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How to Calculate Yarn Yardage by Weight

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After completing a crochet or knitting project you will inevitably find yourself with leftover yarn. This leads to many questions such as what do you make with it? Where do you store it? And more importantly, how many yards are left in that ball of yarn? The good news is that all you need is a kitchen scale and a little bit of math to calculate yarn yardage by weight.

How to Calculate Yarn Yardage with a kitchen scale

How much yarn do I have?

Have you ever started a new, small project with leftover yarn and had to “wing” it hoping you’d have enough because you have no idea how many yards are in that little ball? I sure have. Try this method to calculate yarn yardage by weight.

Walmart's Mainstays Yarn

Before getting started, it would be helpful if you kept one of the yarn labels with your project all the way to the project’s completion. This way you have that label for washing instructions, but most importantly for the weight of a full skein. Of course you could Google this information if you remember the brand – but it’s easier just to check the label. 😉

On most yarn labels you will find the weight of the entire skein/hank/ball in ounces or grams as well as (hopefully) the yardage of (or meters in) that skein. By using those two numbers, as well as the weight of the remaining yarn at the end of your project, you can easily calculate how many yards you have left over. Break out your calculators, ladies and gents, cause we ain’t got time to solve for X using multiplication and long division. Yes, we are solving for X.

Hello, Algebra flashbacks. Just kidding – it’s not that bad.

Calculating yarn yardage by weight

For this example we will use Impeccable yarn from Michaels. A full skein of Impeccable worsted weight/size 4/aran yarn weighs 4.5 ounces and there are approximately 277 yards per skein.

Impeccable yarn from Michaels

When I am finished with my project and weigh the remainder of the skein (using my inexpensive but accurate kitchen scale that I purchased specifically for yarn ♥) I discover that there are 2.48 oz left over.

How to calculate yarn yardage by weight

Now let’s math!

calculate yarn yardage by weight

How to Calculate Yarn Yardage by Weight

1. Take the original number of yards and multiply by the remaining ounces.

Calculating how much yarn I have

2. Take that number and divide by the total ounces of an unused skein of this same yarn.

how do I find out how much yarn I have left over

3. Answer = 152.66 yards! Woohoo!

Now you can use your yarn winder to give this leftover yarn some semblance of order. Wound cakes are easier for storing and finding later on! But then what do you do 6 months from now when you go to use said yarn? Never fear!

calculating yarn yardage tags

Use these free black and white printable tags to aid you in your yarn organization efforts. Just print the page and cut them up, then hole punch and tie to the tail of the yarn and you’ll have all of the details forever! Woot!

Kitchen scale crochet

I hope this post helps you calculate yarn yardage by weight, and here are some more tutorials and yarn hacks you may find useful:

How to Soften Economical or Scratchy Yarn
7 Tips for Counting Rows in Crochet
How to Make an Invisible Join in Crochet
18 Craft Fair Tips for Beginners: How to Run a Successful Craft Show Booth
10 Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online
Tips for Pricing Handmade Items to {Actually} Make Money

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17 Comments

  1. I bought some wool from a sheep fair with only the weight & type of wool on the label. It says 4oz of Corriedale wool. When I untwist it I can clearly see 2 thin strands of yarn. How can I know how many yards I have from that info?
  2. I've been working with vintage patterns that often don't specify a particular brand or type other than "worsted" or "worsted weight 4-ply" ad then give the number of ounces. My brain aches when I try to do the math using modern yarns. Anyway, for whatever help it may be, I found this website and it helped me solve some yardage issues in patterns that are light on the specifics of a yarn: https://place-marker.com/pages/how-to-know-if-you-have-enough-yarn-for-a-project
  3. Is there a standard or average weight per yards ratio we can use to find out if a yarn is truly a 2, 3, 4, 5 weight? Many yarns are suspiciously thin or thick for what their label says they are or do not have a yearn weight listed, so a general idea would help.
    1. Looking for yardage of old skein of yarn: Wintuk 100% worsted weight acrylic. 3.5 oz, 4 ply; 4.5 stitches/inch; 6 rows/inch; size 8 needle
      1. Looks like the 3.5 oz was 245 yards. I found information for this yarn on Ravelry linked here: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/caron-wintuk
  4. Finally! I'm an intermediate crocheter yet still had questions about the plethora of figures, numbers and gauges of yarns. I couldn't find anywhere that would describe, in detail, the difference between size, weight and yardage...until now. Now I fully understand the meaning of these infernal descriptions. It'll solve an argument between my wife and I (I lost but at least now I now!) Thanks very much. Your site has been bookmarked for future perusal.
  5. Thank you sooooo much for this information! I have several partial skeins and have wondered how to know how much there is. And your reply to the question of that rascally unknown ball of yarn is brilliant!
  6. What if you don't know the brand. I purchased some at a thrift shop without any labels. I have no clue what I have. Some are them are crochet thread, others manually rolled balls. How can I calculate how much I have without the brand or content of the yarn?
    1. Hi Marie! With no labels or any yarn information, your best option would be to measure out 1 or 2 yards, weigh it and get your weight per yard...then weigh the whole ball and divide the total ball weight by the single yard weight to get total yards. Hope this makes sense!
      1. Thank you! This is exactly the calculation I needed for all my unidentified yarn from thrift stores and such. ...off to my Ravelry page to update all those unidentified bits. :-)
  7. *sigh* I tried doing this for my current project simply because what's left is looking rather light considering that I have 74 rows left, despite that my gauge is on point, and the project is excruciatingly boring and tedious, and I came up with a weight that's actually higher than reported weight for a complete skein.... why, just why