...the absent-minded ramblings of a sometime diva, hyperactive yarn ya-ya.

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Name: Cyndilou :)
Location: Texas, United States

Just a little piece of sunshine and rainbow set free to wreak happiness on the universe.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A question I have to answer

Someone found my blog by searching on the question "How many yards in a skein of yarn?". The answer to that is simple, and complicated.

The shortest answer is: check the ball band. To expound: every skein of yarn can be different, although most yarn manufacturers attempt to come up with a "standard" amount in their balls/skeins/hanks/whatever. Unfortunately, that standard amount is usually by weight (25 and 50g balls are popular), and since different yarns weigh differently, the amount in the skein will vary. Cotton is heavier than wool, so you would expect less yardage from a ball or skein of cotton yarn that weighs the same as a hank of wool.

Often you will only see the length of yarn in a packaged unit represented in meters. For those of us too used to the English system of measurements, simply multiply the meterage by 1.1 (or add 10%) to get the approximate yardage.

Some yarns (like many Red Heart yarns, for example) do not have yardage or meterage on the ball band or yarn label at all, just a weight. In that unhappy event, do a Google search (or use your favorite search engine) for "[manufacturer] [name of yarn] yardage" and you will usually come up with a few helpful sites with approximate yardage. (Red Heart Supersaver 8 oz skeins, by the way, contain approximately 452 yards of yarn.) If you have a McMorran yarn balance, you can skip this step altogether and just measure a yard of the yarn in question.

Other things to note:
- Yardage on a yarn label is approximate - you might get a little more, you might get a little less. Rarely does it error towards less, probably due in part to the sue-happy society we live in.
- Even the most expensive yarns sometimes have knots in the ball. Always get one extra so you don't run out on a project.
- Patterns that call for a specific yarn by weight or number of balls without giving yardage of said yarn are a tool of the devil. Avoid them - otherwise, look up the yardage of said yarn so you have a good idea of the yardage expectations of the pattern; this way you can substitute yarns as needed.


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