Soon, you'll read the story about this project I'm working on for a teachers' daughter.
But for now... I want to talk about a silly trick I employ when, as I did today, I encounter that uncomfortable feeling that there might not be enough yarn to finish my Work In Progress:
That doesn't look like much yarn, does it? And yet, I've almost 8" to go on this project. Luckily, it's not a huge project -- only about 11" around. Better still, it's one that I'm designing on the fly, and one that doesn't HAVE to be a certain length, there's fudging room.
What to do?
Well, I know that at the end, I will need four inches of ribbing. So, I'll need to "reserve" enough yarn for that. Then, I'll see what's left over, and figure out what I can do with it. But how does one go about determining how much yarn you'll need for four inches of ribbing?
Here's what I did.
First, using the lovely advantage of having two colors to work with, I worked a round of the project using both yarns together:
Then, I marked the end of that round in the color I would not have used had I just been following the pattern. Here, I just tied a slip knot into the "extra" yarn.
I worked the next round using the appropriate color for that round, by working ONLY the stitch in the color that the previous (doubled) round should have used,
leaving the extra color to just drop ff the needle with its former partner, where it lay looking rather ratty:
Then, I slowly pulled out the "spare" (here blue) yarn,
This left me with a nice long strand with a slip knot in the middle. A simple measurement would reveal just how many inches/yards/etc. of yarn it took to knit one round of this part of this garment.
Now, if you're armed with a measuring tape, you can MEASURE the strand, multiply it by the number of rounds you know you'll need, and then measure the yarn you need to reserve (or simply measure to see if you have enough). I, of course, was doing this somewhere I didn't have a measuring tape. So, I just used that strand of yarn as the measuring tape,
and then reeled off enough of my main color to knit the 25 rounds of ribbing I'll need at the end. That left a frighteningly small ball of yarn to do any more of the "body".
Luckily, I have a strand of yarn that lets me know how much yarn a round takes. So, I was able to determine how many rounds worth of each color I really had left. (7 of the russet, and 8 of the blue). Armed with that information, I was able to adapt the design to the yarn available, and finish with enough yarn to do my ribbing and bind off.
I then took a few safety precautions. First, I marked the point where I really truly needed to start the ribbing (another slip knot). Then, I wound the ribbing yarn into a separate ball, and marked one and two rounds worth at it's end -- just to make sure that even if I wasn't at the end of a round, I could start binding off with enough to finish.
Crisis averted! All without scales or measuring tapes. I didn't have as much yarn as I'd liked to have had, and thus DID have to change my design. But I found out early enough to make it look rather like I meant what I wound up able to knit.
Next -- I'll reveal the finished object (along with two others).