How much wool do I need to buy?
This is a common question and leads to many debates in the shop. Have you ever run out of yarn for your project or ended up with loads left over? Why? Let’s look at how much wool you need for your project and how to be sure you don’t run out.
You have been using the same baby cardigan pattern for years and you always make it from one 100g ball of double knitting yarn. So obviously any 100g ball of double knitting will give the same result, or two 50g balls even….right? Maybe not.
Imagine you unrolled a ball of yarn and laid it out straight on the floor, then measured the length of it. The measurement you get is the yardage/meterage of the yarn and will be shown on the ball band. So surely if both balls are 100g they’ll measure the same length. Not always.
Yarn can be made from a variety of different materials – wool, cotton, bamboo, acrylic or a mixture of two or more materials. Each of these different materials weigh differently, therefore a 100g ball of 100% wool is probably going to measure shorter than 100g of acrylic because wool is heavier than acrylic.
Let’s look at an example:
The image on the left is the label from a 100g ball of double knitting yarn, made from 100% acrylic as shown. The one on the left is a 50g ball of double knitting yarn, made from a mix of wool, cashmere and acrylic. So will two balls of the 50g yarn be the same as one ball of the 100g? Let’s look at the yardage (length)…the 100g ball has 295 metres in a ball whereas the 50g ball has 125 metres in a ball, two balls (100g) therefore will give us only 250 metres in length, leaving us short 45 metres. Now is it starting to make sense?
It is all a bit baffling but the most important thing to remember when buying yarn is to look at the yardage required rather than the weight. Still confused? That’s what we are there for. You may have seen us in the past comparing ball bands and getting the calculator out. Or maybe we have advised you that the pattern that requires one 100g ball will need three balls of the 50g yarn you’ve chosen and in your head you’ve probably thought we were mad!!! Always ask your yarn shop to calculate the amount of yarn you need and if you follow these tips you’ll hopefully never run short for a project again.