Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Seeing Red

     I've been seeing red today, in a couple of different ways.
     The spinning wheel has been humming this week; got a project in mind.  I had dyed a 4 ounce roving in the spring and it was just ripe for the spinning.  All spun and plyed, ready for the twist to be set.   I like seeing red this way.

      On the other hand, I am seeing lots more red with the Best Loved Shawl, now at 295 stitches and  getting wider every row on it's way to a bind off at 329 sts.  I've got a 32 inch needle on it, but these are slippery stitches and they will skitter off the needle at the drop of a hat.  The obvious solution would be point protectors to keep the stitches from escaping, but in my house all of the functional point protectors become cat toys.  Most of them are, I think, under the fridge.  I have resorted to my favorite point protector, a rubber band.  It's not pretty, but it works, and I keep it on my wrist when I'm knitting so it's always handy.

     Here's another thing that's making me see red today.  I have that sinking feeling that I do not have enough yarn to finish this shawl as planned.  I mentioned in an earlier post that this was an odd batch of Crimson Dancing Colors;  there is no more, nowhere.  Have you ever noticed that when you think you are running out of yarn, you knit faster?  I do.  I've been speeding along all day but I'm no more sure of the outcome than I was this morning.  Time to figure this out.
      Let's say that I'm using approximately one inch of yarn for each stitch.  This is an estimate I've used successfully in the past so I'm going with it here.  The number of stitches is increasing by 2 sts each row.  If I figure the rows at 329 stitches each, which is the number on the last row, I will have a built in safety zone for the extra yarn that the bind off will need.  I have about 20 rows to go, including the bind off.   So....  (20 rows x 329 Stitches) divided by 36 stitches/inches in a yard, gives me a figure of 183 yards needed to finish.  I happen to know this yarn has 60 yard in an ounce and I just weighed the remaining ball.  I need 3 ounces to finish.  I have 2.3 ounces on the nose. 
       Rats.  Red Rats.
       There are a couple of options, of course.  It's easy enough to shorten this big shawl by a couple of rows.   Or if the last few rows are knit in a different, though very similar, Crimson, it will not be the end of the world.  When I get to the last six rows, which I now know will take just under an ounce of yarn, I'll weigh in again, then decide.  So I'm knitting happily on, glad to at least know where I'm going.  I'm knitting more slowly, enjoying it more, and checking my stash for a wee ball of leftover Crimson. 
       This will definitely be a Best Loved Shawl.   All the more so because it has a little story to go with it. 

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