HAND DYED YARN
Ever looked at hand dyed yarn and drool over the prettiness of it? The way the colors are painted over the luscious wool, the small halo that entices you, and the squishiness that makes you go ‘awwwww’.
Then you are look at them and wonder how many you should buy. What’s a good number to keep? What can I make if I want to buy one to try?
For experienced knitters, they will most likely know how to measure the yarn needed for certain projects and pair the colors/texture. But for beginners, it will most probably be a big question mark — or at least that was how i felt when i tried to buy my first hand dyed yarn.
In this post, i will be doing a simple guide on how many skeins is needed for basic functional items like (summer) tops. I’ll also try my best to cover both crochet and knitting.
Before we dive deeper into the numbers, I’ll summarise the general meterage you will need to make a top.
Sleeveless tops: ~1 to 2 skeins (400m – 800m)
Short-sleeve tops: ~2 skeins (800m)
Long-sleeve pullover/sweaters: 3-4 skeins (1200m – 1600m)
Shawlette/cowl: 1 skein
Small shawl: 1 skein
Big Shawls: 5 skeins (2000m) or 1 lace weight (700m)
CROCHET (based on cotton):
Short cardigans: ~1000m minimally
Long Cardigans: ~2000m minimally
Big Shawls: ~1000m-1600m (fingering weight)
Are you able to get a clearer understanding on what to make with the meterage? I often get questions from crocheters what we can make with X amount of yarn. Hope this helps!
Next! We move on to looking at specific numbers of yarn and the projects we can make.
Characteristics: 380m – 400m , fingering/sport or 700m, lace
Rarely can we make something functional and useful with one skein. I’m talking about Fingering or DK weight yarn. However, there are projects that you can make with one skein!
- Sleeveless tops
To make something decent with fingering weight, we have to look for minimally 100g/400m for size XS/S (if you’re lucky you get M!).
Examples on ravelry:
Characteristics: 760m – 850m, fingering/sport, or projects that requires about 760m – 850m of yarn
Two skein projects gives you a bigger leeway to make more things.
- Lacey pullovers
- Summer tops
For two skeins project we are looking at finished objects with about 750m – 800m.
In addition to those mentioned in ‘one skein’,
And more weights to play
Characteristics: 1200m fingering, or projects that requires more than 1000m – 1200m of yarn
Once we hit three or more skeins, making wearables is flexible and involves some form of colorwork (fair isle or stranded). Three skeins is usually a good gauge for you to make most garments and if you have a hard time deciding what yarn to buy, just buy 3! it’s a magic number 🙂
MAGIC NUMBER TO BUY YARN
Even after giving you an idea of what you can make, i’m pretty sure you will wonder if there’s a “magic number” to buy for that very compulsive shopaholic reason.
We are yarn hoarders. We love yummy squishy yarn. We want to hide it from our spouse, but we also want to know how much to buy so we don’t regret!
For crochet, I will always buy the color in a pair unless i’m very sure what i want to make. I’m an impulsive buyer, so I will always have a backup plan if i cannot find a project for it.
Let me give you an example.
- If you purchase 2x 50g 4ply yarn, u can pick up knitting along the way and knit a pair of socks (provided it has wool).
- if you purchase any weight with 2 balls, most likely you are able to make a cowl or a pouch.
What’s the worse that could happen? Mash the colors!
For knitting, I personally feel it depends heavily on the weight.
- One fingering skein can help you with any colorwork, or fades, or even a section in the shawl!
- Two sport weight skein can make a simple top (i always take Whitehorse as a gauge! Or you are guaranteed to make Tegna/Ranunculus)
- Three fingering weight gives you enough yarn to make a simple raglan sweater!
- Any 5 fingering weight can make a shawl and DK weight can give you a sweater
The magic number to buy yarn is purely up to you! Remember that these are hand dyed yarn and they come in very small limited batches. I’m expecting you to understand why you need to buy yarn with the same dye lot and it applies for the very same reason. No hand dyed yarn is the same, so choose and plan wisely — they make your wallet broke.
I hope my mini guide helps you with choosing of yarn. Let me know if this helps!