Can’t we do it my way?

Question1. How many times do you need to wash your kitchen floor after a “waffle party” for 11 ten year old girls to get all the syrup off it? I keep washing and washing….and it is still sticky enough that I’m worried about the cat adhering to it.
In between pointless floor washings, I started the spinning for the Shetland socks.
Question 2. Why can’t we all agree about some basic principles? I’m not talking the big ones, like politics or world peace…all I want sorted out is yardage on knitting patterns. (That’s a lie. I would also really like a word with the screwdriver people, I mean get real – How many kinds of screwdriver does the world really need? Is it not possible that we could get our crap together and agree on one kind of screw? It isn’t enough that I have to go looking for my screwdriver, but to need to find the small phillips type screwdriver? It’s really unnecessary) I want designers to tell me how many yards/metres they actually used in the pattern.
The pattern for the Welsh Country socks is trying. It says that I need one 100g skein of light and one of dark Brown Sheep Nature Spun 3-ply sport . The pattern even tells me that’s about 368 yards of each one. This means that if I sit down at my spinning wheel and spin until I am delirious, and come up with 368 yards each of light and dark I should be fine. No problem.
Question 3. If I spin 368 yards of each one, how much time will I have wasted spinning yarn that I don’t need for this project? HA! We don’t know do we? No we don’t. What I actually need to know for this project is not how much yarn is in the skein, (Although don’t get me wrong…that’s a good start, I appreciate it) but how much of the skein the designer used. The light is only used for cuff, heel and toe. Is that really going to be 368 yards? I don’t think so either. The dark is leg and foot, so it’s probably going to take closer to 368. Now I have a choice. I can spin 368 yards of the dark, (that’s about 150 yards in the picture) and know that I have enough, or I can spin as I need it, not waste any fleece but drive myself insane by always needing to spin “a little bit more” to finish the socks. (We don’t have to discuss how obvious it is which option I’m likely to take.) All I’m saying is that if we knew exactly how many yards the project took, then it would be a lot easier to sub in handspun or leftovers. (I understand that yarn companies don’t want to make it easy for me to use other yarn, I’m down with that, but if you are publishing a pattern that’s not affiliated with a specific yarn then can’t you just do it my way?) I say we revolt. Raise your needles if you are with me! That’s right, we need some kind of a petition, an organized effort to force designers to measure yarn. A march and knit-ins. We could boycott yarn companies and then….well, ok. No boycotts, I don’t think anybody wants to stop buying yarn and patterns. I’m sorry, I got a little carried away, but couldn’t we mention this yardage thing to somebody?
Question 4. Has anybody knit these Welsh Country socks? Can you tell me, did it take all of the skein or was there lots left over?

11 thoughts on “Can’t we do it my way?

  1. 1. Multiply the number of girls times the number of waffles eaten by all of them, divide by the number of napkins used and then multiply by the number of pockets in one waffle.
    2. Because if we all agreed the world would be very boring and lawyers would starve to death. Hmmmm….
    3. The same amount of time it would have taken to finish that birthday present that you didn’t have enough time to finish.
    4. Nope, sorry!

  2. Two thoughts: 1) Would you rather be one yard short or two yards extra? Mileage can vary.
    2) Use the extra yarn to make scarves for all your beanie babies. If you don’t have any beanies, send them to me. DH has TONS!

  3. After the waffle party – send in the dogs! They are the first phase of the clean up effort. If you don’t have a dog or two, maybe you could borrow some! 🙂
    as for the rebellion – I am with you! (even thought I don’t spin, your wrath inspired me!) you are a knitting Norma Rae!

