Figuring out the amount of yarn you need when you are forced to do a yarn substitution is much easier than you realize. Grab that trust old calculator and let’s figure out the math.
For this example, I am going to use Red Heart’s Cluster Stitch Wrap.
In most reputable patterns, it will tell you the amount of yarn you need to complete the project.
Pattern Provided This Info:
RED HEART® Boutique Unforgettable®: 2 balls of 3965 Candied.
Patterns may tell you the yards and weight of the yarn. In this case, Red Heart provides that information usually in a side note.
Here’s what the patterns says. Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, Art. E793 Available in 3.5oz (100g), 280 yd (256m) balls.
If the pattern doesn’t give the yarn ball weight and yardage breakdown, you can usually check at most of main website for most of the yarn companies. This helps, especially if you love the pattern and don’t have the particular yarn it asks for.
- We also know, according to the pattern that it’s a MEDIUM 4 Weight of yarn. This means, if I am looking to substitute, I should be looking for the same weight to keep the project looking very similar.
REMEMBER: Changing the hook recommendation will also change the amount of yarn you need and it can drastically change the sizing of the project.
To make the wrap above:
1 Ball = 280 Yards x 2 Balls for this project = 560 Yards or 1 Ball = 256 metres x 2 Balls for this project = 512 Metres
Let’s say I don’t have Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable on hand. I have Red Heart Super Saver instead from Walmart. Note that variegated yarn or anything off the solid colours of most yarn brands are different weights and lengths. The yarn is always packaged to a price point and not provided usually the exact same length.
Again, I can either look at a Super Saver Label to tell me the length of the yarn… or I can get that information online at RedHeart.com. You have to determine what type of Super Saver Yarn you are going to use.
- 1 Ball of Super Saver Solid Colours = 364 Yards or 333 metres.
- 1 Ball of Super Saver Prints and Multis is 244 Yards or 223 metres
- 1 Ball of Super Saver Flecks is 260 yards or 238 metres.
We know that the Super Saver is also a MEDIUM 4 Weight which helps us know the sizing will be exact or close to the pattern.
To figure out how many balls you will need for Super Saver:
Total Projects Yard (metres) divided by the Super Saver Ball Yards (metres)
- 560 yards / 364 yards (Super Saver Solid) = 1.53 Balls required
- 560 yards / 244 yards (Super Saver Prints) = 2.30 Balls required
- 560 yards / 260 yards (Super Saver Fleck) = 2.15 Balls required
If you prefer metric for figuring out the balls required, just substitute the yards for metres in the above equation.
You can do this with virtually every pattern out there. When you are switching weights of yarn, the story changes as thicker yarn wraps around the hook in a greater distance that is so small. Over an entire ball of yarn, this can be a significant distance reducing the amount of yarn length you had planned for.
Does this information help you? Leave me your feedback below? Do you have another method of figuring out how to substitute yarns? Share with me your thoughts by leaving a reply.