Between writing free content, self-publishing paid patterns, and completing design commissions, my business is getting to be more stressful and less fulfilling lately. So I’ve been taking a closer look at the pretty crafter photos on social media, searching for tools and tips to make my crochet life easier. A strong tool that I discovered and added into my pattern designing tool kit is a food scale. This is the one I have: Amazon.com – Weighing the Cozy Flowers blanket free pattern coming soon 😍🔥
Instead of just listing the ways I use this digital scale, I thought I’d spend a week taking a snapshot every time I used it. You can really see it in action during my Hexagon Month with Scheepjes Yarns*!
In making motifs for Autumn Blues, I figured out how many of the orange centers I could get from one ball of Catona*. I weighed one motif – 6g. Each ball of Catona is 50g, so I can get about 7-8 motifs per ball. This is the most common way I have used my scale.
Note: I round up on weights to account for differences in tension when I design a pattern, or someone with naturally different tension could run out of yarn. Also my scale’s accuracy is only to the gram, so I have to remember that 6g could mean 6.4g. Rounding up is safer!
When all of the orange motif centers were made, I wanted to see how much blue was used to edge each motif, so I could calculate blue yarn quantity needed. When I weighed the full motif, it was now 11g, so subtracting the 6g orange center portion, I know every motif uses 5g of blue yarn. Now I can figure out how many 50g balls I’ll need.
Today, I wanted to know exactly how much yarn I had left over after I made all of the motifs, both to double check the accuracy of my scale weights, and to get an idea of how much a small amount of this particular yarn would weigh. This may come in handy for future projects with leftovers!
When I sent all of the wonderful members of my Tester Tribe a ball of yarn for our upcoming collab blanket, I realized many of my yarn balls were partials. In order to calculate proper shipping, I weighed the yarn balls individually and recorded the weights. This saved me from accidental shipping overages!
Sunshine Blanket!! This piece uses several shades of Cotton 8, randomized with 4 colors per motif. I want to know how many motifs I can get from the 10 colors I’m using, without having to map out the color order. Weighing one full motif at 13g and dividing that into 500g of yarn, I know I can get about 34-36 motifs (accounting for tension differences, woven ends, etc.)
Another note: In this pattern, I am not explicitly telling the maker which order to use the colors, or how many times to use them – I’m just going to write, “use 10 balls of Cotton 8 to make 34 motifs, choosing color order of your liking.” So there is a chance that the balls will not be used efficiently, meaning some balls may have a lot left over, or some may have very little left over, and fewer motifs will be made because the colors were not efficiently speed through the piece. I have to account for this by calling for a couple fewer motifs for the layout.
This day I decided to play! I worked on a totally new design using Stone Washed*, which was actually the border of a blanket I’ve been meaning to finish up. Designing a totally new border is so much fun – and LOTS of math! The main worry I had when making this border, though, was yarn quantity. Of course near the end of a piece, this is almost always an issue. To see if I would be able to make it around the rest of the blanket with the quickly dwindling ball of yarn staring me in the face, I simply weighed that yarn ball, being careful not to unravel my border. I knew the original ball of Stone Washed weighs 50g, and the partial ball weighed 36g – more than half the ball left! Yay I made it around! If I would have had less than half of the ball left over, I’d have the chance to frog back and do less of a wool-eater stitch. This was the most clever way I used my scale, and so very useful.
Wanting to turn these small flowers, into a large blanket, I needed a more accurate weight than just for one (very light) flower, so I weighed many motifs in a bucket and took the average weight. Now I know accurately how much yarn I’ll need for the whole blanket of flowers!
Thanks for taking the scale tour with me! It’s the tool I’ve most used besides my hook and scissors 😊❤️ I highly recommend getting one!
One more tip: take a second to record the weight with the project so you can reference it later. That number won’t stay in your brain for long, trust me… Happy crafting, y’all!