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.
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.
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.
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.Â Be creative! promise toÂ 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 responsibilityÂ 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 ofÂ 108 total grams of yarn. I know that my scales weigh to 2 gram divisions, so I calculated using 8 grams.Â 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’sÂ for sure. Going on for 700 rows, and a total (not counting picot edging) ofÂ 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!