Originally Posted by nbrome
I recently took up knitting again. I have lots of wool from years ago and I've found a market stall here which sells 50gm balls of wool for 50 "centesimi" (don't know what that is in dollars but it's REALLY cheap, like 50 cents or something).
The problem is that lots of the free patterns on the net talk about skeins and I don't know what that is. Is it the same as 50 grams?
The short answer is that a skein is a unit package of wool (or other fiber) for sale. The manufacture decides how many ounces (grams) and yards (meters) they will wind up into a skein. They will (or should) provide this on the label
. Patterns often specify a company brand of yarn and then give the number of skeins/packages needed for the project if you use that brand of yarn.
Here is a link to a tread, "Help with tangled yarn
" that discusses one trouble with not knowing how the yarn is packaged
and if it is a center-pull skein or needs to be wound into a center-pull ball
or cake. (See the Packaged
link for images of hanks vs skeins.)
If you don't have the length of the ball on the label, you can measure out 5 to 10 meters and weight it on a scale to find the mass (mg) per meter of length. Then multiply that ratio by the full mass of the ball (50 g) to find a close estimate of the total length of yarn in the ball.
The patterns also give the yarn weight (or thickness, really)
used when the pattern was written. That used with the guage of your swatch will help you find how many meters you will need for the pattern.
Oy, I think I sent my head a spinning with all those links I've included. I hope it helps you.