Monday, November 12, 2012

Excel is a good thing. Just saying.

I am currently 122 rows into the 180 row Lyra tablecloth, and I spent rows 77 through 113 crossing my fingers (figuratively, of course. It is quite difficult to knit with crossed fingers) and hoping that I would have enough yarn. You see, when I made the circular version, I didn't take the best notes... okay, I took almost no notes, but I did mark the row where the yarn ball changed.

I just didn't write down the size skein I was using. Aunt Lydia's white crochet cotton comes in skein sizes ranging from "I think I'll make a doily for my potpourri bowl to rest upon daintily," to "Maybe a lace cozy for the Hummer would be nice." So while I know that I used 3-ish skeins, the yardage is absolutely up in the air.

I have 5 balls of blue crochet cotton of the "potpourri bowl" variety. I am working on size 3 needles instead of the recommended 1's or the 2's I used last time (it became clear in the first 20 rows that the finished product would not cover my table if I continued on with the recommended needles).  I have no compass to guide me through this maelstrom of "How much yarn do I NEEEEEEEEED?"

No compass but my math, that is (and Excel. I refuse to do some of this stuff by hand.) I didn't know how far one ball went, and with 90/180 rows making up less than a quarter of the total stitches, ending ball 1 at row 77 was a bad sign. The solution? Counting. Count all the stitches in every row of chart. Add the total number together and multiply by 2 (those WS rows will get you every time), then by 8 (because it's an octagon... sort of...). I got a number, and a big number at that. Then I counted from the top down to row 113. 2.8 balls, high end estimate, from row 113 to row 180. I say high end because I counted EVERYTHING as the same. A double yarn over doesn't take nearly as much yarn as 2 knit stitches--it's got no bottom--but screw it, it's the same. I picked row 113 because that is where you must choose what shape you shall make. It is the point of no return.

Somewhere along the line, I told myself that ball #2 would last until row 116. In retrospect, I have no idea where that number came from (no, seriously. I think I might have done some really terrible cross multiplication...), but since 116 is greater than 113 I decided to soldier on.

Ball #2 lasted through row 118.
3 balls remaining, with calculations asking for 2.8.
Math, don't fail me now.

I'm currently working my way through row 122, but as I'm nearing 50% of the work competed with >2/3 of the rows already knit, it's slow going from here on out. I had to pull out my 2nd pair of 3's because the stitches were crammed so tightly onto the single needle that they wouldn't slide. If something goes wrong with the yardage, I'm royally screwed. I don't think I could put a post hoc lifeline in this baby if my life depended on it.

No pictures of progress because it looks like a deflated jellyfish.

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