Check the tension and needle size mentioned on the yarn's ball band - for example - 8ply yarn is usually 22 stitches by 30 rows = 10x10 cm (4x4in) using a pair of 4mm needles. But always allow for slight variations in the tension recommended and also in the feel of the yarn itself. Sometimes an 8ply Acrylic will feel more like a 5ply depending on the quality of the yarn and then if it's a pure wool 8ply and tends to be a bit "thick & thin" it could feel more like a 10ply. So if you're not sure, take the time to do a tension sample - don't be caught one ball short for your project.
Yarn wrap test. If you have some yarn and you don't know what ply or weight it is, you can work it out by wrapping some yarn around a ruler and then counting the number of wraps it takes to cover one 2.5 cm (one inch). Why not try it now - grab a ruler and make sure the yarn lies flat. Push the yarn together so there are no gaps between wraps and smooth it out so it's neither too loose nor too tight.
Here are some useful calculations: