Friday, October 30, 2015

Lothlorien Cape - Skeins 4 and 3 Done

I've been working steadily away on this, enjoying each decrease that means 16 fewer stitches to work.  I started this on 47 inch circulars, but now have it on 32 inch circulars, which makes it a little easier to handle.  With the shorter days it is harder to get good photos during the week.  I took this one on the floor of my studio which has natural daylight LED lights.  The only challenge there is making sure I don't get any shadows in the picture.  I really love this colorway.  It is a perfect gradiance set with each skein blending beautifully with the previous skein with no need at all for transition rows.  I have been using up each skein before switching to the next.  With the heavier yarns I actually splice the skeins when I join.  This yarn has four plies, so I unply them in pairs and then re-ply a pair from each skein.  I have not been worried about matching the colors exactly when I join the skeins, I just work until I have about 12 inches of yarn left, unply the same amount on each skein and reply leaving enough tail to weave in.  You end up with four 2 ply tails, two long ones and two short ones and when you weave them in they disappear because they are only 2 plies.  If you do this right you can't even see where you've joined on the wrong side and your piece looks seamless.

I weighed each skein after I caked them and based upon my stitch count and yarn usage I have determined that I won't have enough yarn to complete the cape, but I've already contacted The Unique Sheep and I'll be able to get more.  I'm going to send Kelly a sample of my first skein to help with the color matching.  I bought this set back in 2011, and it has 500 grams.  According to the skein labels each skein is supposed to have 83 grams, which would be 498 grams.  I have another set that I bought before this one, when the pattern first came out and the labels on that set have 85 grams as the weight, which would give you 510 grams.  I haven't caked up those skeins and weighed them, so I don't know exactly how much yarn I actually have in that set.  When I checked the kit page on The Unique Sheep website yesterday it stated that the kit contains 675 grams, so obviously something happened since I purchased my yarn over 4 years ago.  I have noticed issues with yarn amount requirements on patterns before, especially with independent designers, because not everyone weighs each skein and keeps track of their yarn usage.  Even with commercial yarns you can't assume that the weight on the label is the weight of the skein.  I had a set of commercial yarn I was using for a vest and every single skein was short, so I ended up running out of yarn and having to make the vest in another yarn from my stash.  It worked out because I actually like the other yarn I used better than the yarn called for in the pattern, but it just goes to show that you can't make any assumptions about yarn amounts.  When I first started knitting I didn't track my yarn usage, but now I almost always do, and post it on my project page.  I'll even update the stash amount when I know exactly how much yarn I have, and then record the exact amount I used in my project.

Pattern:  Lothlorien Cape by Susan Pandorf
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Wild Thing in Summer's End
Needles:  US 6 (4 mm)

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