In December my SP9 gave me some STR yarn which I have been itching to use. I had a big old hank and I wanted to divide it into two balls because I wanted to make sure I could get optimal use out of all of the yarn. I wasn't quite sure how to get two even balls though so I asked my SnB knitters for some help. TWG stepped up. She had a yarn baller, swift, super-scale and a plan.
We weighed the hank so we knew how heavy we wanted each ball. We then counted the total number of strands in the hank. We figured we would ball half the hank by counting out the tuns of the swift and then weigh it to see if it was half of the total weight. We put the hank on the swift and the yarn in the baller (heh) and went to town. TWG balled and I monitored the swift. After one or two turns we realized that I needed some sort of marker to make sure I was counting the swift turns right. We used a ribbon on one end. Ever try to watch the individual blades on a ceiling fan go round? Yah, my eyes were crazy. I may have started to laugh inappropriately and uncontrollably. Crazy eyes I tell you. After we counted out have the strands we put the ball on the scale for weight. We ended up being half a turn light. Amazing!
We took turns between being the winder and swift monitor after the first ball. I think we did double work as we could have used the weight method or the count the strings in the hank method and got a pretty good estimate. But, I now know that I have EXACTLY half in each ball, which, when you are an anal-retentive twit like me, is very comforting. Also, I apparently have stress or something because I turned my ball much tighter than TWG. My ball was noticeably smaller. I didn't know this was possible and would have sworn we screwed up had I not had the two totally scientific counting and weight method to assure me we did it right. Bigger and smaller, it doesn't matter, they sure look pretty huh?
They are now on their way to becoming a pair of Feather and Fan socks. I have modified the pattern to make them toe-up so this could go the way of my last socks (i.e., try, try and try again), but I am feeling good about them.