To state the obvious, a knitter needs to know how much yarn is required for a specific project. I usually think of this in yards. For example, I know that about 1600 yards of dk weight yarn will be enough for a long sleeve sweater for me.
Lately, though, I have found it helpful to weigh yarn to see whether I have enough. I have two examples.
I have to warn you that this takes a little bit of math; sometimes more than a little.
A few weeks ago, I showed you the green beaded cuffs I designed. After knitting a pair of long cuffs, I wanted to know whether you could get two sets of long cuffs out of one skein of yarn.
I could have measured how many yards I had left and compared that figure to the 200 yards in a whole skein, but that is a hassle. Instead I weighed a complete skein (87 grams) and weighed the amount I had left (35 grams). I didn’t weigh the cuffs because the beads made the cuffs much heavier than the yarn alone. Since I had significantly less than half the yarn left, it would not be possible to get another set of long cuffs from the first skein. Fortunately it was possible to get a set of the short cuffs from the remaining portion of the first skein.
I told you in a prior post that I was considering knitting a short cardigan with 3/4 length sleeves from Europa yarn as the test of Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit software but was concerned about whether I have enough yarn. (My group won’t begin testing until August 12.)
The swatch I knit was 5½ inches by 5½ inches and weighs 10½ grams. I have a total of 450 grams of Europa yarn.
The detailed explanation of calculating whether this amount of yarn will make the sweater I have in mind can be found in this document:
I’m sorry to send you off to a separate document but it is the only way I have figured out to include diagrams and tables. (If you know of a better way, please let me know!)
If the pattern generated by Custom Fit is close to the estimates I used, I should have enough yarn (1300 possible square inches vs. 1192 needed) but it is close enough to worry me.
I won’t know if I actually have enough yarn until I generate the pattern. If it seems that I have enough yarn, I will knit the back first and then see what modifications will be necessary. I might need to go without a closure in the front, shorten the sleeves, or lower the neckline. Or maybe all three.
I actually have a third example of using weight to figure out whether there is enough yarn, but you’ve probably had enough. As a treat for the few of you still reading, here are pictures of two versions of my new scarf and shawl pattern BK Collective will be publishing soon.
Thanks for dropping by. I’m off to more KnitKnot Adventures.