How Much Yarn Is Needed to Crochet a Blanket?

How Much Yarn Is Needed to Crochet a Blanket?

Crocheting a blanket is a rewarding project for crafters of all skill levels. However, one common question is: how much yarn is needed to crochet a blanket? Accurately calculating the amount of yarn required for your blanket project can ensure that you have enough to complete it. This helps to avoid the general frustration of running out mid-project but it also means that you can buy all of your yarn for the project from a single dye lot, reducing the chance of color inconsistencies.

To determine the yarn requirements for your blanket, several factors need to be considered. These include the choice of yarn, blanket size, and stitch pattern. Below, we will discuss each of these factors and explain exactly how to determine the amount of yarn needed for your project.

jora tapestry crochet blanket worked in rows
When you start on a blanket project, like this Jora Blanket, it can be very helpful to know out how much yarn you will need before you start!

Types of Yarn

In order to work out how much yarn you need, first you need to decide which yarn you are going to use. In this section, we will discuss yarn weights and materials, and help you choose the perfect yarn for your project.

Yarn Weight

Yarn weight refers to the thickness of the yarn. It plays a crucial role in determining the final size, texture, and warmth of the crocheted blanket. Listed below are the common yarn weights and their characteristics:

  1. Lace (0): Extremely fine and delicate, suitable for intricate lace projects.
  2. Super Fine (1): Also know as fingering yarn, it is perfect for lightweight items such as socks and baby clothes.
  3. Fine (2): Ideal for light scarves, shawls, and other lightweight garments. This category is sometimes also referred to as sport, light DK or baby weight.
  4. Light (3): Suitable for everyday wear items, such as tops, sweaters, and medium-weight blankets. Light yarn is also known as DK or light worsted. This is a popular weight for many blankets.
  5. Medium (4): Another common weight for crocheting blankets, providing excellent warmth and drape. This weight is also referred to as worsted or aran weight.
  6. Bulky (5): Great for warm and cozy items, including heavy blankets and winter wear. Also known as chunky weight.
  7. Super Bulky (6): Ideal for creating plush, warm blankets and oversized pieces. This is also referred to as super chunky.

There is no single “best” weight for crochet blankets. The weight you pick will depend on the thickness and drape you would like your blanket to have, and stitch pattern you would like to use. If you are unsure, you could try crocheting up a small sample in different weights to see which you like the look and feel of most.

Yarn Material

It is also important to consider which material, or materials, you would like your yarn to be made of. The yarn material determines the texture, feel, and durability of the finished blanket. It also affects its cost. Below are some popular yarn materials and their properties:

  • Acrylic: Synthetic, lightweight, and affordable. It is easy to care for, machine washable, and durable.
  • Cotton: Soft, breathable, and natural. It offers excellent stitch definition, and is ideal for lightweight blankets.
  • Wool: Natural, warm, and slightly water-resistant. It is elastic and offers good stitch definition. Ideal for cozy, warm blankets.
  • Blended Yarns: These are a combination of two or more materials, offering the benefits of each fiber. They can provide warmth, durability, and a pleasing texture.
playroom crochet blanket made with a cotton-acrylic blend
This Playroom Blanket is made with a cotton-acrylic blend giving it the softness of acrylic and the great stitch definition of cotton.

Blanket Sizes and Dimensions

In order to work out how much yarn you need, you will also of course need to consider what size blanket you would like to make. Your chosen size will mainly depend on your blanket’s intended use. However, other factors such as cost and the time available could also come into play.

As a starting point for deciding what size blanket to make, here are some typical sizes for different kinds of blankets.

Baby Blanket

A baby blanket is usually sized around 30 to 40 inches (76 to 102 cm) in length and width to comfortably swaddle a newborn. Some common dimensions for various baby blanket styles are:

  • Receiving blanket: 30 x 30 inches (76 x 76 cm)
  • Swaddling blanket: 40 x 40 inches (102 x 102 cm)
  • Stroller blanket: 30 x 35 inches (76 x 89 cm)
cara crochet baby blanket
This Cara Blanket is perfect for babies and measures 36 x 36 inches (91 x 91 cm).

Throw Blanket

A throw blanket can add warmth and style to any room. It can be perfect for snuggling under on the sofa. They typically range in size from 45 to 60 inches (114 to 152 cm) wide by 60 to 70 inches (152 to 178 cm) long. Some common sizes for throws include:

  • Small throw: 45 x 60 inches (114 x 152 cm)
  • Medium throw: 50 x 65 inches (127 x 165 cm)
  • Large throw: 60 x 70 inches (152 x 178 cm)
snow storm crochet blanket
The Snow Storm Blanket is perfect for snuggling under on cold winter evenings.

King Size Blanket

A king size blanket provides full coverage for a king-sized bed and measures approximately 108 by 90 inches (274 by 229 cm). These blankets are big projects but you can create a wonderful heirloom that can be cherished for years to come.

Example Yarn Requirements

Even once you know the size of your blanket, you cannot know exactly how much yarn you will need without knowing the stitch pattern and gauge. However, here are some example yardages for the above blanket sizes based on common yarns and stitch patterns.

Blanket SizeExample Yarn Amount (in yards)
Baby Blanket1000 – 1200
Throw Blanket1500 – 3000
King Blanket4000 – 6000

Crochet Techniques

As mentioned above, once you have decided on the yarn you will use and the size of your blanket, the final piece of the puzzle in working out how much yarn you will need is the stitches or pattern that you will make it with.

