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.

Hold Onto Your Handknit Socks!

Malabrigo Lace that has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  It’s pretty though. 

Hold on a second because I am going to get all fangirl and start screaming…. THREE IRISH GIRLS IS MOVING TO DULUTH!  That’s right, the amazing dyer is moving back to Duluth.  Not only is she moving to Duluth, but she’s opening a Dye Studio in Downtown.  I am so excited I can barely stop myself from jumping up and down and yelling hooray! 

Why should I be so excited?  Well, she has amazing color combinations.  Just follow the link above and see Cranberry Cocktail or Crazy Quilt.  It’s puuurty.  I stopped at her booth at Sock Summit and was completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of beautiful yarns she had brought.  The wool fumes overtook me at that point and I knew I had to get out of the booth or explain to my husband why I spent our mortgage for the month on yarn.  I don’t think I was even able to put a coherent sentance together in the booth!  She’s got a ton of really nice bases and will even dye your yarn with her colorways.  Which I’m going to give some serious thought to.  I’ve got some Misti Alpaca that I’m just not digging the colorway for an adult sweater. 

The other reason I’m so excited is that I love that new business (especially a fiber business) is moving to Duluth.  I think it speaks very highly of our community that we can support 4 yarn stores within a 25 minute drive of the Duluth-Superior area.  We may be mostly highly sensible Scandinavians, but we’ve also got an artistic streak in us.  (Although I maintain that knitting with wool in Northern Minnesota IS highly sensible). 

So here’s what I’m thinking… I’m going to stand outside her studio with a sign that says,

"Will work for yarn."  (nights and weekends are all yours)

"Please, Can I Be Your Sample Knitter?"  (I can’t help it, I’m a polite person at heart). 


"My young children want to be friends with your young children." 

As my friend Michelle would say, "this woman doesn’t know it yet, but she’s my new best friend."  And I mean that in the nicest, least creepy stalker type of way possible.  Especially since her Mom has been known to read my blog.  🙂