Using a kitchen scale can save you from “do I have enough yarn” syndrome. I have two scales, both digital, one about 10 years sold, and another that I bought this year. The older one is about to be retired because it has become fairly unreliable and so I find myself doing all my weighing on the newer one in my kitchen. Both are kitchen scales, but a postal scale would work too.
Using a Kitchen Scale as a Knitting Tool
If you are going to buy a kitchen scale, you want a scale that has unit types–grams & ounces–so you can weigh your yarn in whichever unit type matches that used on the yarn label. I also want a scale that I can set to zero after I’ve but a container on it. This is good when you have multiple hanks of yarn, need to weigh a finished piece, or otherwise need to contain what you are weighing. A lightweight container is best. I like the clear plastic boxes and bins I use on my yarn shelves. They can be hard to find in smaller sizes.
Although all yarn comes with a weight on the label, if I’m working on a project that I need to have a close level of accuracy (like not running out of yarn!), I like to weigh the skein before I start working with it. I don’t care if there is a bit of variation, I just want to know how much I actually have. Humidity can cause slight variations. I record that weight (usually on the label) and then, weigh the swatch, or the yarn ball, so I know how much I have left. It also tells me how much yarn is in my swatch should I need that yarn later.
Applications of the Kitchen Scale to Knitting
Lately I’ve been doing projects that need to be completed within a specified quantity of yarn (usually one or two skeins) and by weighing the project at different stages I can tell what my yarn consumption is. I can adjust length or width as needed to fit yarn consumption. This can determine if I add another inch or not!
I like my newer scale because it sits on my kitchen counter, ready to use, but also because of its design. I like that there is a glass surface that the object sits on, and that the digital readout is separate from that surface the object is sitting on. I looked it up and it cost $25. Analog scales are slightly lower in cost, but there are a wide variety of digital scales from $20 and up. I use the kitchen one for both kitchen and knitting.
Having a good scale also allows me to tell you that I used an average of 9g or 20 yards per swatch to make samples from Shawl Geometry Book 1, using worsted weight Civility from Elemental Affects Yarn, 70% Merino wool, 30% mulberry silk. Some samples will use more, so let’s say I’ll get 10 samples from a 112g skein with 250 yards. There are 40 samples in Book 1, so I will need about 450 g or 1000 yards of worsted yarn for that project. I bet you could find that in your stash!
Find out more about that project in the Newsletter on May 17!
I seem to have gone on a summer schedule on the blog. That is likely to continue until July.