Whether knitting or crocheting, making a cozy blanket is one of the most rewarding crafts you can undertake. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a project and realizing that you don’t have enough yarn to reach the end. Even worse, the batch of yarn you are using is often no longer available and you have to settle for colors that aren’t quite what you wanted to begin with.
Figuring out how much yarn you need to make a blanket is straightforward. How much yarn you will need will primarily depend on what weight of yarn you use. For a standard throw blanket, you will, on average, need 3100 to 3300 yards of medium-weight yarn to finish your project.
Are you wondering how many yards of yarn for a blanket? If so, you’re in the right place! Keep reading as we break down the different types of yarn and how much of each you will need to complete your next blanket project.
- How is Yarn Measured?
- How Many Yards of Yarn For A Blanket: Comparison Chart
- How Much Yarn Do You Need for a Throw Blanket?
- How To Calculate How Much Yarn For Different Size Blankets?
- Is 1000 Yards of Yarn Enough For a Blanket?
- How Much Yarn for a Baby Blanket?
- How Many Yards of Yarn Do I Need to Make a Large Blanket?
How is Yarn Measured?
Before we can get into exactly how much yarn you will need for your blanket, it is important that you understand how yarn is measured and some of the major terms that are used to describe it. Most knitting or crocheting patterns will tell you exactly what type of yarn you need. However, choosing the wrong type can affect your project’s final size and look.
Companies that manufacture yarns use standard terms to describe them: “yarn weight.” Yarn weight doesn’t refer to how much the yarn weighs on a scale. Instead, it refers to the overall thickness of the yarn.
The Craft Yarn Council controls these terms and which products can bear each term. This is meant to help you, as the customer, to know that you are getting the right size of yarn and that there won’t be discrepancies from brand to brand.
There are eight different weights of yarn, typically labeled on their packaging with a number from 0 to 7. The larger the number, the heavier the weight of the yarn. This means that the yarns labeled with larger numbers will be far thicker than those with smaller numbers.
The eight categories of yarn are:
Lace yarn is generally used for very fine lace projects and won’t be used to make blankets. Most blankets will be made from a medium to jumbo yarns with some extra bulk.
Wraps Per Inch (WPI)
From time to time, you may also see yarn sizes referred to in terms of “wraps per inch” or WPI. This measurement is fairly straightforward and refers to the number of times a strand of yarn can wrap around one inch of a standard ruler. In other words, if your yarn can wrap around a ruler 20 times in one inch, that yarn would have a WPI of 20.
The smaller the yarn is, the higher the WPI it will have. Lace yarn, for example, typically has a WPI of 21-28. Jumbo yarn, by comparison, often has a WPI of 1-3. This number will be seen on the label of the yarn you buy, alongside its weight.
How Many Yards of Yarn For A Blanket: Comparison Chart
Use the following chart to compare different yarn weights and how much you’ll need to produce a throw blanket. Most typical throw blankets measure 50 x 60 inches in size. Keep in mind that the total number of yards you use will ultimately depend on your pattern and how even your stitches are.
|Yards Needed For Throw Blanket*
|1 - Superfine
(also known as fingering or baby yarn)
|Slightly heavier than lace yarns; typically used for delicate projects like socks, baby outfits, and gauzy scarves and shawls;
WPI of 18-20
|4800 to 5000 yards
|2 - Fine
(also known as sport yarn)
|Slightly heavier than super fine yarns; typically used for lightweight clothing like sweaters, hats, and scarves.
WPI of 15-17
|3700 to 3900 yards
|3 - Light
(also known as DK or double-knitting yarn)
|One of the more commonly used yarns for clothing project; not quite medium-weight but still has some thickness; typically used for sweaters, hats, and baby items
WPI of 12-14
|3300 to 3500 yards
|4 - Medium
(also known as worsted weight or Aran yarn)
|The most commonly seen and used yarn, often sold in large balls at most major retailers; great all-purpose yarn used for clothing, blankets, and most other project types.
