Deb and I had coffee last week, and we talked about Christmas and our gifts and of course, knitting. She mentioned that she had recently gotten a scale from Knit Picks and was in LOVE with it. I looked at her a little dumbfounded. Really? That smitten over a little scale? I heard her out anyway, and discovered that there was reason to be excited. In fact, I got so excited that I went out and bought a scale of my own that very day. Turns out the homely little kitchen scale is the very tool that I believe EVERY knitter should own, yet few of us actually do.
Why? Let me give you a few reasons.
For Christmas I made Dave a lovely alpaca hat. I used my head to determine the length, and sadly, my head is not as big as his. (Snicker, snicker...) I really didn't want to tear out the top of Dave's hat to make it longer, and I had a small amount of red yarn left from his hat, and a medium ball of black yarn left over from another hat. But.. did I have enough for a whole new hat? Enter the scale. I weighed Dave's hat (75 g) and I weighed the yarn balls (28 g and 69 g respectively). Voila! I know I have enough yarn!
Example two... I'm designing a new pattern and I estimated that 50 yards of yarn were needed for the infant size. I didn't really do any math to figure this out. Just made a guess based on the squishiness of the skein before and after knitting the items. (totally scientific, I know!) Enter my scale. I weighed my finished garment (6 g). I then calculated that with 110 yards on a skein weighing 50 g that each yard weighs 2.2 g. So, if my garment weighs 6 g, then I used only 13.6 yards. Multiply that times two (since I was making a pair) and I used only 27 yards for the project! That's waaaaay less yarn than I had listed originally in my pattern.
Example three... I want to knit a pair socks, but I want to knit them at the same time. I have one skein of sock yarn with 400 yards. How do I divide the ball into two equal halves? Well I weigh the whole skein, then I start winding a second ball from the first. When the two balls weigh the same I know they have the same amount of yarn on each!
Seriously, I could go on and on and on. Do you see why you NEED a scale now? :) I think my work here is finished.
BTW - here are my "What's On My Needles" pictures for 1.4.11 and 1.5.11:
1.4.11 - Chubbie Wubbie Leg warmers featuring the new Knit Picks Chroma yarn (Lollipop colorway)
1.5.11 - Dave's new hat in progress