Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Measuring Up

Mini~Dee models "Delta Lace Topper"
at HHCC Monthly Meeting.
A few days ago I finished hand-crocheting a Delta Lace Topper, designed by Karen Whooley; her pattern is featured in the booklet, "Delta Lace Crochet."  Although I modified the pattern (I added a few increases to make it slightly larger, added one additional row, and changed the collar), it was a lot of fun to do -- seductively so.  [[All the details, including my notes I took about the project as I went along can be seen on my Ravelry projects page here.]]

The initial plan was to use all three hanks of the Jade yarn I blogged about last month. It turns out I had more than enough of the lighter color of Jade that I didn't need to blend in the darker.  This means I have one full "Jade" left, and one partially used.  Unfortunately, I don't know how much of the partially used remains.  This could be a problem when deciding upon a future project with this most-delicious yarn.

I decided to give my yarn meter a run for its money.  I took the meter out of the box, found it easy to set up, and within minutes (while rewinding the leftover yarn into a new yarn cake) I knew exactly how much yarn I had left: 465 feet.  I then converted the feet into yards: 155 yards.  [[1 foot = 0.333333333 yards]]  Wow!  What a handy little tool!
Yarn Meters are Needed by Crocheters too!
**Crochet hook by Brainsbarn.com, featured on my HooksNStitches blog here.

What else can I learn with this gadget?  I decided to rewind the darker Jade.  The label states that it is 420 yards.  Knowing yarn is really sold by weight and not by length, I wondered just how close I'd come to the 420 yards.  As I hand-cranked the yarn winder, it wasn't long until I had my measurement: 1065 feet.  This converted to 355 yards.  A difference of 65 yards!!!  That's huge!! While I am not surprised that I actually got less yardage as I understand the darker the yarn, the more dye it takes, thus throwing off the yarn weight -- I was very surprised the number was this high.  Now I'm wishing I had pre-measured the length of the lighter Jade before I started my project.  What would it have shown? 

The clever meter is a product of NNK: NancysKnitKnacks.com -- there are various local yarn shops selling it.  It retails for about $49 - $55, a bit pricey to be considered a crocheter's "toy," but as a working tool, I think it is well worth the investment.  Going forward, this 'lil device will be out of its box to measure yarn as I wind it from hank to cake (or ball), and then when I'm done with a project to determine how much yarn remains.

Of course, if you feel you need an electronic version of this yarn meter, one does exist.  On NNK's site it currently retails for $269, and includes a sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity.  I'm not sure I'm ready for an electric version, but it is super cool looking.  :)

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