Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crochet: How much yarn do I need?

Whenever I'm getting ready to start a new project, I always get stuck determining how many yards of yarn I need. Making hats and other small projects is usually no problem. I grab one or two skeins and head to the checkout. But larger projects, like blankets, I'm stumped. So I play the guessing game and hope I get lucky. So far, I have.

If you're working from a pattern, it's a little easier. Usually, the pattern will tell you precisely how many balls of yarn you need.

Number of skeins called for in the pattern × yards per skein = total yards needed

But if you are designing your own pattern, or using different yarn than suggested, it can get tricky. After some internet searching, I came across a helpful chart from Lion Brand. Using the chart, I was able to make an educated guess at the amount of yarn I'll need. It's definitely better than guessing!

I also came across a couple of mobile apps that may make future yarn shopping easier.

1. Crochet Handy - iOS - $.99
This app helps you quickly determine how much yarn you need for your next crochet project.
This seems like a great tool, though possibly missing out on some features, such as, hook size and a limited project list. Alas, I'm an Android user and this app is only available on iOS, so I haven't tried it. If anyone tries it out, let me know how it works for you. And please, someone make something similar for Android users!

2. Yarn Shopper - Android - FREE
This app helps you see how many skeins of yarn you'll need and how much you'll pay for your project. It has a built-in list of top yarns in each weight category, but lets you add and edit your own yarn descriptions as well.

This app makes shopping around for yarn so much easier! Though it may not be great for helping me determine yardage, it does help me keep yarn and prices organized. Hopefully, the developers will keep adding new features. I'd love to see a barcode scanner and a place to add an image.

If any of you have tried and true ways of determining how much yarn you need for a project, please share! I'd love to continue taking the guess work out or yarn buying.

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