Sunday, November 29, 2009

Balancing act

There is no need to go to great lengths to measure the yards per pound in any given bit of spinning. Spinners don’t need to count as they wind onto the skein—or run their yarn through a counter. There is a simple gizmo that will do this for you with only a snippet from you skein. This is the McMorran Balance, an item readily available from any number of suppliers. (I happened to get mine from the Yarn Barn of Kansas.)

Upon joining the 5K Stash Down on Ravelry, I discovered some newer spinners weren’t yet familiar with the gadget. I thought it would be helpful to some to know about this device. It also comes in handy for knitters who have been given mystery yarn, such as the bright blue shown tipping the scales of the McMorran balance shown above. You merely hang a long enough thread to tip the scales as shown.
Next, you start snipping away. I try to go even on each side—but I do it kind of by eye. The important thing is to take a little bit at a time because slowly, the scale will begin to balance.

The goal is to reach that moment when the scale is balanced, as shown above.
Then you take that bit of yarn and measure it. In this case it was 5.75 inches long. This is multiplied by 100, and so I have 575 yards per pound. The one shown above is the “standard model” there is also a metric model available for the rest of the world. Of course, instructions will come with the balance.

I hope this is helpful. Thank you for visiting my blog. Stop by again.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you posting about this gadget. I have never heard of this before. I spin and have never measured my handspun because I haven't used that much of it. Now since joining the 5K Stashdown, I was wondering how I was going to figure all of this out. Very useful information.