Okay knitters, I’ve got a problem. Crowd sourcing is the thing now, right? So here goes. Can you help me save my WIP?
Project Objective: Make a shawl for my mother in law. It should be reasonably large but in a functional way (in other words, no crazy elongated asymmetrical triangles).
Yarn: I chose Ella Rae Classic Sand Art because the colors looked like something she’d like and, well, it was a really good sale. It’s worsted weight. I have four skeins of it for a total of about 875 yards.
Pattern: I searched long and hard for something that would work well. I decided a deep crescent or half circle shape would work best. I didn’t want anything too lacy because she mentioned she wanted something on the warmer side. I didn’t want something with a ton of texture because the colorway is reasonably intense on its own. I eventually settled on Betsey by Amy Miller. It’s a crescent with a 60″ wingspan and a depth of 26″. It’s all garter stitch. It has a series of scalloped stripes that give it visual interest without being busy. The catch? It calls for aran weight and I had worsted. I figured that was no big deal as they’re pretty close. Also, the pattern calls for 720 yards and I have 875, so I’d just keep knitting and make it bigger and everything would work out fine.
So, I got started. The pattern calls for US11s. I have a lot of needles, but virtually nothing in 11s. I don’t have anything longer than 24″ in US10s or US10.5s–not going to work. I figured since I was using a lighter weight yarn anyway, it would be reasonable to use US9s. I got out my 40″ circ and got going.
It worked up fast. I cruised through the first 219 yard skein in one day. I got close to the end of the second on the second day. It was looking awesome, to boot. The long and random color changes really do resemble sand art and I was getting the interesting contoured random striping effect I was hoping for. Win! My mother in law came over today (well, yesterday seeing as I’m up late) and I casually started working on it in front of her. She commented on it favorably. Double win! I started the third skein and then quickly ran out of pattern. For anyone counting, that’s something like 450 yards for a pattern that calls for 720. Hmmm.
I’m up to 368 sts at this point. Between that and the scallops, the shawl was bunched up on the needles so tightly that there was no telling how it was really shaping up. I considered just forging ahead and continuing in the same vein, but it was just looking a little…flouncy. Again I thought about just keeping on going–after all, it’ll block out, right?–but I just wasn’t sure. Nursing and knitting have both taught me to listen to that little voice in the back of my head. So, I put it on waste yarn so I could really stretch it out and see where I was.
Well, it’s on the small side. And looks a little ruffly. It’s about 15″ deep. The second skein added about 4.5″. Without increases, it would only get to about 24″. With increases? I’m guessing a lot less. Remember my project objective? Reasonably large. I want it to be able to cover most of her arms when she wears it. As it is now, if I put it on it doesn’t quite cover the sleeves of my short sleeve t shirt. Not good. Also, “ruffly” isn’t mentioned anywhere in my project objective.
As I see it, I have some options. I could:
a) Continue knitting on my merry way and trust in the miracles of aggressive blocking. Ruffles are totally in, right?
b) Pause and block it while it’s on waste yarn. Maybe it can be saved!
c) Let ‘er rrrrrrriiiip. Start over on US13s. I’m a tight knitter! Or just buy some freaking US11s for crying out loud.
d) Send it to the frog pond and start from scratch.
Well, lovely knitters…what do you think? One of the above, or a different route entirely? Full disclosure: writing this post has me leaning pretty heavily toward one of the above options. However, I’m not completely sold yet and there’s a chance I might listen to reason.