A small scale is useful to determine if
an extra lace repeat can be worked or
if there is enough yarn for the second
sock. Hyacinth Lace Shawl and
Twining Leaves Lace Sock are


Many patterns allow flexibility for size, whether it is adding repeats on a lace shawl or customizing the leg length on a sock. Since patterns cannot include yardage amounts for every possible size, it is useful to be able to estimate how much yarn is left for the project.

Customized Shawls

How can you tell if you have enough yarn for another repeat on a shawl? Two tools can help. The first is the Shawl Percentage calculator at Jessica Rose's blog. This Excel program can be used for shawls knit from the tip or the base. (For shawls knit from the neck down in chevrons, use the tip calculation.) To use the calculator, simply key in the total row count with the additional lace repeat, including edging rows. Then look at the number of rows knit to see the percent of the shawl completed.

Next, use a small scale to weigh the remaining yarn. (I use a Pelouze GO80—a small mechanical scale that retails for less than $10 at office supply stores. It shows weights in both ounces and grams and is small enough to carry with my knitting tools.) Subtract the weight of the leftover yarn from the total to determine the percent knit.

If the percent of yarn knit is less than the percent of the shawl knit, the lace repeat can be added. If the numbers are close, do not add the repeat because the edging, and cast-off take extra yarn.

Second Sock

A small scale also is useful to determine if enough yarn is left for the second sock. Simply weigh the first sock; then weigh the leftover yarn. This can be done while the first sock is on the needles in case a creative solution is needed for the toe.

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