Sunday, March 4, 2012

Because of my recent discovery that (a) I am tall and need to lengthen sweaters, and (b) I therefore need to buy more yarn than a pattern calls for, I am finding myself up knitting creek without enough yarn for my current WIP. 

I'm making Aidez with Cascade Eco Wool, just to be completely original.  These are monster skeins--250 grams and 487 yards.  My ball winder shuddered in fear at just the thought of balling those puppies up.  I had two skeins in my stash that I bought last year before the price of wool increased.  Most people on Ravelry were able to finish their sweaters with just two skeins, so I started the sweater with confidence that I would be fine. 

I scoured Ravelry for people making the same size (44") with the same needle size (9), and it looks like most people still used just two skeins.  But I decided to add an extra inch to the body length, and I started to get nervous.  The first skein got me through the back and the left front, except the last two inches.  So I started looking around for a third skein.

This must be the smallest dye lot in the history of yarn.  I could only find one person on Rav with the same dye lot, and hers wasn't for sale.  I did find the same shade, although different dye lot, at a local-ish yarn store, and I figured that was as close as I was going to get.  The new skein is very, very close to my old skeins.  But what's the old saying?  Close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes?  (Wow, what a lovely saying.) 

I swatched the two together, and the difference is detectable.  How detectable to people other than me, I don't know.  I don't think it's so bad where I alternated every two rows.  Can you see a difference? 

The stripes are more visible on the bottom of the swatch, where I alternated every 8 rows. 
Alternating every two rows.
The new one isn't as brown as the old one.  I have just the two sleeves left to do.  What approach should I take? 
  1. Knit one sleeve from the remaining skein, then knit the second sleeve from the new skein.
  2. Knit both sleeves from the new skein.
  3. Knit both cuffs from the new skein and the sleeves from the old skein, hoping the old skein holds out for both sleeves.
  4. Knit both sleeves with both skeins, alternating every two rows. 
  5. Knit both sleeves from old skein, and switch to new skein when I run out. 
Clearly, this is ridiculous.  I've never run out of yarn before, so I've never faced these kinds of decisions.  But I didn't put this much thought into choosing grad schools.  The longer I think about it, the more options I discover.  (Knit one sleeve with old skein, knit second sleeve alternating new and old skeins.  Alternate skeins with greater/lesser frequency the closer I get to the sleeve cap so that the cap will be mostly old skein so as to match front and back knit from just old skeins ...  The polar ice caps are melting, and my most pressing concern is two different dye lots of yarn.)

From a distance, it's not too bad.  (Hello, poor, sad, neglected Granny Stripe in the corner!)
In the end, I'm going with option 4.  It's the most time consuming, but the safest in terms of producing two identical sleeves with the best hope of matching the rest of the sweater. 

In these circumstances, what would you do? 

1 comment:

  1. In these circumstances I know that I SHOULD do what you are doing and alternate knitting with the 2 yarns, but knowing me and how 'lazy' I get and my need for instant gratification I probably would have made both sleeves with the new yarn, so that they would match and the whole body of the sweater would be the same also. Hmmmm I think you made a good decision though, I hope it doesn't take much longer to knit, that sweater is such a pretty pattern after all.