Rae KAL : Stalled
I have some bad news.
I ran out of yarn for my Saltwater Rae.
You see Shannon and I both bought one gorgeous skein of Tough Love Sock in Saltwater and because the yardage is greater than the pattern called for we decided to use a scale and get the most out of our skein.
I cast on at a coffee shop as soon as I had purchased the yarn, normally I would have weighed it first and then begun the project. I was so eager to wear this that I was knitting like crazy and taking my Rae everywhere just to get a few stitches behind me. I knew that I could go past the recommended number of center stitches because I had more yardage so I kept knitting away until our weigh in night.
I brought my scale to Knit Night and kept weighing my ball until I reached the halfway weight (the tag said the full skein weighed 4oz). We determined our magic number was 78 stitches so Shannon and I kept knitting away under these instructions. Shannon ran out of yarn not long after she reached her center. Her gauge was way looser than mine and her Rae was a good inch or two longer at the center point.
My mistake, because I was getting gauge, was long and drawn out. I didn't run out of yarn until the very, very end. I think I may have had 28 stitches when it became very clear that I wasn't going to make it. I tried decreasing faster but quickly came to the end of my ball so I unravelled a bit and tried to decrease faster sooner. I still ran out of yarn and it's a blessing that I did because I would not have been happy with my Rae this way. I bound off the stitches and put my Rae to bed for a while, I didn't want to be mad at it, it hadn't done anything wrong.
. . .
So for those of you who may have run into a similar problem at some point in your knitting life (or for those that we might be able to spare), I will highlight a few crucial points that will make all the difference when weighing your ball to use every last inch.
Weigh your skein first - take off the ball band or remove the tag and weigh your skein before you begin. Often times a skein will weigh a little more than is written on the label. If you have already begun your project you can still weigh it, just be sure to have the entire project and working yarn on the scale for accuracy (not dangling off the edge) and don't forget to remove any extra weight (needles, stitch markers, etc).
If you ignore this step (like me) and carry on by weighing your ball periodically to reach the halfway mark (calculated using the weight on the tag) and your skein happens to weigh more than what the tag says (like mine did) than you will absolutely go past your actual halfway mark and run out of yarn at the very end. Not fun!
If this still isn't making much sense, let me throw in some numbers...
Following the tag only, my skein weighs 4oz which means I've reached halfway when my ball weighs 2oz. If I had weighed my skein I would have know that I had 4.25oz of yarn and that I would have to stop sooner, when my ball weighed 2.125oz.
It's a simple concept, and I somehow messed it up for not just me but for Shannon too! I should know better.
On this one, I blame the designer.