How Many Skeins of Yarn Do You Need to Crochet a Blanket?

Crochet is a wonderful and rewarding hobby that creates beautiful handmade items. But is there anything worse than getting towards the end of your project and realizing you have run out of yarn? We don’t think so!

We have put together this quick guide so that you will always be able to work out how much yarn you need to finish your blanket. This is not as easy to answer as you may think as lots of different factors go into determining your yarn usage.

More obvious things like the final size of your blanket will impact your yarn usage, but have you thought about what size hook you are going to use or what stitches? Keep reading to find out how these factors – and others – will dictate your yarn usage.

How Many Skeins of Yarn Do You Need to Crochet a Blanket

Blanket Size

The first question you should ask yourself is how big is your blanket going to be. No matter what you are making – be it a baby blanket, lap blanket, or statement throw – there is one universal truth. That is a bigger blanket means that you will be using up more yarn. 

But how many skeins will you need?

To put it into perspective, a king-size blanket will require around 10 times more skeins of yarn than a lovey blanket. So the first thing you need to do before you start a project is work out what size blanket you are going to make. 

Yarn Thickness

The yarn weight depends on its thickness and plays a huge role in yarn usage for crochet projects.

You can get a huge variety of yarn thicknesses, from delicate thread strands to ones that are the size of your thumb. Because of the huge range, you do need to decide what weight you are going to use before you can work out how many skeins you need.

You will need more skeins of yarn the chunkier your wool is.

Hook Size

In a similar vein to yarn thickness, you need to decide what hook you are going to use on your crocheted blanket project.

The bigger your hook, the more loose the knots that you make with it, so the greater length of yarn you use per stitch. In short, the bigger your hook, the more yarn you will use. But it is not as simple as choosing a smaller hook, so you use less yarn.

Hook size will have a massive impact on the overall look and size of your crochet project. This is because small hooks generate a very dense crochet fabric. A bigger hook, on the other hand, will create a much fluffier blanket with bigger stitches and bigger spaces between stitches.

Crochet Stitch

On the subject of stitches, you need to decide what type of stitch or stitches you are going to use for your blanket. Don’t forget that different stitches use different amounts of yarn.

The more simple the stitch you use, the less yarn you will use per stitch so the fewer skeins you will need to finish the blanket. However, don’t go for simple stitches just because you will use less yarn!

More complex or longer stitches will provide a fantastic visual interest and texture to your blanket. You may also find that more complex stitches bulk up your blanket a bit more, creating a bit more warmth and comfort!

Before You Calculate Your Yarn Usage

So, before you can calculate how much yarn your crochet blanket project is likely to use, you need to know a couple of things for certain.

First, you need to know the likely final size of your blanket.

You need to know what yarn you are going to use and how thick it is.

Now you need to know what hook you plan on using.

Finally, you need to know what stitch or combination of stitches you will be using on the blanket.

Now you know these four factors, you can use the following calculation to work out how many skeins of yarn you will need. You will never run out halfway through a project again!

Yarn Calculation

How Many Skeins of Yarn Do You Need to Crochet a Blanket

The easiest and most accurate way to calculate how much yarn you will use for your crochet blanket is to create a swatch. 

A swatch is just a sample of the blanket you are crocheting. So you need to use the same hook, stitches, and yarn that you are planning on using. Many people recommend creating a 4” X 4” (10 cm X 10 cm) swatch, but we usually make a 10” X 10” (25 cm X 25 cm) because the math is a bit easier!

Once you have made the swatch, you need to find a ruler and a food scale that can measure in grams.

Here is what to do:

1. Create the swatch

2. Weigh the swatch in grams on the food scale. Write this number down, and then you can set it aside. For the purposes of this, we will say that our swatch weighs 25g.

3. Take a look at the label on your yarn. You will see how many yards and grams are in each ball. Use these figures to work out how many grams are in each ball. In our scenario, the ball of yarn we want to use is 275g and has 590 yards long. So, 590/275 = 2.15 yards per gram of yarn. 

4. Now you need to take the weight of your swatch and multiply this number by the yards per gram figure from the step above. In our example, we would multiply 25g by 2.15 yards per gram, for 53.75 yards of yarn.

5. Now you need to remember what the final size of your blanket will be. Almost invariably this will be on the pattern, but you can easily scale up from the specified gauge if you are unsure. Once you have the final blanket size, you can scale up your swatch yarn usage to find out how much yarn in total you need.

6. If, for example, the final size of your crochet blanket will be 60” X 40” (150 cm X 100 cm), the total area of the blanket will be 2400 square inches. The swatch is 100 square inches. You need to divide the total area of your blanket by the area of the swatch – in this case, 2400/100 = 100. 

7. Take this final figure and multiply it by the figure you worked out in step 4. In our example, you would multiply 24 by 53.75 to give you a total of 1290 yards of yarn required to make your crochet blanket.

8. To work out how many skeins this is, divide the total yard requirements by the number of yards in a skein as specified on the wrapper. Our hypothetical ball of yarn had 590 yards in it, so we would divide 1290 by 590 for 2.19. This means we need 2.19 balls of this yarn to make this blanket, but to be safe we will round up to 3.

There you have it! Use this formula, and you will never run out of yarn midway through a project again.

If those instructions were a bit long-winded, here are the formulae in full:

[(total area of blanket) / (total area of swatch)] X [(weight of swatch) X ({weight of yarn skein}/{yarn skein length})] = total length of yarn needed to finish the blanket.

(total length of yarn needed to finish the blanket) / (length of yarn in a skein) = number of skeins for the finished blanket.

One important thing to remember when using these formulae is that the final number of skeins you need for a blanket may not be a whole number. If this happens, and you end up with a whole number with a decimal after it, you need to round up to the nearest whole. You cannot round down! This will leave you with not enough yarn for your blanket!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Swatch the Same as a Gauge?

No, in this case, a swatch is not the same as a gauge. A swatch is a scaled-down version of your final crochet blanket and can be used to work out how many yards or skeins of yarn you will need to finish.

A gauge is a separate piece of crochet that you compare your work to, in order to make sure that you are working too tightly or loosely. Usually, the gauge is a couple of your first rows, but a swatch is a completely separate piece of crochet for your project.

What is the First Thing that a Beginner Should Srochet?

If you are new to crocheting, we don’t think that you can go wrong with a nice blanket! They are easily customizable and can be huge, so you can easily work on a number of different stitches within the project.

What is the Best Yarn for Crochet?

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned pro, your yarn selection can make or break a project. We recommend that you opt for a DK weighted yarn in either cotton, wool, or acrylic.

This weight is exceptionally easy to work with – it is chunky enough that you can see the details of your stitches, but not so chunky that your project will come out looking bulky.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing worse than running out of yarn when you are almost finished with a crochet project. Fortunately, you can use this calculation to work out how many skeins you need, so you never run out of yarn again!

Before you start this calculation, you need to know what yarn you are going to use, what hook, what stitch, and what the final size of your project will be. These four factors all dictate the final yarn yardage that you will use.

Happy crocheting!

Amanda Brown

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