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March 1, 2009

Here’s what the sleeves looked like at 5pm on Sunday:


Right before I ripped out the raglan shaping.  I messed up the decreases, and the sleeves weren’t shaped the way the fronts and the back are, so they wouldn’t have fit together properly.

There’s also the matter of a little hiccup in the pattern, which shows up very clearly in the thumbnail view (click if you want to see it bigger):


So really, ripping it out was my only real option.  Which doesn’t make me feel any better.  I am suffering from project fatigue with this sweater, I think; I want to finish it and get it over with, but it’s become a chore to work on it.

Not because there’s anything wrong with the pattern – there isn’t.  I think my mistake was doing so many side projects while this sweater was in progress; I started it just before Christmas and it’s going to be St. Patrick’s Day before it’s finished.

So after I ripped out the shaping rows (40 per sleeve), and picked up the stitches and put them back on the needles (67 per sleeve), I put the sleeves in timeout for the night.  Can you blame me?

But it was only 7pm by then, and I’ve had this lingering doubt about yarn quantities in the back of my mind for some time now.  So it was time for a little knitterly math.

  • Step 1:  I cast on 20 stitches, then worked one row of stockinette, then cut both sides of the knitted stitches (not including the cast on).  Measured the yarn used by the 20 stitches.  (18 inches)
  • Step 2:  Did a rough tally of the number of stitches remaining in the pattern (1260 for the button bands, 2160 for the cuffs, 3380 for the collar = +/- 6800 stitches).
  • Step 3:   I weighed the yarn I had left (not including the sleeve skeins): 2.35 ounces.  The full skeins are 3.5 ounces and 215 yards, so I’ve got +/- 140 yards left.

This is where the fun starts:

If 20 stitches take 18 inches, then I’m getting 40 stitches to a yard.

6800 stitches divided by 40 means I need at least 170 yards to finish the sweater.

(and to think I hated algebra in school…)

I’ve got 140 yards, not including whatever might be left over from the sleeves.  But I don’t think there’ll be 30 yards left over from the sleeves, so I clearly need another skein.

Have I mentioned that I bought this yarn last spring?  There’s no WAY I’ll find the same dyelot now – the shop I bought it from doesn’t even carry my colorway anymore.

So I just ordered another two skeins (just to be safe).  I’ll finish the sleeves with the yarn I have, and will work the buttonbands, collar and cuffs in the new yarn – so at least if the color is slightly off it’ll be off in a balanced way.

I hope.

Maybe I’ll go back and work the cuffs in the yarn I have…okay I haven’t really decided about that part yet.  I’ll probably let it go until the yarn arrives.  At the rate I’m going the sleeves won’t even be finished by then, anyway.

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