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How much yarn, please?

Another question from the peanut gallery. Kathy wants to know:

Do you know of any good sites that give a general guesstimate on yardage required for jerseys/sweaters in various sizes (also taking into account yarn thickness)?

Wow. What an excellent question. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a guideline and I imagine it would be hard to compile, since it depends not only on the type of yarn and the garment design, but also the kind of pattern stitch (more for cables, less for lace, etc — and then colourwork would just throw the whole thing out!). That’s a lot of variables.
The best way to work this out for yourself is to do some maths to get the surface area of the garment (remember those geometry classes?)*; then knit a generous sample swatch using the appropriate stitches and yarn of your choice. If you use the whole ball, you just need to divide the total surface area by the area of your swatch. If you use less, then you’ll need to cut the yarn, and frog the whole swatch so you can get your ruler out and measure how much you used. This is tedious and besides… no more swatch!
* This dress size chart might be helpful in working out the garment dimensions.

4 thoughts on “How much yarn, please?

  1. Fabulous! Thanks for the info Robynn, and taking the time. And thanks for the link, Ginny, it’s now bookmarked 🙂

  2. Hello… I have a a question– I am starting a kintting group for the girls here at my college (Azusa Pacific University in Southern California) and I’m a bit overwhelmed. I want to teach them the basic stiches at the first meeting, but I also want them to have something they can take with them. What would be a good, easy first project?

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