Most crochet patterns will tell you how much yarn is needed for them. This is sometimes listed in “number of skeins” or actual yardage and/or meters.
However, there may be times when a project either doesn’t list out what you need to buy, or you are attempting to design your own project. In this case, our rough estimations below should be useful to you.
Before we get into the numbers, I want to describe some of the factors that will ultimately impact the amount of yarn you’ll need. All five can significantly change the amount of yarn your project consumes.
Factors that Impact Yarn Usage
There are five main factors that will go into determining how much yarn a specific crochet pattern will require.
1. The Weight of Yarn
The weight of yarn is one of the most impactful factors when determining how much yarn you’ll need for a crochet pattern. A yarn’s weight class – or its thickness – will make a huge difference. A thicker yarn simply takes up more space in a project than a thinner yarn.
In fact, a good way to show this is with Wraps per Inch (WPI). To measure yarn in WPI you’ll need a ruler, and something to wrap the yarn around that has a consistent circumference, like a pencil. Wrap the yarn laying the wraps side-by-side without overlapping. Then measure how many wraps are in exactly one inch.
|#0 – Lace||30-40+|
|#1 – Super Fine||14-30|
|#2 – Fine||12-18|
|#3 – Light||11-15|
|#4 – Medium||9-12|
|#5 – Bulky||6-9|
|#6 – Super Bulky||5-6|
|#7 – Jumbo||1-4|
2. Size of Project
How the size of a crochet project impacts the amount of yarn you’ll need doesn’t really need any further explanation. The larger the blanket, the more yarn you’ll need. Now go ahead and replace “blanket” with scarf, sweater, hat, glove, etc.
3. Types of Stitches
4. Size of Crochet Hook
The size of a crochet hook‘s shaft determines how close together the stitches are. The smaller the hook, the tighter the stitches will be. The larger, then the fabric will end up being looser.
5. Tension & Gauge
Your personal tension is determined by a few things like the hook size you’re using and how tightly you hold the yarn. Looser crochet tension creates fewer stitches per square inch, while tighter crochet tension has more stitches per square inch.
These last two items go hand in hand. Choosing the right yarn hook size will give you more even tension. Practice makes perfect here, but after crocheting a while, you should know if you normally crochet tighter than what patterns regularly expect. You’d test your tension perfectness by following the gauge set by either the yarn or the pattern.
Yarn Amounts by Project Type
As described above, there are so many factors that go into accurately determining how much yarn you’ll need for a particular project. Here are some very rough yardage amounts for the average size of each project and the weight of yarn being used.
As you can see, the difference between the yardage required for a single crochet project when using super fine versus jumbo yarn is significant.
For a few of these project types, I have detail on specific sizes below.
Blankets: Amount of Yarn Needed
There are over 15 different sizes of blankets on our blanket sizing chart. Seven are various baby sizes, and another seven are for the different bedding sizes (twin, queen, king, etc).
All this variation of sizes means that a blanket can require anywhere from 800 to over 10,000 yards of yarn to complete. A baby’s lovey blanket is MUCH smaller than a king-sized quit!
The good thing is that we can try to narrow things down a bit. Most blankets will use either medium #4 or bulky #5 yarn. A baby blanket will then take around 1,000 yards of yarn to complete, while an afghan will require around 2,500 yards or so.
Again, these are very rough estimates. Any good crochet pattern will tell you how much yarn you’ll need to complete it.
Gloves & Mittens: Amount of Yarn Needed
Below, we’ve estimated the amount of yarn needed to crochet a pair of gloves. If you are making a set of fingerless mitts, you would need about 40-70 yards less than what is listed here.
|2||135 yards||170 yards||200 yards|
Hats: Amount of Yarn Needed
Most hats will require less than one skein of yarn to work up.
Most crochet hat patterns use worsted weight yarn, which means you will probably need anywhere between 200 and 250 yards of yarn to finish it. But of course, it will depend on the hat size you’re making as well. A child’s hat will use less yarn than an adult’s hat.
Scarves: Amount of Yarn Needed
We’ve created a simple-to-use Scarf Calculator that will provide the estimated yardage required along with a sample pattern write-up based on the data you input.
However, if calculators aren’t your thing, here are three standard crochet scarf measurements and their approximate yardage requirements using a single type of stitch, such as sc, hdc or dc.
|# sts/inch||6″ x 40″||8″ x 60″||10″ x 70″|
|2||180 yards||460 yards||750 yards|
Sweaters: Amount of Yarn Needed
There are simply too many ways to crochet a sweater to accurately provide an amount of yarn required. Sweaters can be anything from a light shawl to a long cardigan.
However, if we had to choose, most crochet sweater patterns use about 4–11 skeins of yarn. You will probably need anywhere between 1000 – 3,500 yards of yarn to make an adult size sweater.
Dishcloths: Amount of Yarn Needed
You will most likely need about 30-50 yards for a granny square or dishcloth using medium or bulky yarn. Washcloths will likely use a little more since they are usually a little larger than granny squares (6×6 inches vs. 4×4 inches, respectively).
How Many Yards Are in a Skein of Yarn?
If the skein of yarn still has its yarn label wrapped around it, then you’re in luck. The total length – or yardage and meters – of the yarn ball will be listed right on that label.
If the yarn label is missing, or you have a partial skein, then you are going to need a calculator to determine roughly how much yarn you have.
Here are the average lengths of yarn per 100 g or 3.5 ounces per yarn weight category.
|Yarn Weight||Yards per 3.5oz||Meters per 100g|
|#0 – Lace||550 – 800||503 – 732|
|#1 – Super Fine||380 – 460||347 – 421|
|#2 – Fine||300 – 360||274 – 230|
|#3 – Light||240 – 280||220 – 256|
|#4 – Medium||200 – 240||183 – 220|
|#5 – Bulky||120 – 180||110 – 165|
|#6 – Super Bulky||100 – 120||92 – 110|
|#7 Jumbo||< 100||< 92|