Saturday, February 22, 2014

Call Me Crazy

I seem to be having a problem lately. In the past month, I knit a sweater that could double as a tent and a little dragon stuffed animal whose hands, feet and wings will have to be a different color because I ran out of yarn.

I'm usually much better about this. Playing "knitting chicken" makes me nervous, so I always get more than enough yarn. But the dragon is knit from the stash - leftovers from a shawl project. I thought it would be ok. I weighed the yarn and had 20 grams more than the pattern recommended. Great!

But after knitting the body I started to get the feeling that it wouldn't be enough. I knit faster. (Because knitting faster will totally make the yarn last longer?!) Once the body was done, I looked at my little pile of yarn and wondered what had gone wrong. 

I started the head, hoping that it would magically take less yarn than expected. It did not. I took stock of the situation. Is it possible that this is an optical illusion? Maybe I'm wrong and the yarn balls just look like they're shrinking at a freakish rate? What parts of the dragon absolutely had to match in color?

I decided that his tail was the most important part to match the body so I skipped over a page of instructions and started knitting. Honestly, I thought I was doomed. There was no way I was going to get a whole tail out of this tiny amount of yarn. But somehow I made it and even managed to make two tiny little dragon ears to match.

This is all that was left. No was was I going to be able to make arms, legs and wings with these sad little scraps.

I took stock of the situation. The pattern called for 40 grams of yarn. I had weighed my yarn and had 59 grams - more than enough. I even used the recommended needles. Clearly the yarn was at fault. 

I decided to go in search of the yarn on Ravelry to see if anyone happened to have a random skein that they would share with a desperate knitter. A few people had it in their stash - but none were listed in the "willing to trade/sell" area. I went to the yarn vendor's site to see if they would have any more of this yarn/colorway - and they did! Happy day. And that's when I noticed it - this yarn was listed as worsted weight...and my pattern called for fingering. Suddenly it all made sense. OF COURSE I didn't have enough yarn. Worsted weight yarn weighs more so I would get fewer yards per gram. (In my defense, I would definitely classify this as a light worsted weight...)

Since this was supposed to be a stash-busting project, I've decided that it's ok for my dragon to have appendenges in a different color rather than purchase an additonal skein that will also have to fit in the stash. As my husband so wisely stated - "Sweetie, he can be any color you want. After all, dragons aren't real." 

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