Monday, January 26, 2015

Does Skein Weight Change Over Time?

I don't always remember, but I try to weigh my yarn before I start a project, and then use that number to help me calculate yardage used. I have been surprised by the number of times that a skein of yarn weighs in underweight. I recalled reading somewhere (I think on the madtosh blog) that the reason MadelineTosh does not put a weight on their skeins is that the weight of the yarn changes based on humidity. Well, that makes a certain amount of sense, since I live in a dryer climate and my yarn typically comes in underweight.

So is it true? I've decided to do an experiment to see how the weight of the skein changes over time. I have a skein of MadelineTosh DK that has been wound into a cake and a small weather station that reports humidity. I'm going to weigh my yarn on regular intervals, hopefully every day. I will leave my scale in the same spot so that scale position will not alter the results. I'll record the data (weight & humidity) and see what happens.

So far, my weights seem to be different every day. I've collected data for a month with the following results:

I am measuring the weight of the yarn and comparing it to the humidity in my home. So far I have measured a max weight of 106.9 grams and a minimum weight of 105.1 grams over the one month period.

What are my conclusions? It is looking like humidity is indeed a factor in skein weight. So far I have had a 1.8 gram variance, which is close to 2% of the total yarn weight. From now on, I'll assume I have a 2% plus or minus variance on my numbers.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue to collect data and see if the pattern holds over a longer period of time. I'll report back when I have more data.


Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. .

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