You could spend countless hours trying to sew a throw blanket with fabric and thread, or you could spend even more time crocheting a throw blanket with yarn. While crocheting can be a challenge, the end result can be highly rewarding. Just make sure you figure out how many skeins of yarn you need before starting!
To crochet a throw blanket, you would typically need between 10 and 15 skeins of yarn, which is about 1,500 and 2,500 yards in total. The exact number of skeins depends on how long and wide you want the throw blanket to be.
Today, I’ll explain what a skein of yarn is, how many skeins it would take to make different types of blankets, and how to manually calculate the total skein count for an upcoming blanket-crocheting project.
What Is a Skein of Yarn?
When you go to your local fabric store to ask for yarn, the helpful staff might ask you whether you’re looking for yarn skeins, cakes, hanks, or balls. The most widely known collection of yarn is the ball, but the skein is the most widely used.
A skein of yarn is a collection of yarn that has been wound together by a machine to create an oblong bundle. They’re mainly manufactured by large yarn companies since the winding machine is usually not affordable by local hand crafters.
In the crocheting world, a skein is the go-to unit for measuring yarn, so it’s just as important to know how much yarn you’ll get per skein.
How Much Yarn per Skein?
Retailers will usually sell yarn skeins by weight. The banderole will inform you of everything you need to know, including the skein’s weight. Usually, skeins are available in 1-ounce, 50-gram, and 200-gram bundles, but the most common skein will weigh 100 grams.
Now, how many yards of yarn is that? It depends on the diameter of the strand and what it’s made of. Again, you can consult the banderole to figure out the material makeup of the yarn skein. On average, skeins will have between 460 and 480 yards of yarn per 100 grams. Thicker, costlier skeins usually have considerably shorter yardage of between 240 and 300.
How Many Skeins of Yarn for a Throw Blanket?
A throw blanket is usually smaller than comforters and other blanket types, though they’re a lot more versatile. You can use them to layer your baby’s stroller to make them comfier, or you can use them to add décor to your dining area. Regardless of what you want to do with a throw blanket, if you’re going to crochet one with your own two hands, you’ll have to figure out how much yarn you’ll need.
For the most part, you’ll need between 10 and 15 skeins of yarn to complete a throw blanket. That said, the size of the throw blanket will determine how many skeins you’ll actually need. Smaller throw blankets for babies can be made with as few as five skeins, whereas massive throw blankets for king-size mattresses may require as many as at least 20 skeins!
How to Calculate How Many Skeins of Yarn You Need
Yarn skeins usually cost between $2 and $50, depending on the thickness of the yarn and what it’s made of. If you plan on purchasing high-end yarn skeins, you should calculate how many you’ll need very carefully.
The simplest way to do this is the make a swatch and work from there. For those new to needleworking, a swatch is a small sample of fabric that represents a larger project. Swatches are usually 4 × 4 inches, but you can make a swatch much larger if you prefer.
- Crochet the swatch and measure its weight in grams (ex: 5 × 5-inch swatch @ 15 grams)
- Look at the banderole to see the yardage and weight of the skein.
- Divide the yardage by the weight to determine how many yards per gram (460 yards, 100 grams, 4.6 yards per gram).
- Multiply the swatch’s weight by the skein’s yards per gram figure (15 × 4.6 = 69 yards)
- Determine how many swatches you would need to complete the throw blanket (50 × 60-inch blanket, 120 swatches).
- Calculate the total yardage (120 swatches × 69 yards = 8,280).
- Calculate the number of skeins (8,280 ÷ 460 = 18 skeins).
However, to be on the safe side, you should consider adding 10% to the total number of required skeins for your project. In the above example, that would mean purchasing at least 20 skeins (18 + 2 skeins).