What Is The Weight Of My Handspun?

There are two ways I know of to determine the weight of my handspun. Measuring wraps per inch and calculating “grist.”

Measuring The Weight Of My Handspun

Often when I’ve just finished plying handspun yarn, it doesn’t measure wraps per inch very accurately. Often I have to wash and let the yarn dry before I can accurately measure the weight of the yarn that way.

Measuring grist, however is the same before and after washing, so I find it a more accurate way to measure the weight.

Here are the steps I take:

  1. Wind off the yarn on a ball-winder while measuring the yardage (actual I measure the footage and then convert to yards) using a fish-line measuring tool.
  2. Weigh the number of ounces in the ball of yarn.
  3. Divide the number of ounces into 16 and multiply the result times the number of yards in my yarn.
  4. The result is the number of yards per pound in my ball of yarn and I compare that to a yarn grist chart.
Yarn Grist Weight WPI Wraps Per Inch Chart

Here’s a brief video showing the process

I’ll usually try and keep my little calculation sheet with the yarn so that I know when I go to use it what size needle or hook to use when knitting or crocheting with it.

Any other spinners out there do anything similar? Or do you prefer to just do a gauge swatch?

Current Crochet

The Thermal Stitch Hat has turned into a very versatile hat pattern!

A Versatile Hat - Crochet Thermal Hats 01-30-23 01
1. Worsted Weight Yarn on a K hook (6.5 mm), 2. DK Weight on a H hook (5 mm), 3. Fingering Weight on a H hook (5 mm) and 4. Fingering Weight on a F hook (3.75 mm)

The number of stitches and shaping associated with each hat differs. There are 64 stitches around in the bulkiest hat and 108 in the finest hat, for instance. But they all create a very plush and warm fabric.

I have finished the latest Thermal Stitch Hat and started one more.

Meredith, in comments, writes, “I hope you wrote down what you did.” I haven’t but I’m thinking about documenting it in a crochet hat tutorial. We’ll see if I have time to pull that together.

3 comments on “What Is The Weight Of My Handspun?

  1. Just took a class on Twist and Grist and WPI with Maggie Casey over the weekend. I confess, I didn’t truly understand how important grist is until this class. Finishing (washing or setting the twist) can affect the yardage quite a bit, so grist should be only be measured AFTER the yarn has been finished and had a chance to bloom or draw up. The yarn will weigh the same, but your yards per pound (grist) can differ a great deal after washing. I’m one of those people that spins like crazy for a few weeks, skeins all the yarn as I go and then does a bunch of washing in one day. I hang all my skeins after washing and, although they were all wound on the same niddy noddy, hence all the same size, after washing and hanging on a rod to dry, every one is a different size. You can lose 20+ yards on a skein to finishing. Not a big fan of yarn chicken…lol

  2. I mostly don’t worry about calculating grist and wpi. I know my approximate yardage, from counting loops on my skeins, and approximate weight in the obvious way. I decide on needle size by laying two strands of the yarn across the holes in a needle gauge; whichever hole is filled completely is my starting point. And then I swatch to see how I like the fabric I’m getting for a particular project.

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