WIP Wednesday: the yarn.

IF YOU ARE MATTHEW OR ANDREW OR ONE OF THEIR FRIENDS, 
PLEASE CLICK AWAY IMMEDIATELY!

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I SAID GO AWAY, DAMMIT!

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Okay, on with the post.

When last we left our hero — that would be me — I had decided on a pattern for each afghan and the yarn I would use. Next, the colors.

 Color YS: He likes neutrals. 

Palatte M
Cracked Pepper, Smoke, Mochi, Oats, and Black Currant. Check.
I decided to put in a highlight with the maroon
.

Palette M pdf
Another view. Notice how the first view gives the specific hex code for each color,
while the second also give the RGB/HSV/CMYK values.

Arrangement of these colors will wait until I am ready to begin. I have already decided that the maroon highlight will outline each log cabin block.

Color ES: I knew that as long as his afghan was predominantly blue, Elder Son would like it. 

Palette A

Chocolate, Tide Pool, Indigo, Oats, Cerulean.
Blues, with some contrast.
 Check. Also, please notice how clever I was —
I used the same color, Oats, in both afghans.

Palette A pdf
Another view.

Andrew afghanNext, I decided how to arrange the colors.

How much yarn to order? Clearly, I needed to swatch, but I didn’t have any Vintage left in my stash. I made do with Cascade 220, as I remembered both yarns seemed to be light worsted. Close enough.

Swatch 1
The swatch. I experimented with a couple different needle sizes, garter vs. seed stitch, and intarsia.

The log cabin afghan is done in garter stitch, and I saw no reason to differ from the pattern on that. The plaid afghan called for seed stitch, and I was unsure how the colors I had chosen would look. (I had used ivory and ecru, two low-contrast colors, for the afghan I made years ago. I was pleased with that effect, but I wondered how these new, more contrasting, colors would look. Okay, it turned out. Whew.)

Now I knew my gauge in both garter in seed stitch. Next, the yardage.

Pay attention now. This part gets a little complicated.

Swatch cut
I separated the seed stitch part of the swatch from the garter stitch portion.

Swatch after cut

Swatch measure 1  Swatch measure 2
Find the area of the swatch: 15.5″ x 4.785″ = 75.5625 in2.

Swatch on scale
Weigh the swatch. 75.6 in2 required 38g of yarn.

Swatch frogged
Frog the swatch and measure the yarn. ~80 yds. You may not be able to tell in this photo, but I am measuring the double strand, so this is actually 160 yds.

Swatch yarn weigh
Weigh the yarn again.
Measure twice, cut once, as the experts say.
Apparently 1g of yarn evaporated during the frogging process.
Once again, close enough.

I want each afghan to be 50″x70″, or 3,500 in2. If 38g of yarn gave me a swatch of 75.6 in2, how many skeins will I need in total for the plaid afghan?

Yes, it is a word problem, just like in fourth grade

Method 1:

3,500 divided by 75.6 equals 46.3 , which tells me that my afghan will contain the equivalent of nearly 47 swatches. 

47 times 37g equals 1,739g for the entire afghan.

Each skein contains 100g. 1,739 divided by 100 equals 17.3 skeins.

Method 2, to check my logic in method 1:

A swatch of 75.6 in2 required ~80 yds of yarn. 

47 times 80 equals 3,760 yds for the whole afghan.

3,760 divided by 217yd/skein equals 17.3 skeins.

Hurrah, they match! 

For some unremembered reason, however, I had came up with the need for a total of 25 skeins for the plaid afghan and 20 for the log cabin when I did the math originally back in May. Who knows what demons possessed my mathematical brain? Looking on the bright side, my math guaranteed that I ordered more than enough rather than less. It could have been rather tragic if it had gone the other way.

Anyway, for those of you who are counting, that is a total of 45 skeins of yarn @ 217 yd/skein. That is a LOT of yarn to wind — over five miles, in fact. Happily, I have a swift and a ball winder, and in the process I finally figured out the best way to attach the end of the skein to the latter.

Winder 1  Winder 2
In these examples I am using sock yarn, not Vintage, but the principle is the same.
At the left, the way I used to attach a thin yarn to the winder spindle: double and redouble the yarn, twist it, and force it into the slots. It worked, sort of, but the tail inevitably flew loose at some point in the winding.

At right, my new method: string a single stand of the yarn through the slot with about a 2″ tail.
Wind the yarn around the spindle over the tail, then proceed as usual. Works a treat!  

Next, the beginning of the knitting and my fabulous way to handle intarsia with six balls of yarn.

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This entry was posted in afghan, Wip Wednesday, Yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to WIP Wednesday: the yarn.

  1. highlyreasonable says:

    I came up with 17.9 skeins which is certainly a match in terms of skeins of yarn. When I multiply 15.5 x 4.785, I get 74.1675 sq. in., then solving the ratio of 38 g for an area of 74.1675 sq. in., how many g for an area of 3500 sq. in., x=1793 g., then divide by 100 g/skein to arrive at 17.9 skeins. Close enough! I love your math in action and am looking forward to the next installment.

  2. gayle says:

    I found with afghans it was best to calculate skeins, then add 10%. It’s not like there’s a problem with too much yarn… 8)

  3. Melissa says:

    A bit extra is always safe. Also best to double check ones self with either math or swatches. Looking forward to the next steps. After all I just bought a large quantity of Rowan on sale at the local yarn store with the idea it will become a throw to hide part of an ugly-ish sofa.

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