Help with amount of yarn needed for pattern

I’m fairly new to knitting. I’m going to knit a throw made up of 20 squares, finished measurements 48 x 60 inches. The wool according to the pattern is worsted weight yarn 200 yds/100g per ball, size 9 needles, gauge 20 sts = 4 inches, 13 balls in total. However I’ve spotted this gorgeous super chunky yarn, 70 yds/100g per ball, gauge 7 sts = 4 inches. I don’t know how many balls of this wool I need, so I rang a woolshop today and was told by this guy that rather than needing less wool (as I had thought, I was under the impression that the chunkier the yarn, the less you would need, but I could be wrong!) I would need a lot more, in actual fact I would need about 36 balls, which would set me back a colossal amount of money :sad: ! Is he right?

Here’s a yarn calculator that will give you at least a rough estimate of how many yds you’ll need. Enterin the row gauge may help out the calculator or enter 0 for row gauge. Remember too that although yards are yards, there’s almost a 3-fold difference in yardage between balls of the original yarn and of the super chunky.

It works both ways and what the clerk told you was based on the same yardage as the thinner yarn - both would be about 2500-2600 yards. Also, by doing squares it takes more yardage than if you did it all in one piece or even long strips that you’d sew together.

If you use the same amount of stitches for each square with a larger needle, you use a lot more yardage, but you’ll have a ginormous blanket. Or you could do less squares to make approximately the same size and that would probably take about the same amount with the other yarn, possibly less, depending on the size of the squares and the size you want.

If your squares are the same size however, then you would probably need less even with bigger needles because each stitch and row will be larger than with the thinner yarn and smaller needles.

Well, the pattern calls for 2,600 yards of worsted yarn. You would need to buy about 36 skeins of the chunky yarn to equal that same amount, since they only have 70 yards in each.


Can you post a link to the pattern here?? That would help us a little bit with your question! Thx

Thanks for all the quick replies. Will try the yarn calculator salmonmac.

Suzeeq, I intend to do less squares as I want roughly the same size throw. So did I get it right that in that case you think I’d probably need about the same amount of the super chunky as the original yarn?

Knitcindy, I got the patterns from a book called Easy Knit Squares, so I’m not sure if they are available online. There are 20 different patterns from easy ones to intermediate ones (I’ll be sticking with the easy ones I thinkn!)

You may need a lot less, I do when I use a larger needle to make the same size item. Say if you make 9 squares instead of 12, that’s 3/4 so you’d probably use about .75 of the yardage. Or if the worsted gauge is 4 sts per inch, and you get 3 per inch that’s also .75. If you use a 13 or 15 needle you might get 2 or 2½ sts per inch which may only be about 50-60% of the original yardage.

Exactly. You’re going to use larger needles with the bulky, less yarn, fewer cast on stitches. It’s going to take less time to knit. The yarn shop knows this. I think he was trying to sell you more yarn than you need. I would question his honesty.

Well my thinking on this was, and being a novice I might just completely show myself up here and this could be totally wrong; the gauge for the original yarn is 20 st = 4 inches; super chunky 7 st = 4 inches; seeing that it only takes a third of the stitches of super chunky to make up 4 inches than it does with original yarn, I thought I might only need a third of the wool required, or am I barking up the wrong tree here altogether? Needle size 15 for super chunky, size 9 original yarn.

Hmmm, that would be how I estimated it too, but used different gauges for both yarns to come up with my figure of 50%. Maybe call it 40% just to make sure and hopefully you can get an extra ball or two if you need it. That’s actually a pretty small gauge for size 9s btw, usually you get that with worsted on 8s, more like 18 sts/4" with 9s.

Thanks suzeeq I’m just glad that I didn’t get it totally wrong!:wink: