I’ve got one that doesn’t tell you stitch number at the end of each row or the number of rows you will end on. Just measurements in inches.

    • Michelle SAYS...

      It also isn’t solely sc either.

      • These measurements are only representing my single crochet stitches… for an accurate measurement, you would want to calculate these measurements for your particular gauge, as everyone crochets differently. You would need to do the same thing for each type of stitch you want to use.

    • If your pattern doesn’t tell you the number of stitches at the end of each row, then that is something you need to calculate to use this technique.

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  16. Ariana Howland SAYS...

    Hi! There’s a typo in the post – under the “how to calculate” section you have “multiply the number of stitches in your pattern by the number of stitches each stitch uses.” instead of “the number of inches each stitch uses.”

    • Thank you for pointing that out! I’ll fix it right away!

  17. Teri Wanat SAYS...

    Im trying to figure out how much crochet thread I will need for a filet crochet project. The only instructions on the graph is 85 X 61. This is blocks. I am using size 10 crochet thread. Do you know approximately how much thread I will need? Thank you for your help

    • You’ll have to crochet a swatch and count the number of stitches!

  18. Marty SAYS...

    Does this calculation also work for knitters?

    • Only if you’re using the same stitch throughout your project – since it depends on first measuring the amount of yarn used in one stitch.

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  20. Darci Hunt SAYS...

    HELP! I’m using Bernat blanket yarn. Doing a single crochet stitch. A 200 gram ball is approximately 220 yards. I’m using a US M13/9.00mm Susan Bates hook. I’m trying to figure out how much yarn I’d need for a family sized blanket that is around six feet wide and nine feet long. How do I figure this out? Because my stitches look small!

  21. Karyn SAYS...

    Any chance we could have this in cm please. Ta

  22. Joy SAYS...

    I’m just learning to crochet. I find this very simple and helpful, especially the pictures. But I don’t understand your comment “the thicker the yarn (and the bigger the hook), the more yarn you’ll need.”
    It seems like that doesn’t really account for the fact that one stitch in the 2.75″ example is many times bigger than one stitch using 1″ per stitch. So if using large hook and yarn, you use more yarn for each stitch, but a lot fewer stitches for the same area. You might need 10 small stitches to make the same area as one huge stitch. Right?
    Sorry I’m new and a little nerdy… I’m thinking in terms of equations ;-0
    Total yarn = (yarn per stitch) x (# stitches per square inch) x (total dimension in square inches)
    Does that work out right or am I missing something? Or is it best to use a pattern where you can figure the number of stitches that way instead of by making a small swatch? I’m not using patterns, just playing around with stitches I like so far.
    I’m also wondering in general does chunky yarn use more or less than thin yarn for the same size project (say, a 60″ square blanket)?
    Thanks!

    • If you’re making a blanket, then yes, you would use fewer stitches for the same area. But if you’re making a stuffed animal (which is mostly what we do here at Shiny Happy World) you use the same number of stitches and get a larger animal. So you can adjust the size of the finished softie by following the pattern just the same, but using thicker or thinner yarn.

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