Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I don't have enough yarn

(OK, in this case, I really don't!)

Previously posted on Ravelry, reposted here for posterity:

I just figured out I don’t have enough yarn for a project and thought I’d share my methods. Feedback welcome. (I’m sad that I can’t make it, but happy I figured it out now rather than partway up the front and having to quit _then_…!)

I had several skeins of Worsted Border Leicester/Corriedale in “Black Orchid” from Rabbitworks Fibre Studio. She had also thrown in a swatch/scarf she’d started in the wool, so my first order of business was to frog that, skein it, wash it, and hang it to get rid of the wigglies. Once I did that, I counted the strands at one end of each skein to get the yardage (my niddy-noddy measures 1-yd skeins).

So now, I had 84 + 76 (the two frogged skeins) + 60 + 130 + 130 (the labeled skeins) = 490 yards.

I grabbed the smallest skein, cast on about 5” wide in stitches, and began knitting for a swatch. A little more than halfway through the ball, I realized that it would be more useful to knit up the entire thing and measure it for my intended project, Boogie Vest. It knit up quickly on 8s, so I kept going, and the end product measured 8x12”.

Since we know 60 yards made 8x12” of fabric, we can extrapolate from that to estimate yardage needed for a vest.

I used the measurements from Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns to estimate fabric needed. I drew a rectangle for the lower half of the vest, and then modified rectangles for the upper part (narrower width on the edges to show the armholes, and a v-neck in the middle). For my size, I would have

lower rectangle 22 x 14 x 1 piece = 308 square inches (sq in)
upper rectangle, the square outer part 4.75 x 10 x 2 of these = 95 sq in
V-neck part consists of two triangles, so we can do width x height once
to get the area for both: 7 x 10 = 70 sq in
Total: 473 sq in for front

Roughly, one big rectangle
22 x 24 x 1 piece = 528 sq in

Grand Total: 1001 sq in needed.

My knitted piece is 96 sq in from a 60-yd skein, yielding 1.6 sq in per yard (96/60 = 1.6 sq in).

So my 490 yards at 1.6 sq in per yard would yield 784 sq in, more than 200 sq in less than I need.

Of course, this is all estimated, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation can certainly give you the answer you need (but don’t want): don’t even start it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Oh, and by the way...

Dude, I so love it. The Harlot says she lives in hers--and I wore mine for about the whole next week. Still needs buttons, but I love love love it.

And... on to the next sweater!

No appropriate project? Huh?

I went to a memorial service on Saturday. I found myself nearly frantic as I got ready to go--because I couldn't find a project that was A) portable (which ruled out my Bell Sleeve Pullover, now with waist shaping and V-neck), and B) simple (which ruled out G's sock, on which I needed to do toe shaping; the Teacher sock, which was due for the SCIENCE IS GREAT stranded knitting part; and my lace project, while small, which required a chart to look at each row).

Just realized yesterday, after the fact, that I could have brought my latest Magic Scarf, which has been started and is thus simply knitting around and around. And just now as I was typing the above, I realized I could have brought G's reward bear, which I've restarted in size 7 needles.

It didn't matter anyway--I didn't want to knit during the service, but rather during the sit-down period after, and by the time the service was over, I had to head out to pick up G after his tennis lesson anyway.

G's sock is done to the point where I need to Kitchener the toe. It turned out BRIGHT and very cute. I'll start the other one soon. That'll be the second set of leftover sock yarn from kid socks. It's possible I could even get two kid socks out of one skein, esp. if I did them toe up. I have been using Ann Budd's pattern from Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, which I love but is top down.

I had been itching to start a new project, and when G and I brainstormed on what to do for his wonderful teacher for the end of the year, we came up with the Teacher Socks: I chose a blue Trekking XXL skein that I had, as well as a skein of soft white Regia Silk. G came up with the words: SCIENCE IS GREAT! to which I had to add two hearts ("Those don't look like hearts" he adds helpfully. My charting is not the best.) Honestly, I think the letters came out terrifically.

After 1" of ribbing, I did the words on a st st background. Now I've started the seed stitch and side cables of the Spring Cable Socks that I've wanted to do anyway. I hope they are at least noticeable in the variegation of the yarn.

Now I have the lovely task of picking out which projects to take to Asilomar to work on there. My first time, I finished the Leaf Lace Shawl and was so happy with it. There are always meetings and they always seem to be of the type where I can knit and still concentrate/participate.

Lately, knitting has been such a source of serenity for me. Knit on, friends.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What do you do? You start more projects!

If anyone wants to email me a butt-kicking, feel free. Instead of blocking and finishing my MHC, I've started two more projects. Small projects, but still...!

The first is another Magic Scarf, for I Know Not Whom. I found some Patons Cha Cha in a yarn basket, bought I Know Not Where, and grabbed my ridiculously large Speed Stix and cast on 25 stitches. Slipped them onto my bamboo 16" size 15 circulars, and started knitting. The mindless project. Cha Cha is very soft and fluffy and the color, Soul, is a pretty brown.

The other is the pair of socks I'd threatened to start in my last post. I pulled out the yarn and started knitting. Love the bold stripes of color (5261)! But the ball I used had a strip of pink before any other colors, and with my loose cast-on that I do intentionally so the socks slip on easily, it looked like a little pink frill at the top of my boy's sock. Nope! Frogged, snipped that part off, cast on again. Much better. The yarn feels a little, hm, dry, but the red and green stripes are really nice. My boy had chosen this yarn himself; I think he'll like these. I'm done with the cuff on the first sock already. The two may even match--I pulled out the start of the other ball and it seems to be at the same place (sans pink).

On other fronts, the Merino Stripes (Chili & Chocolate) pullover I started has been frogged. It seemed very wide and I was afraid it would be boxy and unattractive. Serendipitously, this month's Vogue Knitting has an article by Lily Chin on waist shaping. I charted my own numbers and started over. I am much happier, but still have a few bundles of not-yet-reknit yarn, which makes me a little crazy, of course. I'll put in a normal V-neck instead of the slit neck they did.

And my poor Must Have Cardi sits, ignored... I hope to block it tonight and set the fan on it so it'll dry by Saturday. We're going to the Maker Faire and I'd love to have it wearable by the time I speak to the Harlot again. I bought her new book last night. It's sweet but kinda tiny!

In other fibery news, I'm making plans to teach G's class how to spin on CD spindles. Those bundles of white, two posts below? They're the 4#4oz of fiber I got back from the processor's last week. Very soft, still a tiny bit of vm, but very, very spinnable. (And clean, finally, which I could not manage.) I made one spindle as a test and it was quite easy and I managed to learn how to spin on it in an evening. Yay! (It helps to have had a spinning wheel already, and predrafting ROCKS.)

So I asked his teacher, and she is all ovah that. My water polo class ends in a few weeks and my Tuesday and Thursday lunches will be free then. Yeah!