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Shortages

One sock is really no socks.

One sock is really no socks.

As I get better at knitting, one of the things that changes is the point at which failure can enter into the equation. It’s been a long time since I had to declare a project cocked up beyond all repair (COBAR). And it’s been even longer since circumstances defeated me. But there are some things you can’t just level up and work through. Like running short on yarn. After finishing some particularly fine socks, I immediately cast on an identical pair for myself. Such a plushy ball, surely another pair wouldn’t be a problem? A wee low ankle-skimming pair, and anyway I’ve got small feet, so shut up. I finished the foot of the first, turned the heel, and then weighed the rest to see how long to make it. Ooeer. The sock on the needles weighed in around 16g, while the remaining yarn weighed in at about 9g. Not enough. Not by any twist of maths you care to try.

There was a time I would have hidden the sock-in-progress, needles and all, and taken the whole situation fairly personally. I think I must have improved as a knitter, or maybe I’m just more busy, because without a second thought I ripped back to the toe, grabbed some plain grey sock yarn from the stash, and declared it to be a contrast toe/heel sock. And I have to say, it’s looking damn fine. The picture above gives it a blueish cast, but the sock toe is a very pretty mushroom/cream blend and the foot is a soft grey, like the colour of baby owls before a storm or something. I’ve finished the heel and now I’m idling my way up the leg, trying to decide what sort of fancy top I want to give it (most likely answer: rib. Fancy is a relative concept). I’m feeling pretty fine about this: not only am I going to get some super nice socks, but I’m going to use up the last of the lovely mushroom/cream blend and that speaks to my frugal streak (if by ‘streak’ we mean ‘something of a defining characteristic’).

Lopsided,

Lopsided,

This new-found maturity is getting a pretty thorough testing right now. My adorable whaley jacket, above, is nearing completion. But you may notice something a little…asymmetrical…about it? Yup, one sleeve and one sleeve only. Barring some sort of unforeseen developmental development, a one-sleeved jacket isn’t going to quite do its duty by the upcoming baby. I mean, we could just make sure the baby always sits with the unsleeved side next to the heater, but that’s going to take a degree of concentration I can’t expect from new parents. No: two sleeves must be had, no question. So the obvious next step is to press Mumini in the hope that she has some more red Merino Bambino in the stash. No? Oh. Well, I can just buy some more — what’s that? Discontinued, huh? (Should’ve guessed: Cleckheaton doesn’t like drawing attention to itself by selling too much excellent yarn.) Well I’ll just check Ravelry, there’ll be some for sale or trade — really? None at all? Okay, okay. eBay: you’ve never let me down before…but it seems there’s a first time for everything, and I’ll be damned if I shell out $50 just to acquire half a ball of red Merino Bambino. So where does that leave the chilly-armed baby? It leaves them with a damn clever aunt bethini, that’s where.

Restarted!

Restarted!

The goal here is to have sleeves that match. First each other, and then the rest of the jacket. So I’ve taken what little red yarn I have left, weighed it, and wound it into two tiny balls. Each sleeve now has a roughly equal allocation of red yarn. I’ve still got plenty of the same yarn I used to work the dinky little whales, so that’s where our extra sleeve fabric is coming from! The plan is to transition, with gradually-increasing stripes, from red to cream, and so each sleeve will end in cream cuffs. Baby stays warm, bethini feels clever, whales get worn: everybody wins!

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