21 July 2006

Down to the dye lot

Last Sunday the body of the pentagon sleeves project had about five more inches to knit before I attached the sleeves and decided how I was going to finish them. All seemed to be well except for the weird tendency the knitting had of finding something, anything, along the knitting/walking way to stain it and require a quick soap and water rescue.

It was during one of those clean ups that I noticed a very subtle difference in the colour and it nagged me enough to start looking closely at all the hanks I had.

The hanks with a label still attached had the same dye lot but the two that had no labels and the sleeves appeared to me to be just a tad lighter and greener than the others.

Elann to the rescue. I checked my shopping history and it revealed that of the 18 hanks I had purchase seven were of one dye lot and 11 of another.

So the task became finding and accounting for all the yarn and developing a plan to successfully complete the sweater without yet another redo. The picture below shows the different dye lots, the ribbing (from the original
too-few-stitches version of the sweater body), with one of the sleeves and a bit of purple cloth for contrast.

Since the sleeves are worked centre out in the round, the alternating yarns is not a good option. I had tried that as just a save snipping and save yarn in the first too-few-stitches rendition of the body of the sweater and it wasn't pretty.

I want the body to be mostly very plain and the design emphasis to be on the sleeves and while this isn't the for design version of the garment/pattern, I think that blending the two dye lots in the body and leaving the sleeves one dye lot will not compromise the design.

So the sleeves will remain the dye lot they are and the body will have to be some sort of blend because while the difference in the dye lots is subtle when seen in small amounts it can look a bit like colour block gone bad when two large unmatched dye lots combine in a garment.

The sleeves are of the same dye lot and each required one 185 yard hank and change. I have one centre pull ball and two unwound (and rather tangled hanks) of that same dye lot. So I have three complete hanks of the dye lot used for the sleeves and two fairly generous partial hanks.

By my calculation, two hanks in the body equals eight inches of height and with a total height of 25 inches or so I should need a bit more than six hanks to complete the body. That will only take three and change of the second dye lot and three and change of the sleeve dye lot.

Based on the yardage I have, if I decide that I want the sleeve pentagons to match orientation, I will have to frog and reknit a sleeve.

And yes, I have frogged back all of the second round sweater body. It was almost 12 inches of knitting but it had to be done. I'm leaning toward working round three of the body flat and crocheting the seams to give the cotton more structure.

Kat/Popoki is going well although there has been a judicious use of sewing thread incident in the project. Currently at row 27 of the trapezoids.


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