Sunday, July 9, 2017

Playing yarn chicken.

I was going to do a knitting post this week because I thought I'd have a cool, new project done. Alas, the project is not done because I'm running out of yarn.

See, there's a game knitters (and crocheters, too, I imagine) play. It's called "yarn chicken" and it goes like this:

  1. (a) You see a pattern that strikes your fancy and dive into your yarn stash (or your favorite yarn shop) to find something that will do it justice; or (b), you fall in love with a skein of yarn at your local yarn shop, bring it home, and then head to Ravelry to find a pattern that will show it off to its best advantage.
  2. The pattern calls for a little more yarn than you have in your favored skein, but you go for it anyway. Everybody knows designers factor in an extra ten percent when they figure yardage for their patterns, right?
  3. About halfway through the project, you begin to eye what's left of the pattern and what's left of your yarn, and you get nervous. Very nervous.
Sometimes the designer really did factor in that ten percent extra, and you're good. Sometimes you're not good.

Which brings us to my current project. The yarn is Sparkle Sock by the Lemonade Shop, an indie dyer -- which often means that when a colorway is gone, it's gone. Fire Pit is the colorway I lost my heart to: it's gray, with short stretches of yellow and red (and a little green for variety), and it has stellina spun into it so that it sparkles. The pattern I chose is called Fire Dragon Wing, and it calls for 100 grams, or 430 yards, of fingering-weight yarn. My skein of Sparkle Sock had 100 grams and 428 yards. Totally within the ten percent fudge factor, right?

So I cast on and started to knit. And I was so pleased with the way it was turning out that I posted this photo on Facebook a few days ago. Looks cool, doesn't it? With the wedges of varied widths and the bits of fire here and there? It put me in mind of the dragons in the Pern novels. I could envision it as the wing of an ancient dragon -- a blue, maybe, the color of her hide faded with age, and battle-scarred from fighting Thread.

Then I kept knitting, and watched my yarn dwindle. The photo below is from tonight. I have three more wedges to go, plus a final wedge. Oh haha. It ain't happening. I've been weighing my yarn after every wedge completed to figure out how much yarn I've used and comparing that to how much of the shawl I still need to knit. I'm going to be about 25 yards short.


All is not lost. The company is still making this colorway, but not with the stellina wound in. I have a message in to them to see whether they might have a skein of the sparkly kind still laying around (though it's highly unlikely). I've also messaged someone on Ravelry who has a skein in their stash, on the off-chance they'd be willing to part with it. I could find another gray yarn with stellina in it -- Amy has one, but it's not really the right color gray. Or I could buy a skein of the non-sparkly yarn and mix it in, row by row, and hope nobody notices the diminished sparkle (and likely the gray in the new skein would be a slightly different shade, too).

Another option would be to frog the whole thing and re-knit with a needle that's one size smaller. That, also, will not be happening.

In any case, the shawl will not be ready to show off tonight. Sorry, guys. Maybe next week. But don't hold your breath.

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In other news, I am preparing to hand off Maggie on the Cusp to my editors directly, once I fix a continuity issue. I'm hoping to get the book on sale before summer is over, but my window of opportunity is closing fast. Sales of novels historically tend to slump after Labor Day -- people are busy getting back to work and school, and marketing folks begin aiming for holiday promotions -- so the timing isn't ideal. But I need to move on and get going on the final book of the trilogy. More news as it happens...

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These moments of blogging chicken have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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