Friday 15 May 2015

The classic knitters' game: yardage chicken

Every knitter has the occasional project that they know, before they even cast on, is a bit of a risk, yardage wise. And while they know that they might have to knit the cuffs in another colour, they go ahead anyway, playing a game of yardage chicken. A few weeks ago I cast on one such project.

One of my son's favourite nursery workers is currently expecting her first baby, so I said I'd like to knit something for the new baby. She responded that yes, that would be lovely, and that she wasn't keen on classic baby colours, preferring brights and rainbow colours. So I went ahead and chose a pattern (Beyond Puerperium, a simple baby cardigan that looks great in pretty much any yarn, and provides the opportunity to use lots of novelty buttons), and some bright rainbow coloured self-striping yarn. The yarn isn't something I'd normally go for, but it met the criteria, so I decided to buy one ball, and knit the cardigan in the largest size I could. Yardages given in patterns are often on the generous side (no designer wants complaints that the customer bought the amount written in the pattern, only to run out with a sleeve still to knit), so I decided that I'd risk the 6-12 month size, even though officially I was going to be a few metres short. 

I cast on and happily knitted the body, the yarn growing on me with every stitch. When I cast off the body I weighed the remaining yarn: 32 g. Would it be enough?

I was aware the even if I did have enough yarn, I almost certainly wouldn't have enough to stripe match the sleeves, so I just joined the yarn for the first sleeve as it fell and knitted the first sleeve, weighing the yarn occasionally for reassurance. And I made it to the end of the sleeve with plenty to spare! Hooray!

And when I examined what yarn was left I was delighted to clearly see both a purple section and a blue section, so there would even be enough to colour match the sleeves (approximately at least).

I finished it with some wooden apple buttons (wood goes with all the colours!), and the finished cardi is pretty cute (it must be, even my husband said so). And the yardage chicken played ball - after stitching on the buttons I had 9g of yarn left, plenty!

But you know the best bit? This yarn has knitted up way more girly than I expected (the pink and purple are both rather more pink than I expected from the online pictures I could find of the yarn knitted up), and it turns out the baby is a boy, so I'll be playing the yardage chicken game again when I knit a second Beyond Puerperium in this slightly more boyish colour way...

Should you wish to knit your own super-bright rainbow baby cardigan, I used Stylecraft Wondersoft Merry Go Round in Rainbow.

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