If you were ever thinking that maybe knitting isn't out to get you, or that there are no knitting fates up there cracking themselves up while knitting screws you over, I offer you the latest proof.
I've been working on this swirl scarf, (that links to the shawl, but there's a scarf version on the same pattern) and I could tell that I wasn't going to have enough yarn. Fair enough, as I stated in a previous post, it's not like I swatched or concerned myself with gauge, and if you don't do that, then you can't complain. Fine. Noted. I hopped online, ordered more yarn (er... quite a bit more, but what's the point of paying international shipping on one ball? None, I tell you, it just doesn't make sense. I practically had a moral obligation to buy a bunch.) and carried on. The yarn finally came the other day (The Loopy Ewe ships fast, the border is slow) and knowing it was here I carried on with the scarf until I ran out of yarn. That, my friends, that exact moment, was the minute that the cosmic knitting fates flipped me the bird.
I didn't have enough yarn by TWELVE METRES. That's ONE SWIRL. That's right. I've knit 35 swirls and that took 400m of yarn and that means that each swirl takes about 12m of yarn (11.4 if you want precision) which means that the knitting fates are up there laughing so hard that one of them has had to get a drink of water to stop the hiccups.
Better yet? The new yarn, which has the same colour number, is a different dye lot, and that dye lot resembles the previous one exactly the way that my mother resembles June Cleaver, which is not at all. The original yarn was autumnal and had tones of green, orange, copper, brown and a little greeny blue. The new one is like that colourway on acid. The blue is really denim blue. The copper red is shrieking pink. The green is... well. The green is with the brown, which appears to be nowhere. They are four (I told you I got a bunch) really, really different balls of yarn. They resemble each other, but not the original dye lot that I had. If I haul off and knit the last swirl with this, then it's going to stand out like Britney Spears in a bikini at a bake off.
This doesn't make me mad at the yarn company. No sir. This right here, this exact moment is why we are told all the damn time by yarn companies to buy enough of one dye lot to make a project. They're very clear about their own inability to reproduce things the same way twice (though really, I thought it would be closer than this, I mean this yarn has HOT PINK. As an aside, this is exactly the shade of pink that was my shag carpet when I was 12, but I digress.) and I was the fool who didn't buy enough. The shop only had two balls, the pattern called for two balls, I took a shot and tried it with two balls, and then.. .I invited this disaster by not checking gauge. Got it.
Now, most of you are at least as smart as me, so you're probably thinking now what I did. "Make a shorter scarf dummy", and that is totally clever and absolutely what any rational knitter would do and the first thing that I thought of. Sadly, it is the month of December and that means that knitting has to mess with you more than it usually does (I think that knitting thinks this crap is festive? Not sure.) and that means that making this scarf shorter is impossible at this point.
This is Yoda's scarf. There is only do or do not. There is no try. It cannot be a different size unless you plan from the beginning to have a different size. The length is determined by how many spirals you knit in the the first long course. Then, naturally, all of the spirals are knit onto each other, so it's not even like I could unpick one of two of the little weenies and have a go that way. No, no...this is one integrated whack up of pain. There's no way out, no way to finish the scarf, except to get 11.4 metres of yarn that I can't have, even though I ordered it when I saw this shaft coming.
Well played, knitting fates. Well played.
(Seriously, what I am going to do is unwind all of those balls of replacement yarn, comparing it to the scarf as I go until I manage to cobble together 11.4m of yarn that is close enough. I have 800 metres. 11.4 of them have to match.)
In 2004 (Wow. That was a while ago) I did something I thought was really fun and this year I'm going to do it again. Every year around the holidays the non-knitters who love us are faced with a conundrum. They would like to get us something we like, but they can't figure out what we like. They know we like knitting stuff, but they figure that we have enough of it, and so they haul off and get you a toaster or a book about snails. (Not that both those things aren't lovely and I didn't like them - but you know what I mean.) This little gift guide is meant as a series of suggestions. Cool things that I think knitters would like, that non-knitters can buy for the holidays so that we can all avoid those terrible moments where you pretend that you really do like the mega-pack of fimo clay as much as knitting stuff because you're right - they are both crafts!
Non-knitters: here is some stuff your knitter might like. (There's three days worth here because today is the third. 22 days til Christmas. Don't let it freak you out.)
Does your knitter make shawls? Wear shawls? Wait. Let's back up. A shawl is like a really big scarf. They can be squares, triangles, rectangles or circles. They are big pieces of knitting with no sleeves or anything, and your knitter would have them on over other clothes. ("Not if you're lucky" according to my husband, but that's our date night. Yours may vary.) If you think you've seen something like that, I bet your knitter would like a shawl pin. There's beautiful ones here at Schoolhouse Press.
Day Two: Scroll down on that page from Schoolhouse Press. There's a sterling silver ball of yarn pendant. That's nice. Classy too. (I know. You don't think that knitting related jewelry can be classy, but I bet you don't think that "regular people" decorate with yarn year round either, do ya? Well, they do. Click on the link.)
Day Three: I think most knitters would like these beautiful knit-themed cards from Tilly Flop. My favourite is "Keep calm and Cast on" but there's a lot there to love. "K2tog" for a wedding card? That would be charming, wouldn't it? "inc1" to be the card at the baby shower of another knitter? If I was your knitter I would think those were pretty slick.