Black Diamond Kits

Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old

Monday, January 25, 2016

Two Yards to Spare, or Thank Heavens for T-Rex Arms

So I decided that I needed another simple angora-blend pullover in an easy pattern that I could knit as I helped the girls with their schoolwork. 

Vogue Knitting 2015 Fall
I found the pattern in Vogue Knitting Fall 2015 issue.  This is the cover, so you know what you are looking for.

This is the sweater.  I believe it called for 550 yards of yarn.  I thought I could get away with a little less.

I knew I needed a bulky yarn.  But I don't generally like spinning bulky yarns.  I like finer plies.  I find that I can make my yarn more uniform and balanced with a finer ply, so that is what I do.  Unfortunately, you need a lot of finer plies to make a bulky yarn.  So I realized that I needed six plies.  Let me tell you, trying to ply six plies is an experience.  One I shall not repeat in the near future.  So I had two plies of angora and four of a medium brown alpaca. 

Medium brown is a hideous color on me, so I knew I would be dyeing the yarn.  I wish I had remembered to photograph the yarn before and after dyeing.  Before I dyed it, it was really ugly, but it turned out to be a lovely dark purple tweed afterwards with the angora taking on the purple color and the alpaca looking black. 

I started with the sleeves to double check my gauge.  Unfortunately, even with using larger needles, I wasn't quite matching the gauge.  I was going to need more yarn than the "little less" that I thought I could get away with.  But fortunately, I have what my family refers to as T-Rex arms.  Apparently, even though I am 5'7", my arms are a little on the short side.  So are my mom's.  So I shorten the length of long sleeves on my sweaters by an inch to an inch and a half. 

It's a really good thing.

As you can see on the picture of the pattern above, that is all the yarn I had leftover.  About two yards.  I seem to cut a lot of my projects close.  It's not a good thing.  Someday this desire to spin "just enough" yarn is going to bite me in the behind.

Anyway, this is how the sweater turned out.  I am really happy with it.  I will probably make another one using the same pattern, but instead of making a six-ply yarn I will make two three- or four-ply yarns and knit double stranded. 

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