Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lost & Found

Buffalo Skies yarn.
It has been a very busy time here, with my mother's visit from Florida to the winding down of the kids school year (just one more week for them & they'll be out for the summer!).  This does not mean my crocheting has been idle.  No, not all all.

While my mother was visiting I crocheted (by special request) nearly a half-dozen hats for her to wear under her motorcycle helmet.  And, I managed to work up a project that I am currently calling "yellow" -- there will be a posting on this project in the future.
Amish-style swift, made in China.

And, I got two new toys:  an "Amish-style" yarn swift and a food scale (to be used for measuring the weight of my yarn).  Plus, hot in the mail today was some yummy buffalo yarn!  Mmmmm!
weighs more than the
100 grams on the label.

About a month ago I started a discussion on Ravelry about "missing yardage."  The topic was brought on by my recent usage of a "yarn meter."  The meter was reporting I was off by some 60 to 107 yards per hank.  I was in shock at this and wanted to know if others had ever experienced the same results.  Fortunately for me, I got a lot of helpful tips:

The first tip was to buy a food scale.  I decided on the Cuisinart model ks-55.  It normally retails for about $40, but I got it for free utilizing some "cash back bucks" offered through my credit card.  Thus far, I really like it.  I was advised to weigh the yarn first.  The label reads the net weight for my new yarn was 100 grams.  I am happy to report that all 3 hanks weighed over the 100 grams benchmark -- without the label.
questioning the footage
using the electric ball winder
with the new yarn swift.
The second step was to run the yarn through the meter.  I got on average 466 feet.  I convert this into yardage and get 155 yards -  not the 200 yards as stated on the label.

I was then advised to hand-measure off 10 yards and run it through the meter.  I did.  I got almost 26 feet -- not the 30 feet I was expecting.  (1 yard = 3 feet -or- 10 yards = 30 feet.)  So there is a problem with the yarn meter!  Oy!  The meter was shorting me 4 feet for every 10 yards!

The next step was to find out the intervals for the shorting.  I took the 155 yards and divided it by 10 (yards).  This gave me 15.5 intervals.  I multiplied that by the 4 feet to get 62 feet.  I then took the original measurement of 466 feet and added the "missing" 62 feet = 528 feet.  Convert that to yards and I got 176! 

Yes, I know, the 176 yards is not equal to the 200 on the label, but I do have to account for the dye used in the yarn.  The more dye, the heavier the yarn and thus the less footage/yardage for the money.  I am much happier with the 176 yardage than the 155 the meter initially reported. 

This is a learning process for me.  At the very least it reinforces the adage: when in doubt, always buy at least one ball/hank more of the same dye lot than what the pattern calls for.  :)

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