Quick, easy and pretty darn fun.
It goes without saying, we think knowing how to calculate the yardage in a project is an essential skill for any aspiring designer to maser. In this post we’ll cover everything you need to know so you can figure out exactly how much yarn you used. Plus we’ll even share the spreadsheet we use to do this for ourselves and the patterns here at B.Hooked!
put it to use
To Calculate Project Yardage, You’ll Need a Couple Things
The project’s weight is a crucial component to figuring all this out so you’ll need to invest in a reliable scale. A kitchen scale is my go-to and it works for nearly all projects, with the exception of blankets because they’re usually too large and hang off the sides of the scale.
A couple things to consider when choosing a scale:
- Units – Whether you use meters and grams or ounces and yards, make sure your scale can accommodate these units.
- Make sure it includes at least one decimal place.
- Bathroom scales generally won’t cut it.
The Smart Weigh kitchen scale has worked really well for years. It was an inexpensive purchase on Amazon and has held up well for years. If you want to get this scale, just search for Smart Weigh Kitchen Scale on Amazon.
The other thing you need is a spreadsheet, essentially to make your life a little easier. You can use a calculator, but this is a little more long-form. A spreadsheet will automatically do the work for you. All you have to do is input the yarn and project information and voila! it tells you the yardage in the project.
Most people have a Google account these days so if you do as well, you can use Google Sheets, a completely free spreadsheet software. There’s no download either. It’s available 100% online and you can access it from any of your devices. These conveniences make it our spreadsheet of choice but Microsoft Excel is another great option if you already have access to that program.
Build a Spreadsheet To Do All The Work
Don’t worry if you aren’t entirely comfortable with spreadsheets or setting them up. It’s much easier than you might think and will only take about 10 minutes. If you have exactly zero interest in setting this up on your own, we’ll share ours! Just scroll down below the following steps.
However, if you’re up for something different and want to set it up on your own, open your spreadsheet and give it a name. Then label the following columns:
- Project Name
- Yarn Brand
- Yarn Type
- Skein Weight (oz or g)
- Skein Length (yds or m)
- oz/yd OR g/m (whichever units you prefer)
- Project Weight
- Yards/Meters in Project
These are your column headings. Then click on the cell just below the oz/yd or g/m cell. Type = key and click on the cell just below the skein weight. Then type the / key and click the cell just below the skein length cell and hit the enter key. You’ll probably see an error that says #DIV/0! – that’s normal for now because there isn’t any project information added yet. That calculation will give you the ounces per yard of yarn (or grams per meter of yarn) and is used in the final calculation.
Next click the cell just below the yards/Meters in project heading. Type the = key and click on the cell below the project weight heading. Type the / key and click the cell below the oz/yd or g/m heading (the one with the error from before). Then click enter and you’ll see the same error. Again, totally normal.
To get rid of the error, the spreadsheet needs some information to make its calculation. So go ahead and make a test entry. Type “example project” in the cell below project name, “Lion Brand” in the cell below yarn brand, “alpaca blend” in the cell below yarn type, “3.5” for ounces or “100” for grams (whichever unit you use) in the cell below skein weight, “207” for yards or “190” for meters in the cell below skein length, and “4.5” for ounces or “128” for grams in the cell below the project weight heading.
When you enter this information, your calculation error should go away and be replaced with real numbers, the most important of which is the yardage (or meters) in the project.
Not Much of a Spreadsheet Person?
We have you covered. In fact, this is the same spreadsheet we use on a regular basis. Click here to be directed to the Google Sheet, where you can save a copy and start using it immediately.
Once you click on the link and open the spreadsheet, you’ll need to save a copy to your own account so you can edit and save it for later (this is just a template).
To save a copy….
- Go to File and select “Make a Copy” and save the copy to your Google account.
- Then just fill in the cells with your own project information and what the calculations happen automatically.
Project Yarn Yardage Calculated This Way Is Dependent On Project Weight
This is the most basic and straightforward way to calculate the amount of yarn that’s in a project. It works by converting the known weight of the project into yards or meters based on the known value of ounces to yards (or grams to meters) for the yarn you used.
That being said, this method is used to work backwards – when you complete the project and want to know how much yarn is in it. Even if you’re not a designer but you like to share patterns with your friends or family, this little calculation and spreadsheet will come in handy. Take it and use it!
Just please don’t replicate or redistribute it.