Crochet blankets can be made in a wide range of ways including back and forth in rows, in the round, or from motifs that are joined together. You could follow a particular pattern or, once you’ve mastered the basics, easily make up your own design. A large variety of stitches from the basic to the more complex can be used. You can use all one stitch or a combination of different stitches. These stitches can be combined with a multitude of different crochet techniques such as tapestry crochet, filet crochet, mosaic crochet, corner-to-corner etc. As such, there is an infinite number of different ways in which you could crochet a blanket.

In order to accurately determine how much yarn you will need for your project, you will need to decide on which stitches, techniques or pattern you will use to make your blanket.

This section includes a discussion of some of the most common stitches, patterns and techniques at your disposal for making your blanket.

Crochet Stitches

There are many different stitches to choose from when crocheting a blanket.

The basic crochet stitches are a great starting point if you’re a beginner. These are:

  • Single Crochet (sc)
  • Double Crochet (dc)
  • Half Double Crochet (hdc)
  • Treble Crochet (tr)

More complex crochet stitches include:

  • Moss stitch
  • Cluster stitches
  • Granny stitch
  • Shell stitch
  • V-stitch

Each stitch creates a unique texture and appearance and has a different level of yarn consumption. Have a read these articles to find out what these stitches look like, how to do them, how quick they are, and how much yarn they use:

Crochet Stitch Patterns

A crochet stitch pattern dictates how the stitches are combined to create the final design. Patterns range from basic to intricate, depending on skill level and desired blanket style. Here are some examples you could consider:

  1. Granny Square – A crochet classic, consisting of groups of three dc stitches formed between the groups of the previous round. You could make one large square or a number of smaller ones that are joined together to form the blanket.
  2. Stripes – Rows of plain stitches in different colors can create bold or harmonious designs.
  3. Ripple – This pattern creates a series of waves or zig-zags, achieved by varying stitch heights.
  4. Wave – A wave pattern comprises stripes of expanding and shrinking heights to create a wave-like effect.
  5. Basketweave – This stitch pattern mimics a woven texture by alternating between front and back post stitches.
  6. Chevron – This is similar to ripple but with sharper angles; it creates a bold, graphic design.

Special Techniques

As mentioned above, there are also a range of different crochet techniques that you can use in your blanket for even more striking and beautiful effects. A few ideas to try include:

  • Tapestry crochet: this is a colorwork technique where you crochet over the unused yarn, carrying it along until needed. It can be used to create really stunning and unique patterns and images.
  • Filet crochet: this technique uses chains to create small gaps or holes in the blanket which are arranged to create images or patterns. This technique produces light blankest with a lovely drap.
  • Mosaic crochet: another fun colorwork technique, mosaic crochet can be used to create wonderful geometric patterns and looks great in bold color combinations.
  • Corner-to-corner: with corner-to-corner the blanket is worked up back and forth in diagonal rows, creating small “tiles” of stitches in alternating directions.
Clarissa Crochet Blanket
The stunning Clarissa Blanket uses the tapestry crochet technique to create this beautiful colorwork pattern.

Determining Yarn Requirements

Now you’ve decided on the yarn you will use, how big you want your blanket to be and which stitches and techniques you will use to create your blanket, you can finally work out how much yarn you will need to complete your project.

Yarn amounts can be calculated either in yardage or by weight. This section explains how to calculate your yarn requirement in each of these ways.

Calculating the Weight Needed

To estimate the total yarn weight needed to make a blanket, follow these steps:

  1. Make a gauge swatch: Crochet a small square or rectangle using the selected yarn, stitch pattern and the hook size that gives your preferred drape and stitch size.
  2. Weigh your swatch: Using some accurate digital kitchen scales, weigh your swatch to determine the swatch weight.
  3. Work out the area of your swatch: Measure the width and length of your swatch (in inches or cm) and multiply these numbers together to work out the swatch area.
  4. Work out the yarn weight per unit area: Divide the swatch weight by the swatch area to determine the yarn weight per unit area.
  5. Work out the desired area of your blanket: Multiply your desired blanket length by your desired blanket width (in the same units that you used to measure your swatch) to determine the desired blanket area.
  6. Work out the yarn weight needed for the whole blanket: Multiply the yarn weight per unit area by the desired blanket area to calculate the total yarn weight required.

This method may look complicated but if you follow these steps carefully, one-by-one, they are not really that hard.

Keep in mind that, especially if you’re a new crocheter, your tension may vary slightly from your gauge swatch when making the blanket. This could result in more or less yarn being needed. As such, it can be a good idea to account for extra yarn, typically around 5-10% more than the estimated amount when buying your yarn.

If you are using more than one color to make your blanket, you will need to account for that too and work out how much you need of each color. To do this, work out what fraction of the blanket will be made with each color and then multiply that fraction by the total yarn weight required.

Finally, if you are using different stitches or stitch patterns for different parts of the blanket, you will need to make a separate swatch for each of these and work out what area of the blanket will be made with each stitch or stitch pattern. Using the method set out above, you can then work out how much yarn you need for each stitch or stitch pattern.

Calculating the Yardage Needed

If you would like to determine the yardage needed, you will need to work out the total yarn weight needed as described above, then refer to the ball band on your chosen yarn. Look to see the weight of each ball and the yardage of each ball. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Divide the total ball yardage by the weight of each ball. This should be in the same units (e.g. grams or oz) in which your total yarn weight required was determined. This will give you the yardage per gram or oz.
  2. Multiply the yardage per gram or oz by the total yarn weight required to give you the total yardage required.

Conclusion: How Much Yarn Is Needed to Crochet a Blanket?

When considering the amount of yarn needed to crochet a blanket, several factors come into play. The type of yarn, the stitch pattern, and the size of the blanket are all crucial elements.

Once you have decided on these points you will need to make a small gauge swatch or sample that you will then measure and weigh. From that, you can then calculate how much yarn would be needed for a whole blanket.

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