How did that happen?

It would appear that I have accidentally cast on a new project. On Friday afternoon I kept myself busy (after the tedium of tidying became too much for me) by winding a few skeins. One of the skeins that I wound was an entirely unpromising-looking laceweight in a dead shade of orangey-pink.

The skein had been gifted to me by somebody, who had it gifted to them – and she had no idea what kind of fibre it was. It looked so lifeless that I actually wondered if it was cotton. I had the swift out, I saw no harm in winding it off. It would come useful for some thing, some day.

Do you know what? It came to life as I wound it off.

The whole hank was very matted. It had been dyed – possibly with Kool Aid, and clearly either insufficiently rinsed or not fully dried before storage, as all the strands were clinging together in one mass. I could feel them tearing apart as I wound it off.

Daybreak Golds from Lace live
Daybreak Golds from Lace Live
Kitchen wall colour
Kitchen wall colour

The colour picked up once the strands were de-matted. It is still rather strange in shade but has become both warmer and livelier and rather like the “Spanish Rose” paint that I have on my kitchen walls… and maybe more tangerine in daylight (certainly so in camera flash). A chameleon colour. The yarn itself appears to be a single with considerable elasticity and now appears to have both a soft handle and a good bit of fluffing/halo. In fact, it now shows some promise. I thought I’d knit a bit up to see what happened.

It occurred to me that the perfect project for this yarn would be the “Daybreak Golds” free shawl pattern from Jane Sowerby. This shawl is aka Ruffled Fichu. I am calling it Willit Wontit.

I didn’t count the loops – it would have been a very difficult thing to do with the state that the skein was in – so I have no idea what length I have. The shawl requires 1,300 yards.


Will it get to the end, or won’t it?


I have half the increase section done (let us call it a good swatch) and it is perhaps time to do some weighing and guesstimating before I invest too much time in this project 😉

I hope that there is enough yarn, because I do think that this is a good match between pattern and yarn.

Tangerine (?) in daylight
Tangerine (?) in daylight

If this shawl comes to fruition, I shall be paying it forward. If you would like it, leave a comment below to tell me how you would wear this shawl – or with what outfit, or to what event… with which date.  Be creative! promise to  pay it forward yourself.

Don’t expect to receive this shawl in a hurry, though. My first love is for my Girasole and my primary responsibility  is to Bloke Sweater #2. Plus I have three PIF projects queued up already…

Weighing and Guesstimating

The deed is now done. If I have my maths correct, something which must always remain in doubt, we should be OK for yarn. My Handy Dandy Geek Girl Spreadsheet informs me that I am 9.53% completed. My (digital) kitchen scales tell me that I have used 6 grams of  108 total grams of yarn. I know that my scales weigh to 2 gram divisions, so I calculated using 8 grams.  8g/108g = 7.4% yarn usage. Over the whole shawl that should be sufficient margin for error and leaves me well in the clear – assuming consistency of yarn weight.

Caveat: Overall calculations of percentage stitches are affected by the fact that I haven’t calculated in the picot edging. This is because I do not understand the instructions and failed therefore to figure out the number of stitches involved in that process. I trust that the method becomes clear at the point at which I need it.

One thing that I have learned from all this calculation is that this simple garter stitch shawl is a much larger knit than I had expected. It isn’t going to be dashed off in a couple of days, that’s  for sure. Going on for 700 rows, and a total (not counting picot edging) of  over 70 thousand stitches. Astounding, isn’t it, when you think about the number of stitches in any knitted project… I wonder why we do it… it is a lot of work. Labour of Love. I guess.

PS Excel also informs me that I shall be needing to acquire a circular needle for this project – there are 1,773 stitches at the end of the ruffle. Let me say that again in case you didn’t absorb it: One Thousand, Seven Hundred, and Seventy-Three stitches. I need a lie down.

Madness, I tell ye, MADNESS!