When I took down my medium grist wool bin (it was the loudest of the bunch) I found that I had about 1 pound of medium weight natural and about 1.5 pounds of sport weight natural. These are essentially the same weight, but they were slightly different colours of natural.
I also had 1 pound of black sport weight and 1.5 pounds of navy sport weight. I was beginning to get a glimmer of an idea for the wool yardage, but what would the ends per inch be and how much yarn would I need? Just how many yards per pound were there in each skein? The ends per inch were easily figured out by wrapping a 1" ruler but I couldn't start a project unless I was sure that I had enough warp and weft to complete it, so out came my McMorran Yarn Balance.
The McMorran Yarn balance is a small clear plastic cube with a lid and with a bit of sponge in the bottom which has a small lever arm tucked into it, you can still see the mark where the lever arm sits for storage. This tool will tell you the approximate yards per pound of any fibre. First off you pull out the lever arm and place the fulcrum point in the middle of the pivot on the notches dug into the top of the McMorran balance.
To start the process you cut about a 12 inch piece (more if it's very fine yarn) of yarn and place it on the lever arm, as you can see in the photo above, it's way out of balance. You just keep snipping off wee bits of yarn.Finally after being quite ruthless I've got the balance arms pretty well level. Good enough for a gal like me at any rate!
As you can see, there was a lot of yarn snipped off, taking the piece of yarn off the lever arm is the next step.
You measure the wee bit of yarn left in inches and then multiply the result by 100, so in this case the result is that my 2 ply medium wool has approximately 800 yards per pound.
I did the same process for each of the different yarns and found that I had 1000 yards per pound with the sport weight yarn. With this information in hand, I could plan my yardage project with confidence!
Despite what Blogger says, this was posted by Lynnette, photos courtesy of Ngaire