Let’s suppose you have browsed through Hircus Filati’s website with all its beautiful and precious yarns and that you’ve decided to take on a knitting project to make yourself a Cashmere pullover. You’ve found the yarn you like, the price you’re willing to pay, and you also have a clear idea of the style. You’re about to order, and it occurs to you: how much Cashmere will I need? When buying wool in balls it is quite easy: a lot of manufacturers report the relevant information on the label. They tell you the corresponding length in a single ball (for example 50 gr = 120 m), the knitting needle size you should use, and the number of stitches and rows to use in a 10 cm x 10 cm sample; some even go so far as to tell you the total amount of balls you’ll need for a pullover, depending on the size and the pattern (either long- or short-sleeved).

In general it isn’t as easy to estimate the correct amount of yarn for any particular knitting project, but following you’ll find suggestions and explanations you will surely find very helpful.
Hircus Filati provides its Cashmere and precious yarns with all the relevant information to calculate the right amount of wool you’ll need: the thread count and the subsequent length count (approximately pre-calculated).
In order to better understand what it’s all about, I suggest you read this post by Federico Scatizzi, where you can understand the simple way to calculate the length (and consequently the total quantity) for any kind of yarn. I assure you the information is very clear and straightforward.

In this article I will give you a practical example of how to estimate the amount of Cashmere needed for a given knitting project. Further posts will follow to cover the subject in more depth.
Let’s start with a pattern. I’ve chosen the V-neck pullover created by Heidi Kirrmaier and published on Raverly. It’s basic and unisex. Unpretentious styles work well with Cashmere.

You may download the instructions (in English) for different sizes here for free. Information from the designer are:
stocking stitch sample: 16 stitches and 23 rows = 10 cm x 10 cm sample
Knitting needles size: 4.5 – 5.0
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL (chest measurement from 80 to 140 cm)
total length estimated : 872 m – 1427 m
This information, the total amount of wool needed, is very important, more so than the weight of the yarn.

To calculate the amount of cashmere needed for this pattern, I have chosen the smallest size, that is XS (chest 80 cm). According to the designer’s indications, for sizes S and M 8 balls of wool of 109 m each are enough for a total of 872 m of yarn).
This is the moment when I choose the type of yarn I’ll knit the sweater with. Let’s assume I pick the Eco Cashmere in 250 gr (= 575 m) hanks (to use with 4.5-5 needles, as instructed by the designer). By calculating (872 x 250) : 575 = 380, I will therefore need around 380 gr of the type of yarn I have chosen. One hank won’t be enough, I’ll need two: 500 g = 1150 m.

I could use the leftover yarn for a scarf or a neck warmer :-). To have two pieces of cashmere at such a low price is a real bargain :-).
Or maybe I’ll buy even more and instead of making one sweater, I’ll make two, one for my partner as well!

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/WoolinHand/simple-summer-tweed-top-down-v-neck

If you choose a pattern from a magazine, you won’t find the information concerning the length for the garment you want to knit. You will have to work it out yourself by taking into account the amount needed of X yarn suggested for that style. For example: 600gr, that is 12 balls of 50 gr will be necessary for a total of 70 m (12 balls x 70 m = 840 m). So in order to make that pattern you’ll need approximately 840 m of yarn.

Hopefully it’s clear enough… have fun with your projects.

Alicja Kwartnik

for Hircus Filati

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