Last week, we discussed Color Matters and ways to match yarn bases, dye types and colors to a favorite project. This week we will discuss size because, contrary to what many say tongue-in-cheek, size DOES matter.
This week we’d like to introduce one of the biggest cowls we’ve ever seen. It’s the Bad Blood Cowl by Megan Bohlander. This cowl is basically one very long “stocking.” It feels amazing against the skin as the stockingnette side is always out no matter how the cowl is worn (long and loose or wrapped up around the neck). We have identified Bad Blood Kits here, which is perfect for public or social knitting, while the provisional cast on and grafted finish make it interesting even for experienced knitters.
While many of you have heard of our Fifty Shades of Gradient™ fiber line, did you know these fluffy, luxurious gradient cakes come in (what we fondly term) big-a$$ skeins? Yes, our gradients come in two generous sizes: in a 4 oz | 113 g (approx 560 yards) cake and a 7 oz | 200 g (approx 980 yards) cake. Instead of changing colors manually and weaving in all those ends, perhaps you could let the yarn do all the work!
Some of our favorite shawls, which use our big-a$$ gradient skeins are (from left to right): Brie Shawl in color way Seaside, River Cane Shawl in color way Old Glory, and Glacier Sweep in color way Glenda of the East.
Yarn Chicken and Other
Barnyard Fiber Challenges
- This may be the most “d’oh” tip we’ve ever offered, but honestly, the best way to ensure sufficient yarn for your project is to actually use the yarn base, weight, and yardage for your size, which is recommended in the pattern.
- Knit a gauge! Use scrap yarn of the same type and weight as your project and knit a gauge(s), varying needle size until you meet the project’s gauge requirements. This will ensure your project will use the pattern’s estimated yardage and meet the size requirements.
- To use a lighter weight yarn than called for in the pattern, calculate the percent increase in number of wraps per inch (wpi) from the recommended yarn weight to your desired yarn weight and then increase yardage by same percentage. For example, if pattern calls for worsted weight yarn (9 wpi) but you desire to use fingering weight yarn (14 wpi) your project will need 64% more yardage. The formula is 9 ÷ 14 = 0.64 and then (# yards of worsted in pattern) x 1.64 = (# yards of fingering to buy). [Please note: Needle size will also determine how much yardage you will need, but we are making the assumption the maker is going to use the needle size recommended for yarn weight.]
- Playing yarn chicken (bock! bock!) is not always a fun activity. When calculating whether you have enough yarn to finish the remaining number of rows and bind off, we like the following process. Lay out your project as flat as possible (do not stretch but it must be flat). Lay out your working yarn across your project if flat (or around the project if in the round) three times for each row and six times for a stretchy bind off. You can do as often as necessary as your working yarn ball/cake diminishes.
- This last tip isn’t about size so much as about happy endings. When purchasing yarn, buy enough (or more than enough) yarn in the same dye lot or group to finish your project. If you plan to “just buy more” if/when you run out, you may find a dye line across your project that is unsightly. Also, when making a large tonal project (like a sweater), it is recommended that the maker alternates skeins row-by-row to get a lovely and consistent result.
We hope you better understand how both color and size matters when selecting and making projects.
Happy stitching, y’all!