Blankets can take a lot of yarn, so it is essential to ensure you have enough yarn before beginning the project. As a general guideline, one yard per stitch might be required for making a baby blanket, while an average twin bed-sized blanket takes between 300-330 yards. Remember, though, that there are many different kinds of blankets. Size and thickness will impact how much yarn you need to make your blanket. There are also many different styles, colors, and patterns depending on which you prefer, you’ll need different yardage.
Calculate how many yards of yarn you’ll need for your blanket
An excellent way to figure out how much yarn you need is to know the size you want your blanket to be, then calculate how many stitches you will need. For example, if your finished blanket was going to measure 36 x 48 inches, but you wanted it loose (not too tight) and with ruffles around the edge, your starting chain would need to be 480 + 6 = 486 stitches.
This means that during each row, when adding together the stitch type (in this case, single crochet), length of each climb (about two feet in this case), and the number of chains (for example, in this case, two), you would have a total length of 486 stitches + 2 chains + two feet. This works out to about 57 inches in each row. However, if you choose a looser blanket with less ruffling around the edges, you could go down to 400-450 stitches per row and get about 42-45 inches for each row.
For some lovely inspiration, check out some free blanket patterns such as the happy couple blanket, our All-In-One Picnic Blanket Tote, or the Personalized Self-Binding Baby Blanket.
How much big yarn do I need to make a blanket?
A good rule of thumb is that 1 skein of standard chunky yarn (big yarn) can be used to knit/crochet about 20 inches x 26 inches. The size will also vary depending on how tight or loose your stitches are. If you are determined to figure out how much yardage you need before starting your project, try wrapping the yarn around something circular with a diameter of 36 inches (like a cardboard tube from paper towels). Then multiply this number by 0.75 for non-super bulky weights or 3 for super bulky.
The weight of the yarn is essential too. The heavier textured blankets can use twelve to sixteen ounces in each square yard. This means that an adult-sized afghan, for instance, could use up to one hundred and fifty-six ounces (seven and a half pounds) in total! That’s about fourteen skeins of eight-ounce yarn! So when deciding what size blanket you want to make and how many colors your design will include, remember that you will need a lot of yarn. So, it may be easier and less expensive to purchase all the yarn you’ll need for your project at once. You’re lucky because Amazon is currently running offers such as this heavily discounted yarn for your project.
If you’re making a baby blanket, one skein of each of the ten colors should do nicely. If you’re making an afghan or bedspread, buy twice as much (or even three times as much) because, most likely, some colors will run out before others do. That way, you don’t have to stop partway through your project because there isn’t any more of one color left! We have found this very easy yarn calculator, which will give you a pretty accurate idea of how much yarn you’ll need depending on your project’s design and size.
How many balls of yarn do I need for a blanket?
Once again, it will depend on the weight of yarn you use, the pattern, and the size of course. Let’s take the example of a baby blanket:
The blanket’s dimensions are 36″ wide by 42″ long. For gauge, I use 4 stitches per inch in garter stitch. When working out my calculations I round up to the nearest whole number because I know there will be some variability due to the exact stitch counts and it is probably better to be safe than sorry!
So here’s how many balls of wool I think you would need:
36in x 42in = 1512in
1512/144 = 10.5 balls of 7ply (I still think it’s safer to round up!)
10.5×7= 77 balls of wool
77-60=17 balls of contrasting wool (I’ve used 12, and it turned out great)
As a finishing note, I’d like to add that you should always leave extra yarn when working with natural materials! Wool is a very elastic product, and if you measure the length required for your work without allowing for stretch, chances are your finished item won’t fit.