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Friday, September 6, 2013

Figuring Out How Much Yarn You Need

Figuring out how much yarn you need for a crochet project is probably one of the most frustrating things about being a crocheter and a designer!  One helpful tool is the "Crocheter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements" by Ann Budd, but of course the guide can only offer a starting point since it's based on using the single crochet stitch (but there is a conversion chart to other stitches).

One technique I've used to estimate yarn usage is to make a gauge swatch in the specialty stitch pattern I am using, then unravel and measure how much yarn I've used for that number of stitches and rows, then use those figures to do some calculations when I've figured out how many stitches and rows the finished product has.  This method can give a rough enough estimate that will help you be able to indicate in your pattern how many yards/meters of yarn the pattern maker will need, especially if it's less than one skein's worth.  It's worth doing this because a number of crocheters have plenty of half-used balls of yarn around and want to be able to predict whether they've got enough yarn to make your pattern (remember your frustration when making something and coming up two rows short on yarn!).

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