Spinninglizzy's Weblog

Falling down the slippery fibre slope

No Yarn Left Behind

Salvaged Gold Vexillum, aka “Yarn Chicken Knit”

Go ahead, dare me. I can’t walk away from a challenge of yarn chicken. I’m not sure I know how. I so dislike “wasting” any extra yarn, that my mistakes tend toward knitting my projects until the finished pieces no longer look fitted, and are a tad too large. But this is not usually a problem with accessories like scarves.

I had 550 yards of Blue Moon Laci yarn left over from the 1750-yard skein used to knit Tropfen for my husband.

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This yarn, in the colourway “24 Karat”, is so luscious, I wanted to steal his scarf many times over, so the leftover yardage were destined to become something for me. Enter Vexillum, by Paper Moon Knits.

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The pattern calls for fingering yarn, but my yarn is laceweight. Fortunately, I had a lot of it, and all was well until approaching the finish line. I had weighed my remaining yarn many times to guesstimate how much to leave for the i-cord bind-off, although I did have a few strange readings when getting toward the end of the skein. For instance, how could I weigh the remaining yarn at 5 grams, only to knit an additional four rows and read the next weighing at 7???!!!

Nevertheless, during my Friday morning knitting group, I definitely had enough for the i-cord bind-off, but talked myself into knitting an extra two rows first. “Yarn Roulette,” a friend told me I was playing.

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I had my extra rows completed by the time I joined a second knitting group Friday evening, and proceeded to bind-off. However, nearing the end of my yarn, it was obvious that it would not be enough to finish. Fortunately, I had a trump card: a precious butterfly of yarn left over from my Tropfen project:

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I was dismayed to find that it was not long enough! My fingers shaking with anxiety, I found a last meager bit of yarn wound on little card.  This was a lease tie on the original skein. It was so small, there was no real reason why I kept it! One friend noted helpfully: “You could always hack off a little off the end of your husband’s scarf and use that!”

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I parsimoniously spit-felt-joined this last fragment of yarn, regretting my earlier squandering of possibly five inches of my yarn butterfly with my preferred Russian join. More stroke-inducing binding-off later, I was devastated to acknowledge that I still did not have enough to finish the i-cord bind-off. I finished the last 1.5 inches with a basic bind-off. It was a relief be able to finish the scarf, but where was the gratification or triumph?

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Two hours later, back at home, my son was pushing around something on the floor with his toes. “Mama, is this garbage?” “Nooooooooooooooooooo!” I snatched this precious salvage from him the moment I recognised it for the gold it was: a scant 9″ of my yarn! Hero of the hour! I’m still a contender to challenge the yarn again!

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Half an hour of undoing two inches of bind-off later, I spit-joined a scant inch of my wisp of treasure to that tail, and joined the other end to the leftover tail still attached to my cast-on edge. I bound-off warily, praying over every stitch, and… success!

My nerves were so frazzled that I broke apart the joined cast-on and bind-off tails at midpoint before thinking to photo that epic moment. Less than four inches left at each end to weave in!

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I don’t think I’m much wiser or repentant, but… I AM still undefeated at yarn chicken! Victory!

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12 April 2016 Posted by | Knitting | , , , , , , | 4 Comments