McMorran Yarn balance

McMorran yarn balances, indispensible! Everybody has one, right? 

But I have three in the studio where I teach, and I don't know how to tell if they are metric or "American" inches.  I thought I read somewhere that you could tell by the color of the foam cushions inside, but the Halcyon web pages shows green foam in both the metric and conventional balances.  Or they used the same picture for both...

We have two grey ones and one green one.  Anybody know how to tell the metric from the inch ones?


Posted on Wed, 06/02/2010 - 16:16

Why don't you just use each one to measure a yarn where the weight is already known?  That should tell you pretty quickly...meters/kilogram is going to be a very different number than yards per pound...roughly double, if my estimate is correct.

Then label them so you don't have to do it again!!!


Posted on Wed, 06/02/2010 - 16:52

 Guess what?????

Yards per pound (454g) is pretty exactly the same as meters per 500g (half kilo). In fact, it is so close it is within the 10% tolerance of yarn adjusted for humidity. (Since a meter is 10% more than a yard and 500g is 10% more than a pound this relationship is pretty close.)


I'd even wager a small bet that the McMorran balances don't have that much difference in the weighing arm - but a very different formula for calculations.

Posted on Wed, 06/02/2010 - 17:11

I didn't realize that the standard metric measurement was meters per 1/2 kilo!  I've always seen it expressed as meters per kilogram.  If that's the case, Sara's totally right.  But I would still try the measurement, and see if you get different results.  If two produce nearly identical results and one is 10% off, you can probably guess that's the metric one.


Posted on Wed, 06/02/2010 - 17:23

 the standard measurement in yarn measuring systems is in meters per kilogram, but dividing that number by TWO to get HALF is something that most elementary school kids can do.

Posted on Sat, 06/05/2010 - 17:14

Thanks for you response... I will give these a try, when I get back to the studio on Tuesday!

I knew that a 500 gr. cone of yarn was more or less about the same as a pound of yarn.  But I'm not a numbers person and so decided to "worry about that tomorrow..."

Posted on Sun, 06/27/2010 - 15:03

We had discused the Yarn Balance at a meeting on "using your stash" earlier this year (from Jan Towsely, Rochester, NY) At our meeting yesterday, a member brought in a Handwoven article (June 2007 I think) giving directions to make one.

Posted on Sun, 06/27/2010 - 18:41

Well, I tried the two gray foam balances and the green foam balance and they all said pretty much the same thing.  But it was kinda breezy in the classroom with the air conditioning on...

Posted on Tue, 06/25/2013 - 23:29

It is not the foam color, but the arm color.

We have not had any of the Metric version for quite some time.

The "Imperial" pounds/oz is/was clear

The Metric version was, if memory serves, a blue.