Estimating Yarn Quantities (1)
When you're designing your own patterns,
one of the most difficult tasks is working out
just how much yarn you'll need
to complete the project.
One shortcut you can use is to take the quantities
from a similar pattern, knitted in the same
yarn, and make some allowances for any
different design features.
But often, this method is just not possible, so how
can you make your estimates?
Here's one solution:

Knit a
tension swatch
in your chosen yarn
and in the same stitch structure that
you intend to use for your project.
The larger the swatch, the more accurate
your yarn estimate will be.
For ease of calculation, the best size
to knit is a piece 100 stitches wide by
100 rows long.
This yarn won't be wasted.
You can
always unravel it and use it again when
your calculations
are complete.

Weigh your knitted swatch and make a
note of the weight in gms.
Say, for example, the swatch weighs 70 gms.

Calculate the total number of stitches
in the swatch
by multiplying the stitches
by the number of rows knitted.
If you knitted 100 stitches by 100 rows
then multiply 100 by 100 giving
you a total of 10,000 stitches.

Calculate the number of stitches in the
actual garment to be knitted.
If the back and front are almost the
same, work with the back section
and take the highest and widest numbers.
In the example shown on the right, the
largest number of stitches
for the back is 150 and
the total number of rows is 260.
Multiply these two numbers together to
calculate the stitches:
150 x 260 = 39,000 stitches
Make the same calculation for the sleeve:
110 x 240 = 26,400 stitches

Add up the stitches for each piece:
Back 
= 
39,000 sts 
Front 
= 
39,000 sts 
Sleeve 1 
= 
26,400 sts 
Sleeve 2 
= 
26,400 sts 
Total 
= 
130,800 sts 

Divide the number of stitches in the
garment by the number of stitches
in your swatch.
In this example, divide 130,800 by 10,000.
This gives a result of 13.08
Multiply this result by the
weight of your tension swatch from Step 2.
Using the example weight:
13.08 x 70 gms = 915.6 gms
If your yarn is sold in 100 gm balls, then
you would need 10 balls.
If your yarn is sold on 400 gm cones, then
you would need 3 cones.

Garment Example
(Stitches and Rows)
