Yards per Pound is Huge Key

A comment on my previous post gave more information about the yarn balance. It is available from Eugene Textile Center, in Eugene, Oregon ( www.eugenetextilecenter.com ) for $35. I find it one of my most important tools in my studio. It can tell you the yards per pound of a yarn as I explained in that post. In this post I want to show more about knowing the Yards per Pound.

Sett Chart for Plain Weave
You can see that by knowing the yards per pound in this sett chart you can get the yarn count of the yarn which is the number given on yarn labels. The diameters used in using the Ashenhurst Rule have been calculated, as well.

If you didn’t read about Ashenhurst and his rule when it was described in the recent post, “Sett Thoroughly Revisited on March 25, 2023,  https://peggyosterkamp.com/2023/04/sett-thoroughly-revisited/  refer to that post for links with information. There are 7 pages of charts for various fibers in my book Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle,  and 7 pages for the same yarns for twill. If a yarn is not listed in a chart, the formula to calculate your sett is given HERE https://peggyosterkamp.com/ashenhurst-rule/  . There is information in Weaving for Beginners with fewer charts and a way to use them to estimate your sett.

Sett Chart for Twill
Here you can see  the comparable chart for figuring the sett for twill. These charts also have calculated the diameters according to Ashenhurst, and the variations in sett for different purposes. (I use the 80% figure for “ordinary” fabrics.)

Information you can get from a Yarn, Ball or Skein

The other day my weekly Zoom Weavers group met in person for a hike on Ring Mountain It was cold, grey, and windy but we had a grand time. After our lunches next to a large rock out of the wind we brought out things for show and tell.

One person wanted to know if two threads she had were the same.  I showed her how to hook them together to find out. In other words, she wanted to know if the two were the same “grist”. (A term sometimes used when talking about yarn size.)

You can compare two yarns quickly to see if they are the same size (grist) by hooking them together as if you linked your two index fingers together. Hold one set of yarns between your thumb and index finger. Twist the other two ends so that both sets twist. If they both feel the same, they are likely to be the same size.  One thread she knew was 5/2 cotton. When we twisted it like in the illustration, we discovered the 2nd yarn was the same size as the 5/2 and looked just like it so we gathered it was also 5/2.

Another person had a lovely skein of bamboo with the tag still on it. It said how many yards were in the 50g skein. She wanted to know how to translate that information to what she needed for planning her weaving project. I asked how many of the group had a McMoran yarn balance (now simply called a yarn balance). I was surprised that only a couple people did. This is a balance scale used to determine how many yards of a yarn are in one pound.

It’s great for letting you know how much yarn you have on an unmarked cone or skein. Place a length of yarn in the “V” on the balance arm and cut off pieces until the arm balances. Measure the length of yarn in inches. Multiply the number of inches (and fractions) by 100 for the approximate number of yards in a pound. Measure carefully because you multiply your measurement and your error by 100.

You can use the yarn balance to compare yarns, too. If they are the same length when they balance on the scale, they are the same weight and therefore, have the same number of yards per pound and are generally equal in size or thickness.

Basically, what our friend needed to know was how many yards per pound were in this 50g skein. She also wondered if it was sport-weight or fingering-weight yarn. I couldn’t show her this nice chart but said it was in my book, Weaving for Beginners.

If you know how many yards are in a ball or skein or ounce, see the chart above to find the yards per pound (ypp) for your particular yarn. If your yarn isn’t shown in the chart, use the worksheet in the following illustration to calculate the yards per pound.

An easy way to find the yards per pound is to take the known yarns in a 50 g ball or skein and multiply by 9.

Here is a worksheet to find the yards per pound (ypp) for 50 g and 100 g balls or skeins. And also, with the inches from a yarn balance.

Views from Ring Mountain are from many directions. Here we looked west to admire Mt. Tamalpais as well as the flowers carpeting lots of areas on Ring Mountain in Tiburon, California.

Ring Mountain is known for the Tiburon Mariposa Lily. It’s the only place it is to be found.