UNDERSTANDING the YARN: Importance of the Amount of Yards/Meters per one Skein/Ball

Have you ever crocheted with yarn that you thought might be suitable for a project but in the end it was not enough to finish it? For example, four balls of Bulky-weight yarn were required and you have used almost five balls with the same hook? You might ask yourself why the yarn was divided into different categories and gauge ranges if the most important point – amount of required yarn was wrong?

Let us understand the basic yarn label information and see how you can use it for crochet projects.

I take the popular in the USA Yarn Caron Simply Soft:

Understanding the YARN

Understanding the YARN

It is labeled as 4 or Medium. This info is understood by intermediate and experienced crocheters within the United States. Most yarn companies in North America follow such Standards that divide the yarn into classes of weight (based on the thickness of the yarn).

If you do not have any personal experience with this particular yarn or this weight category how to find the right equivalent to use?

Say, you are about to crochet a garment requiring two skeins of Impeccable Solids by Loops & Threads, which is also acrylic, and also labeled as 4 or Medium in the USA. Are these two yarns equivalents or not? How many skeins to use if you would like to replace it with the Simply Soft by Caron?

The majority of yarn sold internationally are packed into 100 gr and 50 gr skeins/balls. Many American yarn producers package the yarn to a certain price point and divide solid and variegated yarn into balls with different yardage. It might look as though you are purchasing a cheaper yarn, but how to compare it to other yarns even within the same yarn weight category (like we would compare hours to hours and minutes to minutes)? 100 gr-weight is a great bench mark to understand how many meters are per each 100-gr-ball.

One skein of Simply Soft by Caron has 170 gr / 6 oz, 288 meters / 315 yards.  To calculate the amount per 100 gr we

multiply 288 m by 100 gr and divide by 170 gr = 169 m

One skein of Impeccable Solids by Loops & Threads has 128 gr / 4.52 oz, 245 meters / 268 yards.  To calculate the amount per 100 gr we

multiply 245 m by 100 gr and divide by 128 gr = 191 m.

This means that Impeccable Solids has much more meters per 100 gr than Simply Soft and is thinner (about 11 percent thinner). You might need to use a smaller hook to obtain the same gauge if you wish to replace Impeccable Solids with Simply Soft. Besides, your garment with Simply Soft will look slightly thicker.

Without comparing their yardage/meterage per 100 gr you might think that since both acrylics belong to the same Yarn Category (4/Medium) two skeins of Impeccable Solids are 9 oz and exactly 1.5 skeins of Simply Soft by Caron (6 oz + 3 oz) would be sufficient.

Let us check their yardage:

2 skeins of Impeccable Solids by Loops & Threads =  490 meters  /  536 yards

1.5 skeins of Simply Soft by Caron = 432 meters  /  472 yards which is less than necessary

And therefore you will not have enough yarn to finish.

These are several equivalents for Simply Soft by Caron: equivalents. The closer this acrylic yarn is to 169 m per 100-gr ball, the more exact will be your gauge and total yarn usage (almost 100 % match).

These are several equivalents for Impeccable Solids by Loops & Threads: equivalents. The closer this acrylic yarn is to 191 m per 100-gr ball, the more exact will be your gauge and total yarn usage (almost 100 % match).

We have compared yarn within one weight category and of the same fiber.

Patterns worked with 4  and 5 yarn categories are gathered here: worsted-aran-10-ply-medium-4-120-240-m/ Every our tutorial states how many grams of yarn and the yardage/meterage per 100 gr is required. We hope now you see how important is it to regard this information before embarking on any project.

Happy crocheting!

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In next article we will explain how to understand yarn based on the wrapping per inch method.