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Joshua Gibson

How many skeins of yarn do I need to crochet a 3’x4’ blanket using a size H crochet hook?

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Posted (edited)

A lady at my church came up to me on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and asked me to crochet at 3’x4’ blanket to help out a foster child.  She is willing to take me to JoAnn Fabrics and will pay for however many skeins of yarn I need.  How many skeins of yarn should I tell her to buy?

Edited by Joshua Gibson
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That is hard to tell, it would depend on your stitch tension (need more yarn if you stitch tightly sort of thing), stitch pattern (post stitches are yarn hogs compared to lace for example), and how many yards per skein, what weight of yarn (baby/sport weight? RH Super Saver worsted wight?), and so forth.

You need to figure out how many yards of yarn you need, and apply that to how many yards of yarn per skein to figure out the skein count.

If you want to make it out of a yarn style (let's say Red Heart SS, that's a common choice for sturdy blankets) that you have on hand, you could grab some and make a 6"x6" square swatch in the stitch pattern you want to use.  Put a paper clip or something to mark the end of the yarn that will stay put, unravel it, and measure the length. 

Let's talk square feet not square yards for now, and convert later.  A 3' x 4' blanket is 12 square feet; there are four 6" squares in each sq ft, 6x12=72 squares. 

Let's say your 6" square took 50 feet of yarn (totally pulling a number out of the air).  You would need 50 feet, times 72 = 3600 feet of yarn, or 1200 yards.

A skein of RHSS yarn is 364 yards based on a skein I just pulled out of my closet.  1200 divided by 364 is 3.3 skeins, so you'd need to tell her to buy 4 skeins (again, totally made up number, you'll have to swatch and re-calculate) -- if you get a number that's close to, but slightly below a whole skein, round up; maybe you have enough to throw in a hat for the foster child.

Another (swatchless and mathless) method is to go to the yarn site and find a suitable pattern, and tell her to buy the # of skeins the pattern calls for.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Example, still going with the RHSS choice, I searched yarnspirations.com using the search options baby blankets (because that's about the size you are thinking of, baby or lap blanket) and Red Heart Super Saver, here is one example, Comfort Blanket - is 3x3' and calls for 3 skeins, 4 skeins should cover 3x4', this gives you an idea to do your own pattern investigation.

Edit - I chose a 1 color example, multiple colored blankets are (probably) going to call for more skeins

Edited by Granny Square

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This looks a little math intensive, but might help....

https://www.shinyhappyworld.com/2014/03/how-much-yarn-do-i-need.html

But I also read somewhere that the calculation is different depending on what stitch you're using; sc certainly takes less yardage than dc. She did an updated post here: https://www.shinyhappyworld.com/2017/05/how-much-yarn-does-crochet-use-single-vs-double-crochet.html

Hope that helps!

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Stitch does matter, but if you think of it in terms of 'how much yarn will it take to cover x square feet', sc is the worst choice.  Yes, 1 dc takes up more yarn than 1 sc, but 1 dc covers more territory--and will cover that territory in fewer stitches.  If the goal is to use less yarn to make a 'thing' a specific size, you'll use less yarn with dc to make the 'thing' than sc. 

I did an experiment a few years ago--on another forum some knitters were saying 'but crochet uses 3x more yarn than knit!' so I cut a bunch of 6 yard lengths of yarn and did an experiment, using the same mm size hook and needle I worked up some swatches about the same width - you can see below, for such a small swatch the amount of extra territory the dc covered wasn't a lot, but it would add up on a big project.

Mythbusting small copy.jpg

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Using Read Heart Super Saver just because thats what I am most familiar with but could possibly apply to other yarn as well.  RHSS in the multicolors have less yarn than the solid colors.  Skeins purchased some years ago (same color RHSS) had more yarn than they do today.  In other words an older pattern may say it needs 3 skeins of RHSS but back then the skeins were an ounce larger.  Go by the yardage or at least ounces not skeins and always purchase extra.   

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