Sometimes, you get this perfect yarn. It’s gorgeous. Just the right color. A lovely gauge. But oh, there are only a few skeins. Say, 900 yards or so. About one skein short of the sweater you thought you’d design.
This happened to me last month at Wool and Company when I was teaching in St. Charles. I fell in love with this color of Tosh DK, Kale, and bought up the last 4 skeins. 900 yards. What would I do?
I swatched right away, but put it on the back burner while I finished up that deadline knitting. Still, the swatch called to me. I went for a looser gauge than perhaps intended; about 4.25 sts per inch on 5mm needles. It makes a lovely fabric in stockinette, soft and flexible without being too loose, too floppy.
But when I cast on, I knew I had to design a bit smarter than usual. I absolutely, positively, could not run out of this yarn before I was done.
Naturally, I went for a top down raglan. (Far easier to make a shorter cardigan if I run short.) But the collar and front details caused me a bit of contemplation.
In the end, I decided to knit a ribbed border while working the body of the cardigan. To shape the neck, I knit the ribbed section from a provisional cast on, using short rows to shape the corners at the front of the neck. I then picked up along one edge to begin knitting the yoke.
At this point, I’m nearly done with the yoke and ready to split for the sleeves. I’ve just begun the second ball of Tosh DK.
I think I’m going to knit the rest in a few stages. I want the body to be plain up until about 7 inches before the lower hem; that part will be all lace from a chart I’m developing. I think it will work well with the simplicity of the front ribbing.
I don’t want sleeves shorter than 3/4 length, so once I’m finished with the second ball of yarn, I’ll use the third to do as much of the sleeves as possible. Then, back to the body and see how that goes.
My challenge is to use, as closely as possible, every last yard of yarn.
(And also to have something new to wear to work this month!)