robbing peter to pay paul (almost)

It's a stressful time of year. I've bit off almost more than I can chew for the next couple of weeks, so I'll just have to buckle down and get through it. Thanksgiving will be a nice break from all the rehearsals and teaching prep.

Meanwhile, Thea released her new cardigan, Chartreuse, on Thursday. It's been a big hit, and well-deserved, too. What a beautiful design!

I test knit the smallest size, and I was hoping to have the FO to show you this weekend, but as it turns out, knitting all those cables eats up time like you wouldn't believe, not to mention yarn. I started off with what seemed like plenty - 10 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed I've had stashed forever (I think I bought a bag of it on sale from WEBS long ago). At 147 yards per 50g skein, I had 1470 yards total, which should have been enough. More than enough, even.

It wasn't plenty. It wasn't even enough. Midway through the yoke shaping I cracked into the last ball and started to get nervous. I knit and knit, totally copping to the mentality that maybe if I knit faster I would somehow be less likely to run out. Or at least, if I did run out, I'd know sooner rather than later. I looked on Ravelry for someone willing to part with just one ball in the same color, just in case.

Thea lists 1450 yards needed for the size I knitted, and I'm not entirely sure why I didn't have enough. She suggested that even though my gauge matched the pattern (both row and stitch! how often does that happen?), sometimes lighter yarn like what I am using (the design calls for a worsted weight at 5 stitches and 7 rows per inch of st st) pulls in more with the cables, thus requiring a little more yardage.

She may be right, or it's possible that I made the sweater a little longer inadvertently. At any rate, last night, as I knit on the collar and that last ball dwindled and I scavenged the swatch I knit for a few extra yards (yes, I did actually swatch for this one!), I finally resigned myself to the fact that I would probably have to cut off part of the sleeves to have enough to finish the collar/back section. "That's like robbing Peter to pay Paul," my husband commented. I decided I'd rather reknit the cuffs in a contrasting yarn than have shorter sleeves (I like my sweater sleeves fairly long, about 2" longer than the pattern calls for...possibly another reason I ran out of yarn), and figured if I scored another ball from someone's stash, I could always reknit the cuffs later.

Before resorting to such a drastic measure, though, I thought I should knit to the end of what I already had and just see how much I was going to fall short.

And would you believe I ran out of yarn JUST as those collar pieces were coming together? It was so close I was starting to kick myself for leaving such long tails at the cast on edges. As it is, the pocket linings will have to be with different yarn. I'm okay with that.

I'm glad I didn't cut those cuffs off after all.

I grafted the back collar (no easy trick, mind you, with both knits and purls going on back there) and wet blocked the whole thing this afternoon, but I'm not out of the woods yet. I won't know if this sweater is a success until it's dry enough to stitch the collar down and hope it all lines up okay, and then try it on post-blocking. The other test knitters all have sweaters with a little more heft and drape than mine will have (several used the yarn called for: Scholar by the Plucky Knitter, and it looks just gorgeous) I hope I don't mind that. I was so tickled to have enough yarn in my stash, and such a nice tweedy blend at that, that I didn't want to buy something different, especially for a test knit. I have a lot to learn yet about yarn choice, but I do think this is turning out pretty nice.

With luck I'll have this done in time to pack for our trip to Kentucky over the Thanksgiving holiday. What's on your needles?


Renee said…
Can't wait to see yours. Love that pattern, maybe it will be my next sweater!

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