Weavers, knitters and crocheters all depend on the accuracy of the yardage estimate on the balls or skeins of yarn we buy. We want to avoid overbuying or a whole collection of tiny little leftovers or the anxiety of will I make it to the end? I’ve found in my work that the amount of yardage actually in the ball and the “estimate” or the yardage +/- can be the as different as day and night. Try weighing some balls of the same yarn, particularly bulky types. I call this phenomena “LYING LABELS” and usually say some bad words about the shortage. I do most of my weaving on the triangle and rectangle looms. There is s set amount of yardage for each size and shape I weave. SO, when I see I am not going to make it to the end of the piece and I only have the one ball or skein ball/skein I’ve learned to cope! IMPROVISE IS THE ANSWER!! It’s just another word for “CREATIVITY” and the gateway to One of a Kind Art Pieces. Let me share some of my tricks with you.
Click on the pictures to enlarge detail
THE START OF THE SCARF
Notice — I’ve put a white sheet behind the loom to reduce distractions to help me focus on the weaving path. In the picture below, I used the black yarn to fill in what would have been the shortage based on the label. I would have been 8 nails short of being able to finish. Another color in the same yarn to the rescue! It also gives a nice touch.
Eight nails short
Ready to be taken off the loom. The finished scarf was gifted to our “Partners in Fiber Arts” cohorts. COPING WITH THE “LYING YARN” FACTOR” What I have learned to do is to “weigh” each ball in grams the finished items to give me a better idea how much yarn the item takes. This strategy does not always work if you are using a single ball, or skein you have purchased based on the yardage information on the label. Case in point: last week I started to weave this shawl pictured below. The label said 530 yards Appr. I know that I needed about 466 yards for the largest setting on the 7′ Spriggs Adjustable loom for the bias weaving.
This is how far I was able to weave before I started to realize that I was not going to have enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!***********
See picture below.
I’m getting worried about the yardage.
I quickly started to just take the yarn and go up and around the nails without weaving. I did not have enough yarn — it ran out just after the second marker. Not Good News!!!! So I had to un-weave the whole thing. I put a big note on the yarn ball that it was way short of enough for a large shawl. With the bias weaving it’s a lot easier to un-weave, thank goodness. I did have a bit of trouble with the striped section as I had twisted the two yarns together as I wove to help me deter floats. I’ve learned – the hard way of course – to check the reliability of the yardage indication on the label. It can be the doorway to creativity or chaos. There is the PROVERBIAL note on patterns to buy an extra ball/skein yarn and make sure you have the same dye lot. It’s like checking your gauge before knitting a garment. It’s one of those pesky little issues that tricks you when your least need it or opens the doorway to some things you wouldn’t have otherwise have explored. Join me for more tips, trick and adventures.