WPI of 10-11
|3100 to 3300 yards
|5 - Bulky
(also known as chunky yarn)
|A moderately thick yarn used for bulky sweaters, hats, mittens, and blankets; one of the more common thick yarns available at retail craft stores
WPI of 6-7
|1500 to 1800 yards
|6 - Superbulky
|One of the heaviest yarns available; typically only used for large projects like blankets; great for beginner knitters
WPI of 4-5
|1100 to 1300 yards
|7 - Jumbo
|Largest and thickest yarn available; almost exclusively used for blankets; often only available through online specialty shops. Great for arm knitting.
WPI of 1-3
|600 to 1000 yards
* These are approximate yard measurements. If you are following a pattern, always check the instructions to ensure you have enough yardage. The total amount of yarn used can vary from pattern to pattern, even if the final dimensions are the same.
How Much Yarn Do You Need for a Throw Blanket?
When knitting or crocheting a throw blanket, how many yards of yarn you need depends on the yarn’s thickness. Typically, the thinner yarn is, the more yards of it you will have to use. However, there can also be some variation based on the size of needles you are using, the types of stitches you are making, and how evenly spaced your stitches are.
1: Superfine Yarn
Superfine yarn is one of the thinnest yarns you could use to make a blanket and your project will require many yards of this yarn to be completed. You should estimate that you will need at least 4800 to 5000 yards of this yarn for a throw blanket, though more may be necessary depending on the size of needles you use.
This thin yarn will make equally thin and lightweight blankets. This makes it perfect for baby blankets and decorative pieces that don’t need to help keep you warm. A medium to heavy yarn would be a better option if you’re looking for warmth.
2: Fine Yarn
Fine yarn is the next step up from superfine yarn and is most commonly used to make lightweight clothing. Baby clothes, scarves, shawls, and sweaters are all common projects for this weight of yarn. Because it is so thin and lightweight, fine yarn still requires you to use a lot of yards for each project you make.
While the exact amount will vary based on your pattern and the size of needles you use, it is not uncommon for throw blankets to take 3700 to 3900 yards of fine yarn to finish. This will also require a seemingly endless number of stitches to complete, which is why heavier weights of yarn are typically recommended for blankets.
3: Light Yarn
Light yarn is a good choice for baby blankets and other lightweight projects you undertake. For the average throw, you could expect to use between 3300 and 3500 yards of this type of yarn. This makes it a bit more affordable than some of the lighter options on this list while still being thin enough to use all year.
Light yarns are often found at local craft stores and may be sold under the name DK or double-knitting yarn. Regardless of which name you see, this type of yarn is a good option for many blankets.
4: Medium Yarn
Medium yarn, also known as worsted weight or aran yarn, is popular for knitters and crocheters alike. This type of yarn has enough weight to keep you warm while not being overly bulky or prone to trapping too much heat. It falls in the middle of the scale in terms of overall weight and thickness.
You can often expect to use between 3100 and 3300 yards of yarn to make a throw blanket with medium yarn. Even then, there are quite a few styles of stitches, needle sizes, and overall patterns that can be made with medium yarn. This means there can be a tremendous variation in how much yarn is needed to make a medium-weight blanket.
5: Bulky Yarn
Bulky yarn is a great option for making thick and chunky blankets. This variety of yarn is also commonly sold in local craft stores, and you can anticipate using between 1500 and 1800 yards of it to make a throw blanket. It’s also a great option for chunky hats, sweaters, and gloves during winter.
6: Superbulky Yarn
Superbulky yarn is one of the thickest and warmest options for blankets, making it an obvious choice for knitters and crocheters worldwide. Its size means you only need around 1100 to 1300 yards of this heavy-weight yarn to finish an average throw blanket. Even better, its larger stitches make the process go a lot faster and many throw blankets can be completed in just a handful of hours.
7: Jumbo Yarn
Last but not least, jumbo yarn is the largest standard size on the market and is used to make especially bulky blankets. This yarn can take as little as 600 to 1000 yards to make a throw blanket. It’s a great option if you want a weightier blanket that keeps you warm even in the coldest months.
