Sometimes you need to know if you have enough yarn leftover to either complete a project or make more of something — like a second sock or mitten. You could roll the working yarn off the ball and measure it as you roll it, but that’s time-consuming and really annoying.
Instead, grab a food scale or postal scale and weigh your yarn!
It’s the easiest way to figure out how much yarn you have left. It’s also a fantastic method to make sure you have enough yarn when you’re trying to work from your stash.
And guess what? It doesn’t even involve any tricky calculations!
“Can I make another one?”
Let’s say you have some sock yarn, and you want to know how many socks you can knit from it. If you already have a sock knit from the yarn and pattern you plan to use, you can use a scale to figure out if you have enough yarn.
I recently knit the sock above for my husband, and when I saw how it turned out I said to myself, “I’d like a pair of these socks, too!” But I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn for two pairs of socks. (In case you’re wondering, I used Wild Hare’s Pinnacle Sock Yarn in Neon Lights for these amazing socks. And yes, they do glow under a blacklight!)
Here’s how to figure out how many socks (or mittens, or slippers) you can make:
1. First, weigh the finished knit sock. When I weighed my Neon Lights sock (pictured at the top), the scale told me it weighed 1 ounce.
1 Neon Lights sock = 1 ounce
2. Next, weight the yarn you have left. When I weighted my Neon Lights yarn (pictured above), the scale told me it weighed 2.6 ounces.
Since I know 1 sock = 1 ounce, then I know I’d need 3 more ounces of yarn to make three more socks. I only had 2.6 ounces, so in this case, I am 0.4 ounces short. (Don’t worry, though. I’m going to have a pair of Neon Lights socks for myself one way or another!)
Here’s where that basic math comes in.
How many socks do you want to knit? Subtract the total weight of the extra socks you want to knit from the leftover yarn and see if you get a negative number.
For example, if your sock weighs 1.2 ounces, you have 1.4 ounces of yarn left, and you want to knit one more sock:
1.4 ounces (yarn that’s left) – 1.2 ounces (weight of one sock) = 0.2 ounces
Hooray! You can knit another sock, and you’ll have .2 ounces left over.
But let’s say your sock weighs 1.5 ounces, you have 1.4 ounces of yarn left, and you want to knit one more sock:
1.4 ounces (yarn that’s left) – 1.5 ounces (weight of one sock) = -0.1 ounce
Sigh. You come up with a negative number, which means you don’t have enough to knit another sock.
Tips to keep in mind
This calculation only works for this particular yarn and pattern.
For example, let’s say you weigh a sock knit in Cloudborn Merino Superwash Sock Twist Yarn, and the sock weighs 2 ounces. Then, you decide make the same sock pattern in the Neon Lights yarn. Unfortunately, you can’t assume your Neon Lights sock will also weigh 2 ounces. The Cloudborn yarn might be heavier or lighter than the Neon Lights yarn. To get an accurate estimate, you need to use the same yarn.
The same applies for different patterns. A ribbed sock pattern, for example, might require more yarn than a seed stitch sock pattern. So even if you weigh the finished rib sock and it’s 1.5 ounces, you still can’t determine wether you have enough to knit a seed stitch sock. The comparison weight needs to be the same pattern, same sock yarn.
Bonus tip: If you love knitting two socks at a time, you can use the scale to wind two balls equal in weight.
We hope you’ve been inspired to dig into your sock yarn stash to weigh and hopefully knit more socks!