Happy 101st post, ya’ll. We’ve been working it hard this year!
A yarn balance is one of the often under appreciated tools of the fiber artist. Used to determine how many yards are in a pound of yarn, this tool can help you determine how much yarn you have on a cone, or how much yardage of handspun (or commercial yarn) you’ll need for a particular project.
The Yarn to Yards Balance is produced by Eugene Textile Center in Eugene, OR and is distributed through their shop and a number of other fiber businesses. I purchased mine through the Woolery.
Surprisingly simple in design, this balance is a well calibrated precision tool. A length of yarn is hung from the arm and shortened until the arm finds balance. The yarn is then measured and the yards per pound (YPP) can be calculated.
This tool is fantastically thought out. The compact nature of this balance is fantastic. The arm lifts off and is stored inside the 5″ plastic box with a sturdy lid for safe keeping. The label is my favorite feature. It walks the user through the simple mathematic formula used to determine YPP and makes the balance easy to use, even if you’re not a math wizard.
This tool is one that will pay for itself relatively quickly. By better gauging how much yarn you’ll need for a particular project, you’ll avoid buying those extra skeins or that extra fiber that will just sit in your stash once the project is done.
This tool comes with a nice price tag. $35 for a 5″ plastic box can be a deterrent to fiber artists, especially when there are so many other expensive tools out there. I will make the argument that, for a precision, scientific tool that is not easily replicable in the studio, the price tag is spot on. The balance may be simple in design, but it is very accurate.
For a fiber artist who freezes at the thought of anything beyond basic stitch counting… if you chafe at the very idea of having to math, this might not be your tool. However, I would encourage you to give it a try. Purchasing the right amount of yarn for any project puts the power back into your hands.
This is one of my favorite tools! I’ll say it again; deceptively simple and worth every penny. If I believed in spinning necessities, I would consider this a necessary tool for the intermediate spinner.