Monday, January 28, 2008

Zack's Afghan - The Home Stretch


I pulled Zack's afghan out of the WIP pile yesterday. I cast this project on back in April...of 2006. I will finish it before April 2008! If I can just keep from casting on a pair of socks and cardigan and hat...oh my!

Once I'm done with the afghan, I'll post the pattern on Ravelry (someone has it tagged as a favorite!!) It's really pretty simple, lots of knitting and about 15% purling. There's neat trick to weaving in the ends as you knit so very little finishing at the end. I still need to work out how I'm going to finish the edges. A lot depends on how much yarn is left over. I really hope I have my yarn quantities correct. I'm getting down to the wire and have that sick panicky feeling....the feeling when you see the end of the skein but not the end of the project. I feel faint, I may throw up.

Here's how I calculated my yarn yardage. I'm writing all this down so maybe someone will reassure me. Really, I am feeling quite sick. I have 3 colors: red, blue and tan (Zack picked them out.) I knit one domino square, blocked it, measured the dimensions, and then frogged it. I measured the amount of yarn in that block, being very careful not to stretch it too much. I had to do some mathy stuff, which is totally suspect. Math sucks and should not be required for knitting. I'm a product of the early 70's public school education system's horribly failed "new math" experiment. I can't add 7 plus 8 without using my fingers and toes!

I wrote all my calculations down somewhere, but for the life of me can't find them. They are probably on the back of something long thrown in the recycle bin. Zack and I charted the afghan on a piece of graph paper and colored in the squares so I would know what color to knit when. I counted how many solid blue, red, and tan and how many partials. Then I multiplied the yardage by how many squares. For the squares where there are two colors, I just divided the yardage in half for each color. Now I'm just crossing my fingers and toes and hope that my sucky math skills didn't fail me. Luckily, it's a fairly common yarn (Plymouth Encore), so if I need to order more (yarn.com), it shouldn't be too difficult. I'll keep telling myself that.

There's a trick to using yarn that's not the same dye lot. I've learned from experience. You knit two rows with one ball and two with the other. I've only had to do it once...on sleeves...on a mohair sweater. Ok, can you say pain in the a$$? I use dollar signs because not only was it a$$-pain, it was expensive. The sweater was knit in a beautiful gray Rowan mohair-ish yarn. I bought what I thought was enough. Nope. I was about 2 balls short. It had to do with weight v. yardage...something I'm still not sure I agree with completely. But there I was, half way done with a sleeve (lots of cable work) and the end of the last ball was quickly approaching. Called the yarn shop, nope, DISCONTINUED! Gasp!!!! What to do??!!?? Ebay. Nope. I lurked on Ebay for weeks, no luck. So I called Rowan somewhere in the UK. They had 3 balls left. I quickly gave them my credit card number, they charged an INSANE amount to it (I didn't think the P v. $ was so much) and shipped the yarn. It arrived in about 2 weeks and HORROR the dye lot was very different. Thank God, the sweater was mohair so the "hair" blended with the "mo" and once I frogged the half-knit sleeve and knit both sleeves 2x2, everything is nice and matchy. But here's the real kick in the butt...I live in middle Tennessee. Mohair? What the heck was I thinking?

1 comment:

Tea said...

It's just beautiful! Thanks for posting it on Tenn Knits & Spins!