How to Calculate the Length of Yarn by Weight

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 7 Comments

Have you ever wondered how much yarn you have left to go in your skein? How about how much yarn you’ve used in your finished project? I didn’t realize this when I first started crocheting, but it is possible to know the length of yarn used or how much yarn is left in a skein without taking out a yard stick. All you need is some information and a kitchen scale.

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 5

Materials
Yarn skein or project to measure
Information from ball band: number of yards per ball & number of grams or ounces per ball
(If you no longer have the ball band but you are sure of the type of yarn you have, you can search the yarn database on Ravelry to get this information.)
Kitchen scale set to grams
Lightweight bowl to hold yarn or project
Pen or pencil
Paper
Calculator or computer

Procedure
1. Place your kitchen scale on a flat, even surface. Follow the instructions to turn the scale on and to “zero” the scale. I used the Taylor Biggest Loser 6.6 Pound Kitchen Scale.

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread

2. Place the lightweight bowl on the scale and press the “tare” button to zero it again.

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 2

3. Place the project or yarn into the bowl. Record the weight.

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 4

4. Repeat step 3 for any yarns or projects you want to measure.

5. Look at the yarn label. It should tell you a number of grams or ounces per ball. If it provides both, use grams. If it only provides ounces, go to google.com and type in “{whatever number of ounces given} to grams” in the search bar and it will give you a value for grams. Use that. Write it down.

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 6

6. Look at the yarn label. It should tell you a number of yards or meters per ball. Use whichever measurement you prefer. I will use yards. If you want to convert yards to meters, go to google.com and type in “{whatever number of yards given} to meters” in the search bar and it will give you a value for meters. You could do the same for meters to yards. Write it down.

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 9

7. You need to find out how many yards per gram. To do this, use the calculator to divide the number of yards by the number of grams. Round the number to 2 decimal places for accuracy. Write it down.

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 8

8. Now you need to multiply the number of grams left by the number of yards per gram. Use your calculator to do this. You will get a regular number. That is the number of yards you’ve used!

How to Calculate Yarn Length by Weight a Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 7

So how did it go? Did you already know how to do this? How did your measurements turn out? Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below. You can do it! Math is the yarn crafter’s friend!! I promise!

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7 Comments

  1. Karina says:

    This is so simple that it’s absolutely amazing. Thank you for the idea! I was so focused on the length of the yarn and the fact that I’d have to take a measure to know how much I need that it never came to me that I do have another reference than the length itself and I can calculate it ๐Ÿ™‚ Plain simple genius!

    • Elaine P says:

      That is the most wonderfull thing I can use. It will really help me, as to wheather I should modify or keep going. THANKS SOOO MUCH.

  2. Darlene P. says:

    Thank you so much. Mystery finally solved! I will be using this info often.

  3. jodiebodie says:

    Hi Caissa,

    Oh! I use my scales ALL THE TIME to calculate my yarn. In fact my children frequently tell me off for using the kitchen scales for yarn!!!! (“Mum! Kitchen scales are for cooking!”)

    It is a coincidence that you posted about scales today. We must be on the same wave length because scales have been the “theme of the week” around my place.

    My fantastic electronic scales died after 25 years of reliable service. Even though I have some mechanical scales, their gauge is not as useful – the graduations are too large.

    I couldn’t last a week before needing to rush out for a new set of scales!
    They are invaluable.

    “Parting with such sweet sorrow”: my old scales are still sitting on the bench, because I can’t bring myself to say goodbye! I long for my scales that do not make a jarring ‘beep’ sound like all the new electronic gadgets do, including the new scales…if it weren’t for that noisy feature I might feel more kindly towards them…but now my children can hear me weighing yarn with the kitchen scales so will I never hear the end of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great timing with your post, Cami xx

  4. Tami says:

    I had no idea how to do this. This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this information and this step by step process. Looks relatively easy, I might actually be able to do this! Thank you again.

  5. Noelene says:

    Thank you so much for the information and for showing us how to do it. I would never ever have thought of it. Regards, Noelene

  6. fleurdelis says:

    We have a digital postal scale and I have weighed a completed piece or a partially completed piece to see how much yarn it really took with the hook I used, if I have enough to complete it or if need to use/buy more. I’m not buying hand made expensive yarns and always buy more than enough yarn to complete a project, keep the receipt and return unused portion if not used. With so many great yarns being made without dye lots, calculating amounts is not as much of a problem as it used to be. Great Post!

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