Friday, December 18, 2009

Really Handy Gift for Crocheters & Knitters!

One of the most valuable tools in my crochet design studio is so simple and easy to find and use:

Why oh why did it take me so long to get a
digital scale? How many other crocheters and knitters are in the same boat as me? If you think you might use one of these, think again: you'll definitely use it and wonder how you got along without it. It's so much easier to plan projects with whatever scrap yarns you have stashed away. Below is a mini-tutorial on one of its many uses for yarnies.

It needs to be reasonably sensitive and accurate. Of course the more so the better, but you don't need to spend a fortune. I'm happy with mine and it cost $30 at Target. It switches easily from ounces to grams. I prefer grams because 1 gram is a smaller unit of measurement than 1 ounce, so I get a more fine-tuned result.

The Urgent Situation Causing Me to Buy a Digital Scale: I wished to crochet a triangular neckwrap with one large skein of yarn (Misti Alpacas Handpainted Alpaca Sock). I planned to start at one top corner and keep increasing until I used half of the yarn, then use the other half of the yarn to decrease over the same number of rows as I increased.

The Crux of the Issue: How will I know when I've used no more than half of the one ball of yarn? Exactly when do I start decreasing instead of increasing?

First I weighed the total amount of yarn (with label,
crochet hook, stitch markers removed). Yarn label says 100 grams. When I put both all yarn (crocheted and precrocheted) on scale with nothing flopping over the scale's edge, it weighed in at 103g. Isn't that nice? A 3-gram bonus.

Photo 1: When I weigh the crochet only, it says 55g! This means I need to rip out a few increase rows and start decreasing.

Photo 2: After ripping out 3 rows or so, the crochet now weighs in at 51g.

Photo 3: When I weigh just the unused yarn, it should say 52g, and it does.

I decide to flirt with danger and really put this yarn-weighing strategy to the test. Wouldn't it be deeply satisfying if I have exactly the amount of yarn needed to complete the triangle with none left over? I only gave myself a 1-gram buffer and have already started the decrease rows. I need to make sure that my gauge stays the same throughout!

Now to finish crocheting it and find out....