Math for Knitters – Calculating Yardage on a Partial Ball of Yarn

You have a partial ball of leftover yarn…is it enough for the project you want to make? Here’s how to calculate the yardage of that partial ball.

If you have a video suggestion for the Math for Knitters Series, please leave me a comment or drop me a note at

The sweater on the mannequin is my Woman’s Zippered Letterman’s Jacket, pattern + video tutorial.

The pattern for the sweater I’m wearing can be found here (not my design).

The nail polish I’m wearing is Julep color “Flora”.

13 comments on “Math for Knitters – Calculating Yardage on a Partial Ball of Yarn

  1. Love the new video, Staci. You said the dreaded “M” word, but I’m determined to stick with you anyway 😉

    Take care,


  2. Yahoooooo!!! My two favorite things in one Very Pink series: knitting and math!!!! Thanks Staci! This info is sooo useful to me because I am one of those people who DOES have many mini balls sitting around the house that I look at and go “So how many yards are here???” 🙂

  3. Aloha Staci,

    I would love to know how to figure out which yarn weight my mystery yarn is, and how to change a pattern to fit my gauge.

    For a fancy stitch, I’d like to learn how to make a bobble.

    Thanks for making these fantastic videos!

  4. Love your vids and your patterns.

    If the yarn is a mystery yarn, couldn’t you just measure out a yard of yarn, cut it from the ball, and then weigh that? Then plug those numbers into the equation.

  5. Your videos are always so helpful! Thank you. There is one problem which just cropped up, and it has nothing to do with content. When I click the “watch on YouTube” button while on Internet Explorer, which I normally do, it begins to bring me to YouTube and suddenly goes to and the browser won’t display whatever this is. Have you ever heard of this happening before and do you know what is going on? It didn’t happen when I tried the link on Firefox, so I’m completely confused. On the slim chance it has to do with your site in combination with my version of Explorer (11), I thought I’d bring it to your attention. It could, of course, be some problem with my computer/browser only. Thanks again for all the instructive videos!

  6. Oh, and I apologize for not adding a separation in that link so it isn’t clickable!!! NOBODY CLICK THE PAGEAD2 LINK, PLEASE!

  7. Sorry, Cindy – I haven’t heard of this problem from anyone else. I’m afraid it might be unique to your computer.

    S t a c i

  8. Thank you! So simple and genius! I would love to see a math tutorial on resizing knitting patterns. I’m a big girl and I frequently can’t use a pattern because it doesn’t allow for my size 🙂

  9. Just got a digital scale today and measured two brand-new whole balls of yarn. The first was Berroco Maya, which is supposed to be 50g, 137yds. The second was Rowan Cocoon, which is supposed to be 100g, 126yds. Both brand new whole balls were extremely short on weight. The Maya turned out to be 40g, and the Cocoon was 81g. Wow. I realized there would be slight differences, but 10 to 20 grams difference? And yes, I double checked my scale and made sure it was measuring properly using known weights. The scale is accurate. Beside the constant irritation these days of false labeling, I realized that 1) either the grams/yards are wrong or 2) we’re getting short-skeined. Depressing. Have you ever noticed this? I feel that I should take every one of my skeins, unwind, measure by hand, re-wind then weigh, and *then* do the math. -X.B.

  10. Xarifa – that’s a shame! No, I usually find that the yarn manufacturers err on the side of a few extra yards of yarn. My 100g skeins usually weigh 105 or so – I don’t think I can remember ever being short-yarned!

    S t a c i

  11. Re: my comment of 01/02/2015: I did some further testing. The scale was doing a lot of “adjusting” and not giving the same measurements. I just got a new scale that is better than the previous one. I re-weighed all my yarns, and got the correct weight. You were right– the whole yarn totals were exactly or more than advertised. So I think that the other scale I had was bad. I returned it. The new scale was a little more money, but I am pleased with it. I am also relieved to know that I am not getting cheated on yarn! 🙂 -X.B.

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