The bulky size of this yarn can make it rather expensive, so don’t be surprised if your price tag rises quickly when buying it. Fewer overall yards don’t necessarily mean your project will be less expensive. It all depends on the type of yarn you are using and how large a project you are making.
How To Calculate How Much Yarn For Different Size Blankets?
If you are trying to calculate for yourself how much yarn you need for a certain blanket size, there are a few methods you can use. You can calculate the amount of yarn needed based on the pattern you are using or by making a test swatch.
Follow a Pattern
Following a pattern is one of the easiest ways to know how much yarn you need. The pattern doesn’t even have to be for the exact size of blanket you are making! You can typically calculate how much it will take to make a larger or smaller blanket based on the information the pattern gives you.
For example, if you’re planning to make a baby blanket, but the pattern you are using is for a throw blanket, some basic math will help you figure out the yardage you need. If the pattern says that you will need 1500 yards of yarn to make a 60” by 60” throw blanket, dividing that in half would show you that you need only 750 yards to make a 30” by 30” baby blanket.
Depending on how large of a blanket you want, the numbers may not divide or multiply evenly. However, this can be a good way to get a rough idea of how much yarn you’ll need for the size of blanket you intend to make.
Make a Test Swatch
One of the easiest ways to determine how much yarn you need is to make a test or gauge swatch with the yarn and needle(s) you have on hand. Knit or crochet a 4” by 4” square using the yarn and the style of stitch you intend to use throughout the blanket.
Once you have completed your 4” by 4” square, cut the yarn but do not tie it off. Then, unravel the square and measure how much yarn you used. You can then calculate how much yarn you need for an entire blanket based on this measurement.
For example, if you plan to make a 48” by 48” blanket, you will need 122 of those 4” squares. If it took you two yards of yarn to make that 4” square, you will multiply the 2 yards by 122 to get a total of 244 yards. This is the amount of yarn you should expect to need for your entire blanket.
Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to have extra yarn on hand to help ensure that you have enough. A lot of variation can happen as you work, which can affect how far your yarn stretches. Different stitch sizes, tensions, and the weight of the piece pulling on your stitches will affect how much yarn you need.
Is 1000 Yards of Yarn Enough For a Blanket?
1000 yards of yarn could be enough for a blanket, depending on the weight of yarn that you are using and how large you want the blanket to be. If you want to make a simple throw blanket, for example, 1000 yards of a jumbo yarn would likely be enough. However, if you use a thinner yarn like a superfine variety, 1000 yards would not be anywhere near enough.
You should always consult your pattern or make a test swatch to try and estimate how far your yarn will stretch. Keep in mind that most adult-size blankets will take much more than 1000 yards to complete.
How Much Yarn for a Baby Blanket?
How much yarn you will need for a baby blanket depends on what type of yarn you use. Superfine yarn, also known as baby weight yarn, is a common option for making a baby blanket. Using this type of yarn will likely need around 1200 to 1300 yards to finish your blanket.
Heavier yarn weights, such as a medium or worsted weight variety, will take fewer yards to make a baby blanket. You could expect to use between 900 to 1000 yards of this type of yarn to complete your project.
How Many Yards of Yarn Do I Need to Make a Large Blanket?
Large blankets will typically take a lot of yarn to complete, though the actual amount will vary based on the size of yarn you use. If you want to make a queen-size blanket, for example, a jumbo yarn would be a good option since it is bulkier and will take fewer yards to complete. Even then, this size of the blanket could take roughly 800 to 1000 yards of jumbo yarn from start to finish.
If you use a smaller weight of yarn to make the same size blanket, however, you’ll need many more yards. Using medium or worsted-weight yarn will require 8000 to 10,000 yards of yarn to make such a large project. This could easily require you to purchase dozens of skeins of yarn to finish.
Figuring out how much yarn you need is a necessary step to plan out your projects and get the results you are looking for. After reading this article, we hope you have a better idea of exactly how many yards of each type of yarn you will need to make your dream blanket. We can’t wait to see what you create!