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....


  1. I have one too. Very helpful ;)


  2. Vashti, you'd BETTER tell us "the rest of the story"!!!!

  3. I'll be interested. It does take less yarn for the decrease side, though.

  4. I'm not so sure in this case, Barbara. It's Tunisian crochet, and to make the decreasing edge look as nice as the increasing edge, it may sound odd but I had to add a few extra stitches then decrease. This prevents holes I was getting.

  5. Yes, the digital scale has been my life saver! Yours looks very classy!

  6. Anonymous10:47 PM

    I started using a kitchen scale when I first picked up crocheting again...that would be @ 8 years ago. Went through my attic stash and weighed it all and try to make a habit of weighing all my 'leftovers' (yarn) before stashing. It is also useful for weighing completed pieces to see if my yarn use matched the pattern of for info for those who ask 'how much yarn?'.

  7. Brilliant! I can't wait to see if it works out!

  8. Lorian Rivers5:05 PM

    I have an electronic scale that i'd love to sell. Retails for almost $100, i'm asking $20 plus shipping. Email if interested.

  9. Goodness I never thought of doing this. Thank you so much!


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