Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happily Befuddled

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. -- Robert McCloskey
I'm happy. I'm confused. I'm happy, but confused.

I finished knitting a shawl over the weekend. I used a pattern by Kitman Figueroa called Damask, which I have admired for a quite a while now. It was a fantastic pattern, beautifully executed, and with amazing texture. I used a yarn from indie dyer, Yummy Yarns in a colourway called Green Beans.

I originally planned to use this yarn for Narciso, a scarf I have been loving for a while. I started knitting it when I was home for Christmas in December, but when I got back to my own house, I realized that this yarn deserved a better pattern that would show off its delicate tones.

I took my Damask pattern and looked at the required yardage, and determined that I had enough to make the small size: 400 yards of yarn. Check.

I cast on the required stitches and worked away, delighting in the fact that, since I was starting from the top of one side of the "v" to the other, the stitch count was going to decrease as I neared the end. That part was wonderful, because it just seemed to go faster and faster, something I am not accustomed to experiencing when knitting such a complicated-looking project.

Here's where the confusion comes in.

As I neared the end, I kept glancing over to my ball of yarn, and noticed that I wasn't using as much yarn as I thought I would be using. The ball was not getting that much smaller. That concerned me a bit, but I figured that, since I'd never knit this pattern before, I should keep an open mind. Maybe it would get used up all of a sudden, who knows?

And then, suddenly, it was finished.

I blinked a few times after I cast off. I picked up the remainder of the ball and turned it over in my hands. I got out my scale and weight it. 43 grams left. Hmmm.

I picked up the finished shawl and the ball and weighed them together. 100 grams. Interesting.

I didn't have the label anymore, so I emailed Yummy Yarns and asked them, "How many yards should I have had in this skein?"

Their reply was what I thought: between 360 and 400 yards. Curious.

I was initially annoyed. If I'd known I would have so much yarn leftover, I would have made a larger size. After a while, though, I realized that I just have another opportunity to play with this lovely yarn.

Tonight, I decided to check the size of the needles I used. Maybe I used the wrong size... I did have two sets that were the same colour.

Ahem. Well.... it turns out I used a smaller size needle than required. Size 5 when I should have used size 6.


Oh well. At least I have a sweet little shawlette that is small enough for me to wear around my neck and pack into a purse and wear around my head on a cool day.

So, the moral of the story is:  Check your needle size. Put them back in the right containers so that you know what size they are.

Or, maybe the moral of the story is:  When the ball is not getting smaller as you knit, that might just be a little miracle in disguise.

Or, maybe the moral is:  When the going gets easy, just take it. You might be going downhill, but meh, so what?

Aesop would never have written a fable like this... unless he was a knitter, too!


Anonymous said...

Love the pattern! And you are right... More yarn to play with. Thanks for sharing the project with us.
Yummy Yarn Studio

YarnKettle said...

It is lovely. I am a bit surprised that going down one needle size would result in using slightly more than half the yarn. Somewhere in my muddled mind I would have thought closer to 1/4 being left over.
Thanks for doing the unknown experiment for me.

Becky said...

That totally sounds like something I would do! I mostly stick to my acrylic interchangeables, but they're STILL being kept on a piece of decaying cardboard with weakening elastic bands. I need to find a better solution before disaster strikes.

Also, that the green bean yarn is gorgeous! I am such a sucker for green yarn.

AdrieneJ said...

Thanks for stopping by! It is truly a beautiful yarn, and I'm very happy to have another chance to play with it!

AdrieneJ said...

Me too. I'm still not entirely convinced that that was the only thing I did wrong, but whatever. I'll take the pretty shawl and another chance to play with the yarn again!

AdrieneJ said...

Me too! In fact, the project before this one was green, and the yarn I'm spindling now is green as well. Maybe I'm just hungry for the summer weather!

Becky said...

I suppose we'll be ready for St. Patrick's Day, right?

AdrieneJ said...

Always! :)