How to calculate the amount of wool to weave a project?


Calculating the amount of wool or yarn to weave a garment is something every weaver wants to know.

Why it is useful to calculate how much wool a job will take you

When we have a project in development and we run out of material, i.e. wool or yarn, things get complicated, and getting the same colour can be quite a problem.

The balls and skeins of yarn come with labels that indicate the brand, the type of material (e.g. merino wool, mohair, etc.), how the yarn is cleaned or washed, the thickness of the wool and also the number or name of the colour and the starting number. If we have bought 3 balls, and when we weave we see that it is not enough, we must check that the numbers of the color and batch are the same. Sometimes, it is the same color, but another batch, and it is no longer certain that it is completely the same.

Some wool shops buy their unlabelled hanks, and here it is a little difficult to get it to be the same colour or thickness. Where I buy, for example, skeins come without labels, so I have to make sure I buy the right amount, otherwise I find it difficult to find the exact color.

The importance of the sample

To make a fairly accurate calculation of the stamen needed for a job, we must weave a sample.
The sample should be 10 cm by 10 cm. This measurement will be used as a reference for the calculations. We weave 10 cm of base by 10 cm of height using the wool that we are going to use in the garment, or a similar one in the thickness, and the needles that we will use to weave. In this way, when we do it with our hands, we will be exercising the tension that we will use in the garment. Remember that this sample is valid for you, since another person, even if he uses the same elements, can weave tighter or looser, so there can be variations.

Then, make a scale drawing of the garment you are going to weave using square sheet.

Let's see this example. I'm going to weave a crib blanket of 1.30 m by 70 cm, and make the mold to scale on graph paper. In my mold I will consider that each square measures 10 cm on each side. Then, when using 7 squares of base, they are equivalent to 70 cm.

How many times will the sample enter this blanket? as many times as there are squares. 7 base squares multiplied by 13 squares high equals 91. Therefore, I can say that to weave this blanket I will need 91 times the sample I made at the beginning.

Now I have to find out how much wool or thread the sample has taken me. Let's look at two options:

* If you buy the yarn by weight (in my country I buy it in grams) then you will have to weigh the sample of 10 x 10. With a digital scale, or those that are used in the kitchen, since they are appropriate to weigh small measures, take the weight of the sample.

Suppose my sample weighs 8 grams. So, to calculate how many grams go into 91 squares, I will have to multiply 91 x 8 = 728 g. This means, that to weave my blanket I will use 728 grams of yarn.

* If you buy yarn by linear measure, what you need to do is unweave the 10 x 10 sample and measure with a tape measure, how many centimeters (or inches, or yards, according to how your system of measures in your country), how much your sample measures.

Again, assuming that the thread used in my sample measures 3 meters (or 300 cm), I will have to multiply 300 cm by 91 = 27300 cm will be the amount needed for my blanket.

Let's see another way of calculating

Another option to calculate the amount of wool needed is to measure 1 meter of wool and cut it, make a small bun and weigh it on the scale. Let's suppose that 1 meter of wool weighs 2 grams. 

1 meter = 100 cm = 2 grams

Knowing these values facilitates the calculation of what the sample measures, because with only weighing it and knowing how many grams it has, we will be able to calculate how much it measures by means of mathematical accounts, applying the simple rule of 3, which is learned in the third grade of primary level, that is, everyone can make this calculation.

I hope this orientation will help you buy the right amount of wool or yarn for your projects, so that you don't lack or overdo it.