Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rescued by The Kitchen Scale...

Last night, I was panicking.  Like full on, sweaty palms, heart palpitations type panic.  I had an incredibly small ball of yarn in my hand and a few more rounds yet to go in my Blackberry Cardigan (which by the way I started four months ago!).

Here is a pic of it a few rounds before last night...when I wasn't worried yet and was happily snapping pictures:

I had two more rounds to go before binding off.  Two rounds wouldn't have been such a big deal if it were not for the fact that each round had 472 stitches!  I did not relish the idea of having to undo any rounds if indeed I did run out.  So...3 rounds remained.

How do you know if you have enough yarn left??

You grab your handy-dandy digital kitchen scale!!

The one pictured at the top is the one I have.  I love it.  It can show you measurements in grams, ounces, pounds and kilograms.  It is the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale.  The most important thing is that It comes in five different colours.  No one in the house is allowed to use it. I'm serious.  But I digress...
So I weighed the ball of yarn that I had left:  27g.

I knit half a round and weighed the ball again:  24g.  So, half a round took about 3g.  Thus, one round would take approximately 6g.  

I finished off my round to check this number:  21g.  Good.  I was on the right track.  This meant that to do another round and the bind off would require about 12g of yarn.  I was comfortable with the extra 9 g leeway.  I breathed a big sigh of relief and knitted.

So in the end, I was left with 10g of yarn.  Phew!  

~ ~ ~

Even though I call this my kitchen scale, it never lives in the kitchen.  It lives with the rest of my crafting supplies.  Helping you make an estimate to see if you have enough yarn left is one fantastic thing it can do.  Another is this:

Do I have enough yarn for another one of these?

Say you have a leftover ball from a skein of yarn you knitted a hat from.  You wonder if you have enough now to knit a second one. You weigh your hat.  It is 90g.  You weigh your ball.  It is 110g.  Yes!  You will have enough to knit your second hat.  Or a more unfortunate case.  You knit one sock and am not sure if you have enough yarn for the second sock.  Weigh the first one to see how much you will actually need.

How much yarn is in this leftover ball?

Do you ever have those leftover balls of yarn that you don't know what to do with?  You aren't sure if you have enough yarn to knit a particular project?  Your pattern is asking for 150m of yarn.......

If you were super organized and kept the ball band (hint: tuck them into your skeins or keep a file of them with a small piece of yarn attached), you would have information on how to calculate the amount remaining.

The ball band should mention a length:  in this example, it is 389m.
The ball band should mention a weight:  in this example, it is 197g.

This means that the meterage per gram is 389/197 or ~1.97m/g

So now weigh your ball.  Say it weighs 56g.  Just multiply that by your number above:

56g * 1.97m/g = 110.5m.  If your pattern asks for anything less than this, you should be good!

Or another way to calculate this...Remember your algebra?

In words:  Multiply the original length by the weight of your ball.  Then divide this number by the original weight.  Make sure you write it all down on a piece of paper where if someone finds it, they will be impressed.  Trust me.  My husband just looked over and asked me why I was solving equations.

But either which way, you find out how much yarn you have in your ball.  If you don't have the numbers/ball band, you may be able to head over to Ravelry and dig out the information if you know what brand/type of yarn you have.

Did you notice they changed yardages on me for this yarn?? 

Splitting up skeins evenly

Say you need to knit from both ends of a ball but it is getting super tangly.  Split up the skein into two balls instead!  Or if your pattern requires you to just need to split up a skein evenly ... you can use your kitchen scale!  You would start off by weighing your skein.  Then wind a ball using a ball winder or by hand until you get to a ball that is exactly half of your original skein.  That's it!

Saving a trip to the Post Office

This is what our scale is used for the most.  Weighing the little goodies that I send out to all of you!

Last but not least...

You could use it to weigh food but that would just be way too boring!

Have fun with your kitchen scale :)

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