McMorran & Mystery Yarns

A common problem frequently faced by yarnaholics is picking through our extensive stash and finding skeins, hanks, cones or balls of yarn that have no label.  How many yards do we McMorranhave to work with?  Do we have enough to make a hat? a small sweater? a large sweater? a pair of socks?  This is where the McMorran Yarn Balance comes in handy.

(And in case you’re wondering, it’s named for its creator, H. McMorran, a former lecturer in textile testing at the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels, Scotland.)

This yarn balance consists of only a few parts and is simple to use!  As explained on the McMorran Yarn Balance website:

The McMorran Yarn Balance is almost completely assembled “out of the box”.

205-McMorran-how-2TO ASSEMBLE:

  • Simply remove the balance arm (1) and pivot (2).
  • Place the pivot through the small hole in the balance arm (3).
  • Place the pivot, with the “V” (4) in the balance arm facing up.
  • Make sure the balance arm is clear of the side of the slot (5).

TO USE/MEASURE (US/pounds per yard):

Place yarn (6) in the V (4) of the balance arm.

Add/snip yarn until the balance arm is horizontal.

Remove from balance arm & measure the length.

Measure the total length in inches.

Multiply inches (including fractions) by 100.  The product is the approximate Yards Per Pound.  (For example, if length = 6.5 inches, then 6.5 x 100 =650 yards, the approximate Yards Per Pound of your mystery yarn.)

If you’d like a print out of instructions on its use, see Apple Lee Farm’s.  If you’d like more pictures of the yarn balance, see All Fiber Arts.  If you’d like to see a video explaining/demonstrating its use, watch Spinning with PattyAnne.

If you’re in the US and you’d like to buy one, try Halcyon Yarns or The Woolery.  (And yes, the McMorran Yarn Balance is available in metric too!)


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Crocheting, Fibers, Knitting, Miscellany and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to McMorran & Mystery Yarns

  1. And, best of all, handy for those of us who amass great quantities of yarn and too frequently lose their labels. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting gadget !


  3. I love the idea of a software that adjusts patterns. There’s none available for home knitters?! I’ve seen several software applications for designing/customizing knitting patterns. Hmmm.



  4. I have always liked knowing who invented something I use regularly – which is probably why I’ve started buying handmade wooden kitchen utensils. 🙂 >


  5. Susan says:

    I had no idea it came from Galashiels, Scotland! Makes it even better in my mind. I do use mine
    because who knows where ‘this or that’ came from 🙂


  6. fabrickated says:

    What a cool gadget. I often wonder why we don’t have more inventions in our world eg a kind of glue that holds our work together better than pins but washes off easily, something like thread tacking for marking cloth, a way of getting patterns to run off in my exact size rather than standard sizes that I have to alter, a waist band stabiliser that is a bit stretchy and doesn’t roll over. I could go on…..

    Liked by 1 person

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