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!