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You Are a Ruler

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    You Are a Ruler

    Needing to measure a small piece of muslin but separated from the yardstick, this morning I fell back on an old Girl Scout trick: using body parts of known length as a ruler. Ergo, my thumb's first joint is a little over one inch long. From inside elbow to wrist, my forearm measures about twelve inches.

    Which of those always-available body markers do you use for on-the-fly measuring?
    Bless those who disappoint you; they're leading you toward a better path.

    #2
    Nose to tip of outstretched arm - one yard.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)

    Comment


    • Amore
      Amore commented
      Editing a comment
      Good one. I still quick-and-dirty measure fabric that way. Do you turn your head or keep looking straight ahead?

    • annekepoot
      annekepoot commented
      Editing a comment
      I look straight ahead. Learned this trick in Home Economics class about (mumble, mumble) years ago.

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      I use this all the time to measure yarn and fabric.

    #3
    Horses are measured in "hands," which I understand translates to one "hand" = 4 inches measured across the palm (but on me that's 3 inches, not 4).
    Bless those who disappoint you; they're leading you toward a better path.

    Comment


      #4
      I just used this technique to illustrate the height of the shoes my daughter was thinking of buying online. (3 inches for my pointer finger)
      And when I was designing a college themed scarf. (used my hand)

      I also use a 'handful' to measure things for cooking.

      Comment


      • FreedomLover
        FreedomLover commented
        Editing a comment
        I use my palm to measure ingredients frequently.

      #5
      The span from the tip of my thumb to the tip of my pinky, when stretched fully apart, is 9" - I use this to measure things far more frequently than one would expect.

      Comment


      • Amore
        Amore commented
        Editing a comment
        That's a new one for me. I like it!

      • Trowynt
        Trowynt commented
        Editing a comment
        I use that one all the time, too. My span is more like 8", but it's a "handy" little ruler.

      #6
      My index finger is 3 inches. And the creases are conveniently placed one inch apart, lol! Often i will put my two index fingers together for a six inch measure.

      Comment


      • EllenDeKnitter
        EllenDeKnitter commented
        Editing a comment
        Now I have to go measure mine!

      • Trowynt
        Trowynt commented
        Editing a comment
        I had to go measure mine, too. I have to resort to my middle finger, but it's the same as your index finger.

      #7
      These are really interesting, but the only one of the above that works for me is a handful when I am cooking! I am short, 5ft 1in, and I am reasonably in proportion, so it probably works differently for different people.according to their overall size. I did read somewhere that the measurement from the bend of the elbow to the bend of the wrist is the same as the length as the foot, and that works for me, just under 9 inches - handy for checking the length of a sock without actually trying it on.

      Comment


      • Trowynt
        Trowynt commented
        Editing a comment
        That's interesting. I'll have to do a test of that one. It seems to me that my feet keep growing, though. In the last couple decades I've gone from being a dainty-ish 7.5 shoe size to the 9.5 boats that I currently wear! I haven't noticed the same increase in arm length, which is probably a good thing, since my knuckles would be dragging!

      • WeeBizzom
        WeeBizzom commented
        Editing a comment
        Trowynt I think feet change in shape, so it affects our shoe size although the feet themselves are the same size. As my mother got older, she needed shoes a full size bigger than the ones she had worn all her adult life, but it turned out that her arches had dropped so her feet were not as “bunched up” and short as they used to be. She also gained weight, so her feet got wider and she needed shoes that were bigger all over. I just hope I get my feet from Dad’s side of the family!

      • Hellokitten
        Hellokitten commented
        Editing a comment
        My feet have definitely grown in length. When I was first married, I was an 8 1/2, now an 11! They also went from being AAA width to medium width.

      #8
      So - this isn’t a part of your body, but you often have it with you. Did you know the American Dollar is 6” long?

      Fold it in half - 3”
      fold it in thirds - 2”
      open one of the thirds - 4”



      I use this all the time when traveling and can’t find a ruler.
      Knitting is happening here! ❤️

      Comment


      • Amore
        Amore commented
        Editing a comment
        Brilliant! Although I've used a standard sheet of paper (8-1/2 x 11), I've never heard of using a dollar bill. It's much more precise and elegant!
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