Sizing Up Oddballs
Part 3: Using a Yarn Meter
The Yarn MeterThe most precise method for measuring your mystery skeins is to invest in a yarn meter.

Mainly used by weavers to measure precise lengths of yarn for their warps, this yarn meter handles most yarn weights and measures yarn in lengths of feet up to 999 feet. It is also useful for those who sell their own yarns and need to measure off skeins in specific yard increments.

In This Series

  Article Home
  Part 1: Niddy Noddy
  Part 2: McMorran Yarn Balance
  Part 3: Yarn Meter
  Part 4: Matching to Needle Size and Gauge
  NEW: Using a Kitchen Scale
How it Works
You clamp the meter to a table, slide the yarn into the slot, set the counter to zero, and start pulling yarn through. As the yarn passes through the device, tiny rollers inside start counting the number of rotations, which are translated into yards on the display.

On the Other Side
Normally you'll want to pair this tool with a ball winder, which will pull the yarn through and make a ball out of what's been counted.

But if you have a second person handy, you can also unravel and feed the yarn through and s/he can pull and wrap on the other side. Depending on the state of the original skein, you can also pull and wrap on the other end and just let it flop around as it unwinds.

Holed wooden pegs on both sides of the counter keep any tangles from jamming inside the counter slot.

Where to Buy Online
This yarn meter averages $49.95 to $59.95 and is often sold with a denim carrying case.

Next:   Part 4: Matching to Needle Size and Gauge