Friday, August 12, 2011

Make do.

Make do: to use what you have rather than buying new.

Hubby and I have been talking about our next holiday. We’d love to go away somewhere sunny in February. But, looking at the finances at the moment, I’m not sure we can afford to this year.

In an effort to save us some money, I’ve decided to make a commitment. Initially it was going to be yarn based, but I think I might have to extend it to include fibre.

I’m going to commit not to buy any new yarn or fibre for the next 6 months. I will work entirely from stash.

I think that should be quite straight forward, as I have 39 different lots of fibre (including over 2kg of alpaca) and 125 different yarns (over 200 balls/skeins) in my stash (not including handspun).

I am going to make one exception for Hethe, a laceweight cardigan which would be knit from Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace. I love the Scrumptious, but it’s £15.99 per skein, and I’d need two skeins. That’s £31.98 – which isn’t bad for a sweater, I know.

Using some maths, I can work out approximately the yardage for my size (rather than going for the full 2 skeins, which it might not be.)
The pattern comes in 6 sizes: 6, 8-10, 12-14, 16-18, 20-22, 24-26.
The actual bust sizes for these are: 34, 38, 42, 45, 50, 54 inches.
(I guess that this means that it’s got a bit of positive ease, because I’m not really an 8-10 but my bust size lies in that range, this is something to consider because I don’t like my clothes to be baggy.)
Anyway, the pattern also states that for these sizes you need 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3 skeins of yarn.
Now, since I want to make something between the 8-10 and 12-14 size, I’m not going to need the full 2 skeins, as that would make the 16-18 size too.
I can either do the maths on just the three sizes which require 2 skeins, or on all sizes.

To be honest, I like to do both.

If the 6 needs 1 skein (1000m) and the 16-18 needs 2 skeins (2000m) then:

1000m=1000 + ((2000 – 1000) / 3)
=1000 + (1000 / 3)
=1000 + 333.33
=1333 m
=1333 + ((2000 – 1000) / 3)
=1333.33 + (1000 / 3)
=1333.33 + 333.33

To extend that across all sizes:

So, my least amount of yarn likely is 1333 (if I make the 8-10 and my lower estimate is right) and the most is 1800 (if I make the 12-14 and my higher estimate is right)

I’m currently thinking about getting the yarn from colourmart, as they have some nice extra fine merino, which isn’t quite the same as merino silk, but it is lovely. They sent me a sample of their cashmere (seen in the swatch below as the grey) which was heavenly. Sadly, that probably wouldn’t be cheaper than the Scrumptious! They also kindly sent me small samples of some other yarns I was interested, and I made this swatch to see how they knitted either on their own or plied up:

Colourmart Swatch

Anyway, after that, I’m knitting only from stash.

Other than to save money, I think it’s important to prove to myself that I can knit from stash.

To aid myself (and my sanity!) I’ve been going through my stash and my queue on Ravelry and pairing up yarn with patterns I want to make.

Yarn Pattern
Tsuki - Hand Dyed Lace I dyed this yarn myself with some Kool Aid. It's realy bright and summery!Aeolian (shawl)
Violet Green Bourette Silk 4ply Amiga (cardi) The name of this pattern appeals to my inner geek
Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran Angostura
Abstract Cat Merino/silk laceweight This is what's left from my wedding shawl, I hope I can squeeze another shawlette out of it! If not, the edging might have to be another colour.Annis (shawlette)
Noro Kureyon Sock Brandywine Shawl
Debbie Bliss Stella Climbing Vines Pullover
Noro Sekku Etherial (shawl)
Violet Green Gloriana Bluefaced Leicester 4ply Sock Yarn Gail (shawl)
Rowan Summer Tweed Hey Teach I'll have to rename this "Hey Business Solution Designer" - or perhaps "Hey Code Monkey"
Violet Green Stellar Lace Capelet
Fyberspates Nef Lace Laminaria (shawl)
RYC Cashsoft Chunky Little Blue Sweater
Louisa Harding Kimono Angora Moebius Cowl
Sublime Yarns Organic Merino Wool DK Poet's Pullover
Sublime Yarns Angora Merino Selene Pullover
K1 Yarns Laceweight Linen/Cotton Summer Affair (cardi)
Violet Green Mulberry Merino 2ply Lace swallowtail (shawl) (make big!) My last swallowtail is more of a scarf, I'd love to make a much bigger one, but I don't think it would look as nice in 4ply.
Noro Kureyon Tempting
Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace Tirrold (tank)
Fyberspates Sparkle Cashmere Whisper (cardi)

But, for the time being I still need to work on my 3 WIPs; the hoody (Still on the sleeves), the baby cardigan (also on the sleeves!), and the socks which are on the foot.

I have also cast on for a moebius from some yarn a friend gave me (on the condition I knit something for her from it) but it’s not going well. Partly because it’s mohair, which isn’t a lot of fun to do this pattern with (hence the angora in the queue to be a moebius. I might send that to the frog pond and think about something else with that yarn. Something a bit simpler, perhaps. I’m not sure that my friend would wear a shawl, so that’s out of the question. Hmm…

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