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Monday, October 08, 2007

A Few Skeins Short of A Sweater

A while back, I was wandering around Elann (if you haven't ever been, you should go check it out- they get discontinued yarn lots and closeouts and mark them WAY down, plus they have a nice yarn line of their own), and I ran across this. I thought it was cute (I don't like the collar up as much as the way they show it in the magazine) and it looked like a simple little cardi to toss on in the Fall. So I read the blurb that Elann had kindly put with the picture and yarn, and ordered 10 balls of yarn.

When I got the yarn, it came in with the yarn I'm using for Solace and I remembered thinking that it didn't seem like enough yarn for a cardi, particularly when the front bands and cuffs are knit with the yarn doubled, but I had read the blurb, so surely it would be fine. Over the weekend I decided to begin the cardi, so I cast on (I'll explain changes I've made at the end of this post). As I was working on the back, I looked at the pattern (Vogue Knitting Holiday 2006, design #18) and paid attention to the yarn requirements for the first time. They called for Montera which is 127 yards per skein. I was using the Elann yarn which is 76 yards per skein. Hmmm. My gut was telling me this could be a problem. As a knitter who has learned the hard way to listen to her gut, I paid attention. I had 10 skeins so I had 760 yards. The yardage requirement for my size was 1143 yards or 9 skeins of Montera. This wasn't a case of "maybe I could shorten the length a bit and it will all be OK" this was definitely "Holy Math Challenged Knitter Batman! This thing has no sleeves!" Ooops.

I went back to the Elann site and actually READ the blurb about the pattern and yarn. Turns out, they listed both the Montera yard requirements and their own brand's requirements. I didn't actually read it before - it was more of a skimming. Well, the knitting goddess was smiling upon me, because they still had 50+ skeins of my yarn in my dyelot (thank you, thank you, thank you Elann, for listing your yarns with dyelots). So this story should have a happy ending - there are 6 more balls of yarns on their way to me just as soon as the US Postal Service goes back to work tomorrow! (It's Columbus Day, Federal Holiday, No Mail.)


Since I don't do anything the way I'm told to, here are all the details: I'm using Elann's Peruvian Highland Chunky in Tranquil Lagoon. After casting on, I worked a WS row in Knit, then switched to stockinette stitch, instead of just starting in stockinette. It still needs blocking, but it will help the rolling a little bit. I also added back neck shaping so it doesn't creep down my back all day. On the fronts, since I do intend to wear it with the collar folded back as they show in the magazine (there's a link on Elann's site if you don't have that issue), I didn't like the way the edging (or lack thereof) looked on the collar as it folds back, so I'm knitting an I cord edge on as I go to make the edging look more finished. As you can see in the picture above, I've finished the back and have started the left front. It's not a difficult pattern, but the fronts are a little fiddly since you work with a single strand of yarn for part of them and one needle size for that section, then switch to a double strand partway across the row and use a different needle size for the second section.



Blogger CraftyGryphon said...

Since I don't do anything the way I'm told to, here are all the details...

I've always thought that patterns were "nifty suggestions" myself. I'm sure I've knit something from a pattern at some point - a Diane Zangl cardigan. But I used completely different yarn, now that I think about it...

10:32 AM  
Blogger Barbara-Kay said...

Thanks for sharing your travails with us...I promise I will learn from them! VBG! It's good to know about the dye lots being listed. I hadn't noticed, myself.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Nice sweater and love the color

11:11 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Whew, that was close, wasn't it!

1:38 PM  
Blogger Xuskagg said...

OMG! I was looking at ordering that pattern and yarn, and I almost made the same mistake with the yarn quantity! I went back and re-read your entry, and wow, narrowly avoided the same disaster! :)

8:18 AM  
Blogger Xuskagg said...


You know, the thing that bothers me is that the photo of the Chunky Weight Wrap Cardigan in the VK Winter 06 Magazine does not look near as attractive as the one on the Elann site. Do you think so too? I really want to make this cardigan, but I do not want it to look like it does in the VK magazine! I love the fluffy puffy warm look of it on the Elann site! I wonder if the Elann PHC yarn just knits up differently? Perhaps the one photographed in the VK mag was blocked rather vigorously? Maybe I should wait till you get yours done and see how it looks ;) - that is cheating, isn't it?

2:02 PM  

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