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 When a pattern misstates the amount of yarn needed
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pianogal
Seriously Hooked

629 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  08:23:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit pianogal's Homepage Send pianogal a Private Message
Does this happen often, in your experience?
I just has it happen... I am knitting a vest which only called for 4 skeins of Colinette Zanziba, the body of which is 48 inches. I am at 10 inches and almost finished with one ball of yarn, and there also needs to be yarn for the sides and for seaming. Do pattern-writers really knit up samples of each size, or just estimate?

http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com

fillyjonk
Permanent Resident

1127 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  08:56:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit fillyjonk's Homepage Send fillyjonk a Private Message
My understanding is that in most cases, a sample is made in ONE size, and then the yardage is estimated for the others.

I'm a bigger size (I like a 44" finished bust on my sweaters) and I generally have the experience of having lots of yarn left over - like, it's not actually a linear scale-up but the designers treat it like it is.

It's worse though to have your problem - to be running out of yarn too fast. Can you get more of the same dyelot?

Even though I usually find I need less yarn than the patterns call for, I generally will buy an "insurance" skein. Some places will let you return unused, un-opened skeins.
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argus
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
595 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  09:07:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit argus's Homepage Send argus a Private Message
I am not sure whether they knit up samples, but as a rule I always buy more yarn than is asked for in the pattern. I agree that it is annoying, but everyone knits differently... Did your gauge match the one stated in the pattern?

Argus

Carpe diem.

My blog http://kloobok.blogspot.com/
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Ruby Plaid
Seriously Hooked

USA
661 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  09:42:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ruby Plaid's Homepage Send Ruby Plaid a Private Message
I had this happen with the hourglass pullover I'm working on. Knit Picks showcased it in their spring catalog, done with their Andean Silk Twist. They said it would take 10 balls to make the size I needed, but I ended up going through an additional 6 balls. i just got 2 more becuase I'm finishing up the collar but just ran out.

So it will end up taking 17-18 balls. I know I'm a tight knitter, but this stuff knits up nicely and I'm not knitting it so tight that I'm off by 8 balls of yarn!

My sassy knitting blog is here: http://www.xanga.com/RubyPlaid

Visit my crafts website: http://www.geocities.com/hotelcrafty
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~rosie~
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
435 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  10:26:36 AM  Show Profile Send ~rosie~ a Private Message
Wow! 8 additional balls? That's a LOT to be off!

One of my earliest experiences had me run out of yarn on a pattern, so I've made sure to buy an extra ball almost every time.

I think most pattern writers err on the side of having you purchase too much yarn, but still. Sometimes they're just off.

I'm hopelessly addicted. I'm strung out on yarn.
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pianogal
Seriously Hooked

629 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  10:54:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit pianogal's Homepage Send pianogal a Private Message
I think I'll follow your advice and just buy a little too much from now on...


http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com
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COgirl
Permanent Resident

USA
2176 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  12:19:41 PM  Show Profile Send COgirl a Private Message
pianogal, you might be cutting it close, but you might make it. Don't forget you have the armholes and neck facing in front of you and they will use less yarn. I presumed you're knitting this in the round, but if this is just for the back, you need to buy more yarn. What yarn, what pattern? Also, how's your gauge? Especially the row gauge. That may be where you're off.

Hate to suggest this, but perhaps you should frog it and go with fewer stitches. I'll bet it will stretch you when you block it.
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  8:55:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message
Jo Sharp patterns never have the right amount of wool listed. Always buy one or two extra.

The worst I've seen is a shawl that claimed to need 6 balls of Aran weight. The amended quantity was 14 - at least there was an errata sheet in that case.

It is worth thinking about what you are buying; is the quantity reasonable compared to what I've made before. Also measure how far you have got with the first ball so you can judge whether you have enough.

Wen

2005 stats: 7 FO, 9 WIP, 1 frogpond.
http://photos.yahoo.com/whdayus
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pianogal
Seriously Hooked

629 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  9:42:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit pianogal's Homepage Send pianogal a Private Message
COgirl, I"m knitting the Haori vest from Compassionate Knitting. The body is knit in one piece which is divided in the middle for the neck, then stitches are picked up at the bottom of each side of the front and sewn to the back. Armholes and neck are picked up stitches as well, but with chenille. The gauge is 22 rows = 4 inches. I am at 16 rows = 4 inches! Not quite sure how this happens... I tend to knit loose, but if I knit tight, wouldn't I have even less yarn?

http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com
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COgirl
Permanent Resident

USA
2176 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  11:00:01 PM  Show Profile Send COgirl a Private Message
I tried to find a picture of that online, but I couldn't. I have Cheryl Oberle's book and there's another Japanes vest in it so I can visualize what the vest will look like. Can you make it a little bit shorter? I guess you'd have to decide before you get to the middle, but that would be an option if you can't get any more of the yarn. I would think that getting 16 rows rather than 22 rows the yarn would go farther. Could you do the sides in the chenille if you had to???
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The Irish Ewe
Permanent Resident

USA
1052 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  04:24:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit The Irish Ewe's Homepage Send The Irish Ewe a Private Message
Wen, even better, the books that are out now for Jo Sharp are still misprinted with 6 skeins for that shawl!

