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Play Yarn Chicken Like a Pro – Part Two

When last I left you, I was busy knitting the sleeves on my IBA cardi (Play Yarn Chicken Like a Pro – Part One)…

Right from the beginning of the knitting, I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn to make this sweater as long as I really wanted it to be. So, to eke out all the available yardage I had, I put the body of the sweater on scrap yarn, and knit the sleeves first.

That way, I could use all the remaining main color yarn to add maximum length to the body of the sweater.

Then, once I finished using up that color, the plan was to add a skein of Gold to the mix – this would be the last yarn used, to the end.

But, horrors! I started panicking as my gold yarn ball started to shrink.

How could I know when I could switch to my hem ribbing without running out of yarn?

Here’s some little Yarn Chicken secrets that bailed me out:

• Unravel a stitch, measure and record how much yarn in length each stitch uses.

• Mutiply that number by the number of stitches in the row to get the number of inches or yarn used in that row.

• Now divide that number by 36 to get an estimate of the amount of yards used per row. [36″ / 1 yard]

• Then I measured off enough yards to finish the Ribbed Edging of my sweater and wound that up in a smaller ball Without Breaking or Cutting that little ball from the Main Ball.

• Then I stuck it in the middle of the bigger ball to hold it.

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NOW I could just do my favorite: Knit Until the Yarn Runs Out on all the rest of the yarn that wasn’t in the Little Ball!

And, this, my autumn colored Iba wrapper cardi, might just be the Longest Sweater I’ve ever made!

main color – 5 skeins – Foliage (1,000 yds) – took me to 24″;
contrasting color – 1 skein – Gold (200 yds) – 30″ total length

Chic Knits Iba Knitting Pattern

I can’t wait to wrap myself in its woolie goodness!

>>> for all the pattern details, click HERE

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Knit Until the Yarn Runs Out

Chic Knits PNW #1

Lately, I’ve been living in a little something that, as they say, just hits the spot…

It is cozy and warm and pretty good looking to boot!

These are my plain verisons of the PNW #1 cardigan, from l. to r. in oatmeal color and navy chunky yarn…

Going through my stash, I found an extra skein of the oatmeal color and got a bee in my bonnet to add some length and pockets to make it even more like a jacket.

That’s the beauty of top-down knitting! You can just knit until the yarn runs out! I made the pockets first, then added the rest of the yarn to the length of the body. Because the gauge on this is 4 sts per inch, it’s pretty fast knitting, too!

So, I’m ready for a hike, raking the leaves (never ends here in Portland!) or just a nice cozy cuppa coffee in the morning wrapped in fluffy comfort…

find the details and pattern here
•••> PNW #1 <•••

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Play Yarn Chicken Like a Pro – Part One

Not too long ago, I was adventuring in a great experiment. For over a year, I lived here in Portland Oregon without a car – taking public transportation and riding my bike everywhere.

Not only did lots of knitting get done at bus stops, etc. but on one lovely day, a fellow rider pointed me to an incredile house sale where I traded one dollar a skein for some glorious Harrisville Higland Heather wool…

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I wound it all up and gave it a little squeeze of fresh Portland air for good measure and then left it to linger in deep stash, waiting (and waiting, and waiting…)

But something in the changing weather and leaves all around me in recent weeks awoke my fascination with this lovely yarn. The color of the majority of it is actually named “FOLIAGE” and it has all the beautiful variations of the russet, gold and splashes of persimmon you see in the autumn landscape.

Chic Knits Knitting BlogI cast on an IBA cardigan – which is perfect for this yarn.

The Highland Heather has some nice body to it and I’m thinking will produce one of those essential wear-it-around-the-house-for-everything wrappers I love to put together.

My favorite yarns seem to be those that can last the test of time and don’t have to be babied but work for their room and board! So far, it’s turning out great – the front bands and back detail are lovely and dimensional with the heathery tones.

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The only problem (besides not having more hours in the day to knit knit knit and get it done faster), is I’m not really sure I have enough to make this as long as I’d really love it to be! Lately, I’ve be enthralled with Really Long Cardigans – and if this could go to almost knee-length, it would be awesome.

You know what that means, right?

It’s time for, drum roll, another edition of Yarn Chicken here at Studio Chic.

I have 5 skeins of the Foliage color; my estimates, based on years of making bottom-up sewn sweaters are roughly:
      • 1 skein for each sleeve = 2 skeins used
      • 2 skeins for the Back and
      • 1 skein each for the Fronts

Ooops. That’s 6 skeins (I only have 5 in Foliage) AND this is a top-down sweater! Hmmm. Would my normal theory hold?

To test it, once I finished the Yoke and its current ball of yarn, the Iba cardi was about 4″ beyond where you split for the Body. To that point, I’d used 2 skeins.

Next, I put all the Body stitches on scrap yarn, so I could knit the Sleeves and see how much yarn remained.

With whatever, if any, yarn was left over from them, I could add it to my 1-skein targeted for the lower Body and just knit until the yarn runs out! (Cue: FAVE knitting action!)

This time, I also basted the Body SHUT with some scrap yarn – one of my Pet Peeves with top-down sweaters is how they flop around when you’re knitting the sleeves – IMHO, lots of avoidable wear’n’tear cut down with this little detour. This means it can sit in my lap (nice bonus: a little warmth) and I can go to town on those sleeves.

When I’m ready to go on with the Body knitting, it’s an easy remove and back on the needles.

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Notice also, I might just have an ace-in-the-hole here too, IF I’m game enough.

I have one skein of Mustard (gold) which just might make a nice wide bottom band – it blends rather nicely with the Foliage and would be a brisk counterpoint to denim jeans.

stay tuned & find more details on the IBA CARDIGN here

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