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Topic: determining approximate yarn weight without a label  (Read 1848 times)
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« on: March 17, 2012 06:31:20 AM »

I was given tons of yarn, most without labels. I have pulled out all the worsted weight yarn, but don't know what size the rest is.

Is there a width measurement for yarn weight or pictures to compare for approx weight?

Most of these are novelty yarns and I don't even know where to begin.

For example:  I have six ball of this fun blue/yellow ribbon yarn.  It's slighter thicker than a shoelace, but the same width. Defintely heaver than a worsted weight, but ?

I have about 12 balls of yarn in various colors.  It reminds me of a silk/rayon sweater I used to own. It's smaller the the size 4 worsted, but is it a 3?

I don't have any yarn in other weights to compare it too?

Once I figure out the approx weight, is there a way to estimate how much yarn is on each ball.  


exactly what I wanted to know.  I am off to test and and label some of my yarn.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2012 01:09:00 PM by money2burn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012 07:32:23 AM »

You can try the wpi method though if any is fuzzy that's not as accurate. Wrap the yarn around a needle, pencil or ruler, not tightly and count the wraps per inch, best done over a couple inches. The chart at the botton of this page - http://yarnforward.com/tension.html - shows which weight class the wraps fall into. Instead of thinking of them as 2, 3, or 4, which can have different weights in the same class, they're usually referred to as sport, dk, worsted, bulky, etc. One you know which weight they are, you can weigh the ball and generally come up with an estimate of the yardage - worsted has about 100 yds per 50g, dk about 125, sport 150ish, fingering around 200, bulky 70-90.

« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012 12:26:18 PM »

do you have a really sensitive scale - something that can measure less than a full ounce?

- measure a 10yd piece of yarn
- weigh the 10yds (let's say it's .25 oz)
- measure the full ball (let's say it's 3 oz)
- divide the full ball weight by the 10 yds weight which is 12 for this example
      (3 oz divided by .25 oz)
- multiply the answer (12) by 10yds - the full ball is approx 120 yards
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012 10:02:20 AM by ThreadOrYarn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012 09:40:05 AM »

About determining the yarn weight - if you have any yarn that *did* come with a label you could always compare your mystery yarn to that, or even just take a piece of it to a yarn store and make your comparisons there. That would give you an approximate weight anyway. I think it would just be approximate, though, because even with the numbering system yarn thickness does vary based on how the yarn is made, and novelty yarn varies even more than the smoother stuff.

About using the numbering system to decide what size needle to use - To be perfectly honest, I never use that system. That's probably because I've been knitting and crocheting a lot longer than it's been around Smiley but also, I tend to work loosely so the size recommendations don't usually work for me anyway. If I find some yarn without a label - which happens a lot because I like to get my yarn at thrift shops - I just do my best to match the yarn and needle (or hook) thickness; a lot depends on what stitch I'm going to be using and what I'm making (ie socks which have to be dense vs. a shawl which has to be loose).

About determining how much yarn you have - What ThreadOrYarn is suggesting is a great idea, and would work if you have a postal scale - mine is a digital one and it measures in small amounts. There is also a tool called a McMorran balance that spinners use to determine the yards/pound of their handspun. But that's something you'd have to buy and you'd have to decide whether the cost, which right now seems to be about $25 online, would be worth it.

I hope that helps.


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