Knitters Math

Confession Time:

Math was not my favorite subject in school.  In fact, I pretty much hated it until I reached algebra.  Thanks to some great teachers (Mr. Boettcher being the best of the best), algebra just made sense to me.  It was math in puzzle format and just made sense to my brain.

Since I’m confessing, I will tell you that I still can’t do math in front of people.  It brings me right back to 3rd and 4th grade timed math tests.

So when someone asked me how to determine how much yarn was left in a partial skein, it made sense to me that I would use algebra.  By the look on the faces of the two smart women who were talking to me, I lost them at the word “Algebra.”

So here’s how I figure out how much yardage is remaining in a partial skein.  Hold onto your handknit socks, because we’re about to do a puzzle.

You will need:

A scale

The yarn tag or information off of Ravelry or Yarndex about the yardage in the original skein.

The leftover skein of yarn

Paper and pencil

Calculator if you’d like

yarn on scale

First, you’re going to weigh your remaining yarn.  A kitchen scale will work.  My scale weighs in grams, so I converted it to ounces using an online converter.  (Just google “convert grams to ounces”)

My Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Worsted weighed 3.36 oz.

The original skein weighed 3.5 oz and was 195 yds.

Now the puzzle part.

Divide the original yardage by the original ounces.


That gives you the number of yards per ounce.  (55.7)

Then, multiple that number by the weight of the yarn you have remaining.  In our case this is 55.7 x 3.36

Our answer is:  187.2 yards

knitters math

Is that clear as mud?

By the way, the pretty yarn up there on the scale?  That’s the yarn I dyed during the yarn dyeing party at Three Irish Girls.  I promise I’ll tell you more about that soon.