Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Ultimate Knitting Tool You Never Knew You Needed

I love my friend Deb Brooks.  She's smart, funny, caring, and one of the most talented knitters I know!  She is the person who encouraged me to go beyond knitting moebius scarves, and the one who introduced me to sock knitting.  She taught me new cast ons, new stitches, and was the first person I shared my very first patterns to when I started designing.  Every knitter needs a Deb - pushing them forward to try new things and encouraging FROGGING (that would be tearing something out for the non-knitters out there) when it becomes necessary!

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

No comments: