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## How to Estimate Needlepoint Yarn Quantities

“How much thread, or thread, will I need for my needlework project?” If you’re not sewing a needlepoint kit, this is definitely a question you need to answer. Estimating needle thread amounts is not an exact science and there is a “right” way and a “fast” way to do it.

The “correct” way to estimate thread amounts for a needlework project is to sew one square inch on the selected canvas, using the selected thread and the stitch you intend to use. Then calculate the total amounts of yarn by multiplying them by the amount used to cover that square inch. I call this method the “correct” way, as it will give you the most accurate measurement of how much yarn you’ll need.

The tricky part about the “right” way of doing things is that we often don’t have some of the desired yarn to test on the canvas. Maybe you want to buy everything you probably need at once. This is where the “quick” way of estimating needle thread amounts comes in handy.

This could also be called the “Fist Method for Determining Amounts of Needlepoint Thread”. Make a cuff and apply the flat part of the cuff to the fabric. Count how many “cuffs” of each color your canvas requires. Each “cuff” is about a skein of tapestry wool, so that’s an area of about 2 inches by 3 inches (the flat part of the cuff) per skein of yarn. If a skein is 8 yards, you can calculate that it is needed **about** 8 yards of needlepoint tapestry thread to cover 6 square inches of needlepoint canvas. But, always buy at least 10% extra to allow for small cuffs!

There are a few other factors you’ll want to consider before buying yarn:

- If your design consists of many small areas of color, you will need to purchase more of these colors.
- Smaller mesh fabrics will need more thread than larger meshes.
- The basket stitch uses almost a third more yarn than the continental stitch.

You can see why it’s hard to estimate how much yarn is needed for a particular design! We hope this helps you estimate the amount of yarn needed for your next needlework project.

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