Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Documenting the Potential

This is how bad it has gotten:  I see that I'm about to do something potentially stupid, so I go get the camera to document said potential stupidity on this blog.

Getting a knitting project ready for vacation, I found this great pattern:  Windward
It calls for 560 yards of fingering weight yarn.  Of course, I only have balls of fingering weight that add up to 450 or so, which is the typical amount for a pair of socks or a small shawl, which is why I only have one ball of each.  However, I did find a great big skein of 1120 yards of fingering weight, way in the back of a cube.

After hemming and hawing... "Do I want to break up this skein?" "what if I find a project that needs 1120yards?"  "Yes, I know you bought this 4 years ago, and haven't found a project yet, but you just never know.".... I decided to split the skein in half, figuring 650 yards for each of two projects was still a lot of yardage.  Plus I'd have some leftover from one half since this project only uses 560.

So, onto the swift I pop the skein and start winding.  Aha.  You've probably already seen the problem.
How do I know when I've wound half?  I pondered the idea of eyeballing it and quickly realized there was no way to see if half the skein was wound onto the ball winder, in a ball, while the rest was spread out on the swift.  I couldn't wind the whole skein onto the ball winder, and then put the ball on the scale and wind half the weight off, because 1120 yards would not fit onto my ball winder.

The next logical (?) idea was to take the skein off the swift when I thought I was halfway, and weigh it.  The potentially disastrous problem with this is the skein becoming horrendously tangled, requiring hours (trust me, I've done it) of un-tangling.  Once you put it on the swift and cut the ties that keep it neatly in a skein, you really should just wind the whole thing.   And no, I couldn't take the ball off the ball winder, as I would never get it back on to resume winding because the center would collapse.  So I decided to semi-tie it again to help keep in in place....
Then I took it off and weighed what was left on the swift:
177 grams.

Which led me to the label to see how much the whole skein weighed:
Ha!  It doesn't say.  What skein of yarn doesn't say how much it weighs?????

So, I did some math.  A typical ball of fingering weight sock yarn is about 400-ish yards and weighs 100grams.  So, given that this ball of yarn was 1120 yards, which is approximately three times a typical ball of fingering weight, I deduced that this skein started out at 300 grams.  Half would be 150 grams.  Good.  I could move on.

This meant that the yarn already on the ball winder was approximately 130 grams and I needed to wind off 20 more grams to get each side to be 150 grams.  My next attempt at weighing the skein?:
Ha!  147 grams!  Not bad.  So, I unwound a few grams from the ball winder to make it a little more even, popped that yarn off the ball winder, wound the rest of the yarn on the skein into a second ball.
So, that left the rest of the second ball weighing:
149grams.... as we thought.  And the first part of the skein weighing:
102 grams.  Sigh.  Apparently the skein weighed 250 grams.  See? All nice and documented.  WEIGH THE SKEIN BEFORE YOU START!  (or, look at the fricking label first)

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, I know I would never have attempted that