Education, knitting

Useful tools – kitchen scales.

Kitchen scales are a very handy tool for knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning and dyeing . I use them often in the shop. They measure in 1 gm increments which I find accurate enough for weighting yarn. Every yarn and fibre crafter needs a set.

  1. When knitting socks, scales can be used to wind the ball into two even halves. So you have enough yarn for each sock. Avoiding knitting the first one too long in the leg and not having enough yarn for the second sock. This same trick can be used when knitting sleeves. Especially handy if you’re short on yarn and want to use up every meter.
  2. Yarn can be weighted to find out how many meters remain in a ball. To do this you need to know how many meters are in a full ball by checking the ball band. Most 8 ply wool yarn has approximately 100m in 50gms. If you weigh a part ball and it has 30gms left you can work out that there would be 60m left. As it can be calculated that each gram is approximately 2meters so 30gms x 2 is 60 meters.
  3. When knitting blankets shawls and larger projects, you can weigh the ball of yarn before and after a row to work out how many meters each row takes. Using this information you can guesstimate after which row or pattern repeat to join in the new ball or bind off.
  4. When swatching for a project. The swatch can be weighted and the number of meters of yarn calculated. This information can then be used to calculate the amount of yarn needed for a project.
  5. If you have an item you’ve previously knit/crochet and want to buy yarn to make another, weighting the item will tell you roughly how much yarn you will need.
  6. Use scales to measure fibres that go into a blended batt for spinning, enabling the batt to be repeated. Or when blending in fibres at a predetermined ratio. Many like a 20% blend of nylon in with the wool for spinning sock yarns.
  7. Weighing  spinning bobbins will help you estimate when the meterage is roughly the same to prevent having one bobbin having more yarn than the other when plying.
  8. Use scales for measuring dye and materials to be dyed so as not to waste dye by adding too much to the pot and to control the depth of shade.
  9. When Felting over resists, dividing the fibre evenly will ensure both sides have an even amount of fibre.
  10. Weighing fibre for Felting to ensure enough fibre to achieve the desired result. A fine scarf needs less fibre than a sturdy bowl.

Any other tips for using scales in yarn and fibre crafts? Share them in the comments or on the Facebook page!


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