Be very wary of patterns that call for "x number of balls" instead of "x number or yards/meters." Every yarn weighs differantly, and even a slight change can throw you way off. And having one extra ball is always good, if you don't use it, you can swap it or make a hat or mittens...

The Irish Ewe
Norway, Maine
http://www.TheIrishEwe.com
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luv2knit944
Permanent Resident

USA
1789 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  05:14:19 AM  Show Profile Send luv2knit944 a Private Message
Instead of buying extra.Some LYS save skeins for their customers,in case they need more.But if you're buying online then you have to buy extra to be on the safe side.

Pauline
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Susan T-O
Permanent Resident

USA
2481 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  08:43:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Susan T-O's Homepage Send Susan T-O a Private Message
I hate trying to figure out how much yarn I'm going to need, because I only knit with my own handspun (or, rarely, handspun stranded with store-bought eyelash). "Pattern uses 8 balls X-Brand yarn (100 yards/ball) bulky." OK, does it really take 800 yards, which would take 10 bobbins or so, or just 710 which would only take 9? How bulky is bulky? How does X-Brand yarn compare to the handspun that I'm going to be using? Just *once* I'd like to find a knitting magazine that gives the wraps per inch for the yarn they use, with a better estimate of the yardage. I mean, let's face it--if the pattern says it takes 425 yards, and the brand they recommend comes in 100 yard balls, it doesn't take a genius to figure out you need to buy 5 balls. Saying you need 5 100yd balls implies you need 500 yards, and if you are substituting another yarn that comes in a different yardage per ball you might end up spending more money than you need. Or spinning more than you need. Grumble grumble grumble. I need more coffee.

--Susan T-O in Long Beach CA

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the
most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny.'" --Isaac Asimov
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pianogal
Seriously Hooked

629 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  09:43:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit pianogal's Homepage Send pianogal a Private Message
Good point about being wary of patterns that call for X numbers of balls instead of a particular yardage. This pattern calls for X number of balls. I think that maybe the author knit a medium or a large and then just randomly calculated how much a small would need.

Thanks, COGirl, for investigating! I actually just went ahead and bought another (expensive) skein of Colinette. I hope i don't have to buy an extra Crystal Palace Chenille also.

http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com
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Diva Ree
Gabber Extraordinaire

537 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  09:55:35 AM  Show Profile Send Diva Ree a Private Message
I rarely knit to gauge...so I almost always have to go up or down in needle size. I assume this is why I either have too much yarn leftover...or not enough.

Usually, I'm only off by a ball (that sounds funny). The worst was a wrap using FFF Karnak (and knitting to suggested gauge), and I had to go back for 3 more balls.
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Julie914
Gabber Extraordinaire

481 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  10:41:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Julie914's Homepage Send Julie914 a Private Message
Dale of Norway patterns seem to overestimate the yarn you need... I often have a couple balls of yarn left over, but it's nothing outragous like eight balls. I figure I can knit matching mittens if I ever get the urge.

J


I'd try recreational drugs, but they'd cut into my yarn budget.
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2005 :  03:22:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by pianogal

COgirl, I"m knitting the Haori vest from Compassionate Knitting. The body is knit in one piece which is divided in the middle for the neck, then stitches are picked up at the bottom of each side of the front and sewn to the back. Armholes and neck are picked up stitches as well, but with chenille. The gauge is 22 rows = 4 inches. I am at 16 rows = 4 inches! Not quite sure how this happens... I tend to knit loose, but if I knit tight, wouldn't I have even less yarn?

http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com



Are you using an English pattern and size 8 needles? That would explain getting a 12 ply tension on an 8ply pattern. Size 8 english needles are 4mm.

Wen

2005 stats: 7 FO, 9 WIP, 1 frogpond.
http://photos.yahoo.com/whdayus
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Valk_scot
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2005 :  05:11:37 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message
I just looked up Zanziba on the Colinette website, and the recommended needle/gauge combination is 11 st x 16 rows to 4"x 4", on 7mm needles.

Val.

[img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/26/26_9_21.gif[/img]
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COgirl
Permanent Resident

USA
2176 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2005 :  08:05:37 AM  Show Profile Send COgirl a Private Message
Is the gauge from the instructions measured with a pattern? I had that happen to me once. I couldn't get gauge and had to keep going down in my needle size. Then I realized that the gauge was to be measured in a pattern. Doh!
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pianogal
Seriously Hooked

629 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2005 :  10:06:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit pianogal's Homepage Send pianogal a Private Message
It's just stockinette...
and I'm using size 10 needles instead of size 11 but still getting the 16 rows - 4 inches.


http://abeginningknitter.blogspot.com
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msgb
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
531 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  07:28:26 AM  Show Profile Send msgb a Private Message
Oh my this happens to me all the time. Therefore I usually try to purchase at least one ball more than the pattern calls for. I figure that if I don't use it then there will always be soemthing along the line that I can find a use for it.
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