  4. Spic N Span, a sponge, hot water, and lots of scrubbing, preferably by someone other than yourself and you have a clean floor. At least it worked on tables, back when I worked one summer as a waitress at a girls camp. Also good for dried on ice cream sundae toppings, caramel in particular.
    Have to admit the dog suggestion is a winner. I have a kitten you could borrow. He’ll eat anything; if it is food, he’ll lick it up.
    Haven’t knit the socks, so can’t tell you one way or the other.
    My personal opinion about giving yarn amounts by skein is: it is done because lots of people don’t want to work out in their heads or on paper how many skeins of yarn they actually need to complete a project. Don’t give the consumer any extra work, let them easily find out how many skeins of yarn they need, so they can grab your pattern and the yarn off the shelf and hurry on to the next item on their agenda.
    Nothing I hate more than finishing a sweater and having a skein (or two) left over or needing five or ten yards from another skein. We all get different mileage out of the same yarn, yet a nice yardage count would be incredible. And much more accurate. I have worked a few patterns that give yardage and have always come out right around the suggested amount. We all know how we knit and can figure in a “fudge” factor for that tight or loose knitter.
    OH well, love your site, found it a couple of weeks ago. Your posts make my day. The hubby has actually threatened me with UFO/stalker notes. Knew I shouldn’t have told him I found someone with a sense of humor close to my own, and his. He actually went to one of my boxes (yes boxes) of UFOs and said “I see stalker notes here”. Knew I shouldn’t have agreed to an early spring cleaning. House looks better, but now he knows!!

  5. yeah I agree I made the boy a Rowan jacket a while back, and actually used the yarn called for which stretched my budget only to find in the end I had 2 leftover skeins (in a project that only called for 7), and a LYS with a no refund policy.

  6. A-men! on the yarn yardage problem. As an occasional (lazy, drop-spindling) spinner and hoarder of random yarn balls, I’ve found this to be a real issue when deciding whether I can start a project now, or whether I have to go out and track down enough new yarn to complete the project.
    The lack of consistent labelling on yarn skeins is terribly annoying too, especially when having to make substitutions. I mean, if everyone can agree to include those strange little washing symbols, why can’t everyone include length in yards and meters, and weight in ounces and grams?

  7. Laughed at your comment about screwdrivers and screws! I recently learned that, here in Washington state, we have an entire company, Tacoma Screw (no comments from the peanut gallery), which exists solely for the purpose of selling the quadrillion different types of screws that exist in the world. It’s worse than you think, Stephanie!

  8. According to the Sheila’s formula I’ve got to wash my floor about 160 more times. I gotta go.
    Ryan….it’s always worse than I think.

  9. I am with you on the yardage thing. Take the patterns that give you yardage per ball, then how many balls. The pattern is sized from 32″ to 46″. All sizes list a requirement of the same # of balls. Huh????? I recently knit the revised RibWarmer from Knitters for the DL from Fleece Artist silk and wool blend. I made it a little shorter than I wanted because of the yardage in the pattern. I now have enough silk and wool to knit a hat and some trim on something. This is not due to difference in yardage use! What about saying “you need 3 skeins of yarn, 200 yards per skein, 100 gr each and you’ll have about 70 gr left over.” I could do the math.
    I posted a comment re: White Buffalo, but it got lost. Have you tried the bulky 4-strand from Custom Woolen Mills in Alberta? It is pretty nice, pretty close and resonably priced.
    On screws, I think they make all those types just so they can sell screwdrivers. Its a plot, like going metric on knitting needles. Remember that? All of a sudden the price of needles doubled. And the sizes were NOT the same, little variations occured especially in the small sizes.
    Let me know when I should hold my needles, and say “I’m not going to take anymore!”

  10. Heterosexual Men Who Knit
    I taught my husband to knit. I used to enjoy knitting and take pride in the chaos of tangles and textures in my house. Then, I taught my husband to knit.
    The first winter of our marriage he was laid off and asked if he could knit his brother a toque for Christmas. He worked all day on the toque. It’s a fine lookin toque. You can spend all day engineering a stinkin toque if you wife is at work.
    “Is a sweater much harder than a toque?”
    “No. Basically same, more time.”
    He sat down with graph paper, made his own pattern and bought his own wool. He took his knitting everywhere we went. His friends started to knit.
    “I’m out of yellow. Where can I buy another ball of yellow.”
    “It’s Sunday night at 10:30. No place.”
    “I need yellow. I need yellow now! I can’t wait till tomorrow. Wool stores should always be open. We should have a wool store you know, a 24 hour wool store.”
    “Easy now. I’ll make you a cup of tea.” (It was either tea or breeding, odd how the two can so often be interchanged).

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