Calculating Yardage: Measure a Stitch Formula

measure a stitch formula for calculating yardage

Table of Contents

It’s time for post two in the series! Let’s talk about Calculating Yardage: Measure a Stitch Formula! This has been my favorite way to calculate yardage for a crochet pattern. My head wraps around math and formulas pretty well usually, so this is a way to work my brain and calculate my yardage at the same time!

Calculating Yardage: Measure a Stitch Formula

Here are the steps for using the Measure a Stitch Formula when calculating yardage. If pictures help, see below the list of steps for step-by-step photos on this method.

  1. Lay out your soft tape measure ahead of time so it’s ready for you! Just trust me on this one!
  2. Using the same size hook as your pattern calls for, make a test stitch, whether it’s a single crochet, double crochet, etc. You want to make sure to do a different stitch swatch for EACH stitch you used in your pattern. A double crochet will obviously use more yarn than a single crochet.

    For my example, I made a double crochet stitch, as seen in the photos below.
  3. Frog the stitch, being careful to hold your fingers where your stitch starts and ends.

    In my photos below, you can see I pinched the stitch where it ended, then pulled until the stitch was out. I did NOT pull out the two chains I had made in order to make the double crochet stitch. Make sure you’re JUST measuring the length of the stitch itself.
  4. Lay the yarn used next to the tape measure, being careful not to leave the yarn too loose, or pull too tight. If it helps, you can tape it down, or use some other sort of marker, to be sure you didn’t move your fingers.
  5. Measure the length between your fingers, whether you’re using centimeters or inches. I’d recommend keeping a sheet with hook size, the stitch used, and the measurement, for future use. If you don’t want to make your own, one is included in The Ultimate Workbook on Calculating Yardage for Crochet Patterns.

    Because my tape measure wasn’t cooperating and laying flat, I had to hold it down with my hand. Therefore, I placed the yarn length down on my table, and brought the tape measure to it. Again, I made sure not to leave the yarn too loose or pull it too tight.

    You can see that my double crochet stitch is four inches long. I used a 4.0mm hook for this example.
  6. Now, you need to determine how many stitches you used for that particular stitch. Go to your pattern, and sum up all of your stitch counts.
  7. Next, multiply the total number of stitches as determined in the previous step by the measurement determined in step 5. This will give you the total inches (or centimeters) of yarn.
  8. However, most skeins of yarn list yards and/or meters. So, you will need to divide your number from step 7 to get to yards or meters. Here are a couple formulas:
    • From inches to yards, divide your number in step 7 by 36, as there are 36 inches in a yard.
    • To go from centimeters to meters, divide your number in step 7 by 100, as there are 100 centimeters in a meter.
    • To go from inches to meters, divide your number in step 7 by 39.37. (I really wouldn’t recommend using this conversion, as it’s not as exact.)

Now you have the calculated yardage needed for that stitch. Repeat this for each type of stitch in your pattern.

Other Methods of Calculating Yardage

In the first post of the series, I talked about measuring your entire project to calculate yardage. If that’s up your alley, go read that post! Next in the series, I’ll talk about calculating yardage based on weight. If you’d rather read all of this information in one place, check out The Ultimate Workbook on Calculating Yardage for Crochet Patterns. This workbook includes detailed instructions and specific examples and worksheets to help you out. There might just be a bonus tracking sheet including as well.

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Happy Designing,

Ronni