Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not enough yarn

What do you do when you don't have quite enough yarn & you can't get anymore of that dye lot?

Whenever I buy yarn before I pick a pattern, then I take a chance that I may get myself into this position. Learning the fundamentals of knitting can sometimes be haphazard because there is no standard of what you should learn about knitting. You can learn how to cast on and how to knit and then how to cast off, but all of the simple guidelines sometimes have to be picked up as you go.

For example, when you buy yarn, all of the yarn of a single color should be in the same dye lot. If you buy yarn from a local yarn shop, most of the time they will only put out same dye lots on the shelf. If you buy yarn from a chain craft store, it can be very difficult at times to find enough yarn in the same dye lot for your project.

Another issue I had in the beginning is when I found a yarn that I really liked, I had a difficult time knowing how much yarn to buy. Now I understand that there are yarn requirement guides that help with this, and as a general rule, I know to buy about 1200 yards of yarn for a woman's sweater. So what do I do with the 750 yards of Merino Cotton that I bought a year or so ago? I would like to make a sweater, but I don't have enough and there is little chance that I could find the same dye lot. Of course, I could find some kind of lacy summer short sleeved pattern or I could buy a complimentary yarn and make some stripes. Since this summer I made a lacy short sleeved cardigan, I've decide to do the stripes.

Stripes is a great way to play with color design. Some great designers can pick up to 20 colors or more in a single piece. One of these days, I want to take all of my scraps from other projects and make a striped moebius scarf, but for this sweater, I am just going to have 2 colors: chocolate brown & turquoise. I would like to start with a wide stripe of turquoise and then get narrower. I am designing this as a I go along so I will see how it turns out. One thing I've learned is that in order to make a piece fit perfectly, there are times that you have to rip it out and reknit it until it is just the way you need it to be.

With knitting knowledge being passed around so organically, it is a good thing that knitters are just the nicest people I've ever met, and they share so well.

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