Knitting Help – Do You Have Enough Yarn to Finish That Row?

In this video, I’m going to show you a silly
little technique that I’ve been using for years. And I can’t believe I’ve never put
it in video before, but it is a technique for making sure that you have enough yarn
to finish a row before you start the row so that you don’t have to tink back if you don’t
have enough yarn. And the reason I thought about it is because I’m knitting this beautiful
baby blanket, and you can see this is a totally simple garter stitch baby blanket, and I will
give you links to this pattern. It’s actually a koigu pattern that I got from Purl SoHo,
and I’m working on it for a friend. And the thing about this blanket, the thing
that makes it beautiful is the way the colors are blending together and the way that each
color break is really strong and clean. And the fact is I could never ever change color
in the middle of a row in this blanket. I definitely want to make sure I have enough
yarn to knit the whole row before I start. I mean, it wouldn’t be a disaster. I would
just have to tink out, but I am changing color often. I want to make sure that it works out
every time. So this is the technique that I use. You have
to be knitting something where you want to make sure you have enough yarn to finish the
row and you have to not have a tape measure around. I know I’m not the only one who knows
these little bits of your body that are the exact measurement that you need. For me, from
the tip of my nose to the end of my thumb when I hold my arm out straight, it’s 38 inches.
And this knuckle right here is one inch, and my hand, from the base of my palm to the tip
of my middle finger, is seven and a half inches. So I don’t have to have a ruler around to
be able to get an estimate for how long things are, and this is kind of the same technique. So before you get down to the very end of
your yarn, you want to measure. And so you hold it up and you measure out…well, first
of all, take a guess. I looked at this and I thought, “Two lengths should be enough to
get through this row.” So I measured out with my arm extended all the way. I measured out
two lengths. I marked that spot and made a slip knot, then took a little clippy marker
and put it in there so the slip knot wouldn’t come out. Then I knit across, and it just
so happened that two lengths wasn’t enough. So I took…I ended up running out of yarn
in my little test before I was done. So I took out that slip knot, measured out one
more length, and did this again. And it turned out that three lengths was just enough, or
was enough with a little bit extra to make it across the row. So now I have that in my head for the whole
blanket. I know three lengths is enough to make it all the way across. And so now when
I get close to the end of my yarn, I want to be able to use all the yarn. You know,
this was kind of expensive yarn. I want to be able to use all of it in this baby blanket.
I don’t want to run out. So I will measure across like this and if I have enough plus
I…for this blanket, I need three lengths plus six inches so that I have enough to tie
the ends together and to weave in the ends and everything else. So I need a little bit
more for the very last row, but that’s my safety trick while I’m watching Netflix movies
and knitting on this blanket just to make sure. I hope that helps you too and you can…I’m
sure everyone’s going to run around with a ruler finding exactly how long their knuckles
are. Anyway, good luck.

42 thoughts on “Knitting Help – Do You Have Enough Yarn to Finish That Row?

  • Now to measure my hand span, nose to end of thumb, LOL….and something to hold that slipknot!! Great tip, Staci, as always!!

  • Makes me chuckle to think of you sitting somewhere in public, measuring out lengths of yarn from your nose! ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm sure you have mentioned this in another video. I remember this technique, I'm sure it was from you Staci?

  • I was just thinking about this the other day, will now have to go and measure random body parts :p

  • Thanks so much for addressing this v. common conundrum! I actually used almost the same method as yours (I actually measure out the yarn, but your trick is more genius, using body parts!!) when working on the body of the project, but my dilemma is often when I try to estimate yarn for binding off, especially when making triangular shawl (as often the stitches increases with rows). This is when I find most challenging: estimating whether or not I have enough yarn to bind off! And lace yarns are often expensive (silk-cashmere blend, you name it) I want to use every inch of it. Any thoughts/tips/tricks? Many thanks in advance!!

  • The nose-arm is a valid measurement, it just hasn't been recognized by any international organization (that doesn't involve yarn).

    Another quirk of the human body: The length of your arms from middle fingertip to middle fingertip is pretty much your height. I rely on this for estimating my tails for long-tail cast-ons when I need to cast on a large number of stitches.

  • I do know that the knuckle of my thumb is an inch and from the tip of my middle finger to the crook/crease of my elbow is 12 inches. I didn't know that other people do that. Knowing measurements like that helps when you are knitting. Especially when patterns say knit for 3 inches or whatever length. Easier to use your thumb then dig through your knitting basket for a tape measure.

  • Where do I find the link to the pattern? Thanks for the great tip. I use body parts to measure but never thought of using it like this.

  • I've known for years that my index finger is exactly 2 inches and I use that for determining a lot of my measurements, especially with sock knitting. I just recently taught one of my best friends about the trick of memorizing your index finger's length to use it for certain parts of a project.

    I never thought about memorizing the measurement from my nose to my hand though, that's a great tip. I'll have to measure and memorize cause I can definitely use that during my games of yarn chicken.

    Great video, Staci!

  • I was at my daughter's house last week and wanted to surreptitiously measure a table she has in a nook in order to make a table topper as a gift. Now I am off to measure my hand length so that next time I am there I can use this technique. Thanks for a great tip. Applicable in so many ways!

  • That's funny. I was just doing that, not an hour before I saw your video. I needed 2.5 lengths for the row. What a hoot!

  • Thank you for the great tutorials. Every time I question how to do something I can go to your channel and fine good examples — i.e. How to add beads to my knitting. But, as far as holding and tensioning yarn in my right hand I have better results by looping the yarn over my index finger in the opposite direction. Less movement needed to flick the yarn over my left needle whether knitting or purling. Please keep teaching us techniques.

  • I chuckled as I watched this because I've always measured a yard from the tip of my nose to the tip of my finger and my thumb knuckle is about an inch. It always feels so silly but really useful. Great tip!

  • awesome advice about the yarn . I will use it often. I did that baby blanket also, it is huge and delish. thank you

  • Can you do a video on how to make sure your yarn wont bleed? I am knitting your Barber Pole cowl andย I don't want my cowl to be all one colour as you said in that video! Also is white vinegar expensive? Can you use balsamic vinegar? Thanks

  • a lady in my knitting club is always running out near the end…i will send her this great video. thanks.

  • Thank you for your great tips. Just recently, I have started making my own patterns and I wonder if someone like you use a pattern making softwares in order to write it professionally. Do you need to have all the sizes available in order to produce a knitting pattern? And how would you know all the dimensions according to different age or different size? If you write a pattern for one size only and can that still be considered as a pattern?

  • I usually take the yarn and measure it against the work. If it's a simple pattern, I take the yarn and run it along the row and when I get to the end of the row, I mark the spot and triple that length. So generally it takes about three to four row lengths to knit one row.

  • This didn't work for me. First I figured out how many inches I have based on the number of stitches/inch. I needed more than 4 times the length, instead of 3.

  • i always come to very pink for my questions/problems. and yes, she is hilarious and upbeat even when she is being serious. i like her a lot even though i have never met her!

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