Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Ace Up My Sleeve

The front (s?) of Their Father's sweater is still missing. Looking at the last photo I have of the project, it occurred to me that I may be looking for the wrong thing. I've been searching for yarn. Perhaps I should be searching for the muslin project bag with the yellow birds.

And I will. It's just that the days are slipping by. In that deep dark secret part of my brain where my knitting fantasies live, I keep envisioning giving him the sweater for his birthday, more specifically, this birthday. I know I do, because when little bits of fantasies bubble to the surface of my brain and pop open, in between the ones where I knit like Elizabeth Zimmermann, or the ones where suddenly the Blog is one of the top 200 knitting blogs and has the comments to prove it, I envision him opening a box and being astounded by the reality of his sweater.

Yes, yes, I know it's not going to happen. That's why these are fantasies. Still, my fingers are itching to work on this particular project.

I've been chasing ideas around my brain like a dog chases squirrels. I could marathon knit. People here are old enough to fend for themselves. So what if the Lord Protector will live on Flaming Hot Cheetos and the Pirate subsist entirely on birthday cake? I could double, no, quadruple my knitting speed. Hey, it could happen (and pigs may whistle but they've poor mouths for it). The sweater could knit itself, like the ones Mrs. Weasley knits (I seem to be having a hard time separating fiction from reality here). None of them, however, will work if I don't have enough yarn.

That's the crux of things. Memory is notoriously unreliable (seen Rashomon lately?). Yet my memory insists I have not one (as pictured) but both the sweater fronts started. Not knit very far, but started. It's not the loss of work that has me chewing my fingernails as if they were made out of chocolate, it's the loss of the yarn. Two sweater fronts means two full skeins of yarn. That's a lot. I could knit my fingers to the bone. I could knit so fast my needles smoke and I need to keep a fire extinguisher by my side. It won't matter if I run out of yarn.

I've been staring at my remaining supply. It's about 2.5 skeins, maybe a little more. In between wondering if I really overbought the yarn by that much, or if my doppelganger slipped in, frogged the fronts, reclaimed the yarn and wound it back into skeins, complete with manufacturer's label, I've been trying to gauge how much I've actually used so far, trying to determine if I have enough. I don't think the back took more than two skeins. Will two and a half be sufficient? I have to consider the cables. Cables eat yarn. I know each sleeve took a little more than two skeins. Will the fronts use more than that? There's a button band to consider. How much more will that need?

Well, you get the idea. All dithery I've been, when I'm not tearing apart knitting bags and stash baskets. When not occupying the forefront of my brain, it's been niggling at the back. Neither of which is actually knitting the sweater for me. Conditions were ripe for a brainstorm, and last night as I was winding up one of the remaining skeins, that's what I got.

I have a kitchen scale, well, the Princess does. We picked it up so we could translate some of her trans-Atlantic recipes. If it works on flour and sugar, it will work on yarn.

The back weighs 7.5 ounces. The sleeves weigh 9.4. The remaining yarn?9.6 ounces. That's close. That's really, really close. I could just make it. Or I could just miss.

Know what I just remembered?

I have the Swatch.

1 comment:

Diane H said...

Comment, comment, comment - that's me trying to boost your blog. Knit fast, really fast, so you don't run out of yarn - advice on the sweater fronts. And adding the swatch - brilliant!