Selecting a scale for yarn use

Last week, I purchased a new postage scale, because my last one went kaput… and I’m very pleased with my new one! So, I thought I would share some features that I considered when purchasing a new scale.

You may be asking, why do you need a postage scale for knitting & crocheting? I find that it comes in handy fairly often:

  • If you are planning on knitting two socks at a time (or some other project that requires you to divide a skein of yarn), you can use the scale to wind the ball into two even halves.
  • When designing, I often need to give the exact yardage required for a pattern. The easiest way to do this is to weigh how much yarn you have left over from a skein, and calculate how much yardage you used. (or, you can weigh your finished piece and calculate yardage… either way, a scale really helps!)
  • Anytime you have a partial skein laying around in your stash, it can be helpful to weigh it and calculate how many yards are left- that way, you can find a pattern that you have enough yarn for.

So, now that I’ve (maybe) convinced you that a postage scale is a must-have, I’ll suggest a couple of scale features that I find very useful:

  • A digital scale It’s very useful to have accuracy to the tenth of an ounce, and digital scales provide this accuracy in a small package.
  • AA Batteries This is a personal preference of mine, but I like to be sure that all of my electronics (camera, scale, clocks, remotes, etc) use AA or AAA batteries. I use rechargeable batteries, and this way, I can always be sure I have a charged pair of the right size battery on hand. Some scales use an adapter, but I’m not a huge fan. First, you need to keep track of the adapter. Second, I’ve had adapters die on me (while the item still functions fine), and it can be a pain (and really expensive) to purchase the correct adapter for a specific item. Third, if you take an item that uses an adapter overseas, you’ll need to use a converter- a problem that you don’t really run into with batteries.
  • Grams and Ounces I prefer having the ability to view the weight in either grams or ounces. This is becoming quite a common feature, so chances are, you’ll end up with this capability.
  • On/Off switch Some scales have an ‘automatic off’, which is handy if you’re the type of person who accidentally leaves things on a lot. However, I’m not one of those people, and I prefer turning the scale off manually- which saves batteries over the automatic off.
  • An adequate tray If you buy a postage scale, this is probably a non-issue, but you want to make sure that the scale has a tray (the thing you put stuff on) large enough to hold a skein of yarn. Depending on the type of yarn you tend to use (are you a chunky-weight knitter?), you may want an even larger tray.

In the end, I purchased the Escali Primo Digital Scale from Amazon. It had all of the features I wanted, and the price was reasonable. There are lots of choices out there, so you’re sure to find one that suits you!

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Sep 21, 2010 | Posted by in Tips & Techniques | 1 comment

Comments (One Response)

  1. Karen says:

    Nice! I was just thinking today how I needed a scale for yarn, so I googled it and found your blog.