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.

Doh.

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!

8 comments:

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

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

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  2. 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.

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    1. 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!

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  3. 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.

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    1. 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!

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

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