A week or so ago I started knitting my Chris’s Blues wrap using three balls of a beautiful hand-dyed blue worsted wool I’d bought last August on eBay. I bought this yarn on impulse, just because the colors appealed to me (as well as the price). But it came with very little information. I bought a hank that weighed 150 g (no yardage listed), and when I began winding it on my swift I soon realized I had three separate balls of yarn. Which was a relief, because it explained why I had six different ends sticking out all over the place.
But not knowing the exact yardage confused me; I wasn’t sure how to choose my project. My original idea was to knit up a sort of keffiyah with it; the mix of blue colors complements my skin tone perfectly, so I thought this was a brilliant idea. Except I didn’t know exactly what a keffiyah was supposed to look like, and of course there are no patterns for such on Ravelry.
Instead, I settled on the New England Stole (Ravelry link). It’s a very nice, simple pattern done in beautiful wool. Except that the wool used for the original is nothing like what I’m using. It’s bulky; I’m using worsted. Her gauge is 3 stitches per inch; mine is closer to 5 stitches per inch. The original yarn is put up at 100 g (138 yds) per skein, and the pattern calls for three skeins; my wool is 50 g per skein. So although I still don’t know what my actual yardage is, it’s a safe bet that I’ll have somewhat less than the amount of yarn the pattern calls for.
Typically for me, none of this really sank into my brain until I was already well into the project.
It finally occurred to me today that I could probably go back to eBay, find the seller that provided the wool I’m using, and buy more — even though it was only a few days ago that I swore I was finished buying unlabeled yarns on eBay (or anywhere else), mainly because it makes filling in the stash details in my Ravelry notebook that much more dififcult. Since the yarn is hand-dyed, the two different batches most likely won’t match. But, since it’s all hand-dyed, it probably won’t matter a lot. I could even alternate them so it would matter even less.
With this in mind, I finally got on the internet and researched the keffiyah. Turns out it is square, not rectangular or even triangular (although they are often folded into triangles and then wrapped around the head). I found places that sell them, and they are sized about 40 x 40 inches. That’s a lot of worsted weight yarn.
I also discovered that at the moment the keffiyah is both very trendy and very controversial. So, even though I realize that a knitted square of my mixed blues wool would not a genuine keffiyah make, I decided maybe I should avoid the trend completely. I have two choices: 1) I can unravel everything I’ve done and find (or improvise) a pattern for a knitted square large enough to use in the same manner, or 2) I can keep going on what I’ve got until it’s long enough to wrap around myself.
I’m choosing the latter. For a few minutes I even entertained the idea of buying TWO hanks of this wool, i.e., a total of 300 g more, besides the 150 g I’ve already got. Then I thought about it and realized that’s WAY more than I need. The length I’ll have by the time I use up the rest of my initial purchase is probably a little more than half the length of my finished product. Besides which, I keep telling myself that I’ll be able to block it into a greater length. So I seriously doubt that I need 300 g more, and if I did buy that much I’d be right back where I started (What the heck am I going to do with this yarn??).
So, yes, I visited eBay, found Surprise518’s store, and bought another hank of the mixed blues −− something that just last week I said I was never going to do again. But it really doesn’t count, since I’m not buying anything NEW, I’m only buying more of what I’ve already got. For the moment I’m putting the project to the side, and I’ll finish it up whenever the rest of the yarn arrives.
Which means I’ll most likely have this little wrap/scarf/keffiyah-like thing finished somewhere around June 2009.
Next time, I’ll share another installment in my Poor Planning Equals Sad Knitting series, this one titled The Neverending Cardigan.