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A slight interruption

Progress on Black Coffee bumped into two roadblocks today, one minute, the other gargantuan. The first: lack of yarn. The second: my need to weigh pros and cons for an hour before spending money on yarn.

Charging along merrily, congratulating myself on not fucking up the cast-on/join-do-not-twist stage, and then admiring some of the nicest ribbing I’ve don, I decided — casually, if you will — to check yardarge requirements. Smarter knitters check before casting on, or at least before making a significant emotional investment in the project. My logic: I had three balls of black wool (Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8ply: super big balls) (teeheeheehee), made a jumper (Gytha) and now have one (1). The Coffee Tunic is a sleeveless jumper and therefore requires less yarn than Gytha. I have less yarn than I had for Gytha, therefore I can make the Coffee Tunic. Give three (3) cheers, pass Go, collect $200. Noop. I neglected to consider the following:

  • Cabled jumpers, sleeveless and otherwise, use a lot more wool than I usually think they will.
  • Jumbo turtlenecks use more wool than I usually think they will.
  • The bulk of yarn consumption in a jumper is arguably in the body (unless there’s a unique design feature like a massive hood or a kangaroo pocket build to carry actual kangaroos)

Since the Coffee Tunic has many cables — and rib, which also uses more wool than I usually think it will — and a jumbo turtleneck and a long body, the chances that I would squeeze it out of the single ball of wool I had were never high.


  1. Unravel and turn the single ball of yarn into Sexy Vesty, also in my queue.
  2. Order more yarn to go with my remaining black ball and charge ahead to triumph.
  3. Use the single black ball I’ve got to make Sexy Vesty and order three more balls to make the Coffee Tunic, thereby ensuring I get both projects and that each comes from a single dye lot.
  4. Pout a bit about how unfair it is to have to buy wool just because I want to knit something, pull Black Coffee off the needles, measure it against myself, photograph it for the blog, sulk a bit, have an iced tea, and decide to buy the goddamn yarn anyway and put the project back on the needles. Realise option 3 after ordering the yarn. Swear a bit.

Guess which one I chose? Well, not chose. Guess which one is the most accurate description of events?

Fit of pique captured with macro setting.

I have something of an aversion to unnecessary acquisition. This usually manifests itself in healthy ways, but every now and again I let it shoot me in the foot/yarn basket by resisting expenditure at all costs. So even though getting the extra yarn cost me just $24.00, even though I seriously like this pattern and want to wear it as soon as I can; even though I’m going to have a hoot knitting it, like the finished product, and can afford that expenditure, I still had to spend an hour mulling over it. I don’t think cautiousness in spending is bad — especially since I wasn’t holding up traffic or anything, just wandering about the house with a daft look on my face — but I may have lost perspective on the matter. I started weighing up ways I could rearrange the pattern, like economising on cables and increases. Then I yanked it off the needles and realised it was already a really good fit and would make a super nice top when I’m done. I don’t want to change the pattern. I want to make this top. So I’ve bought some more yarn.

I think the fundamental irony that I tried to resist is that I cast on the Coffee Tunic as a reminder that I didn’t need to shell out the big bucks to knit. The cost of the yarn for the dresses I wanted kinda gave me a jolt, and now I have to buy more anyway. Oh well. Rock’n’roll.

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