Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl OR "Fun With a Scale"

I had dyed 1/2 pound of this periwinkle sock yarn, and had made one and a half socks when I decided to make the Flower Basket Shawl also. I had (what seemed like) a TON of this yarn, and the plan was: finish the pair, and make a shawl with whatever I had left over. Just keep knitting and knitting on the shawl until the yarn ran out.

It wasn't until I started repeat #12 that I realized: big shawls take A LOT of yarn. And I started to worry about running out. Here is what I had left in the current ball:

6 grams.

So I gathered up all the rest of the yarn and weighed it.

A small skein, 25 gms:

A ball attached to sock #2: 39 gms. I calculated that I would need about 19 gms for the sock, so, say, 20 gms leftover for the shawl.

And took these weights just for reference: sock partially knit, 15 gms.

Sock #1, already finished, 34 gms:

Then, as I knit the 12th repeat, I made notes of how much yarn I used. I used 5 gms of the ball still attached, and 12 gms of the next skein. 17 gms total. With 28 "flower baskets" in that repeat, that meant: .61 gms per basket. (I calculated per basket, because there are more baskets in each repeat, therefore you will use more yarn with each repeat.)

Repeat 13: 18 gms
Repeat 14: 19.4 gms
Repeat 15: 20.6 gms
Border: approx 2o-something gms.

All this gobbledygook boils down to this: if I wanted to do 15 repeats, then by repeat 15 I would have finished off the ball attached to the sock and be cannibalizing the sock already 1/2 knit, and for the border I'd have to start frogging the sock already finished.

I was imagining all sorts of scenarios for saving the socks, mostly involving a pair of shortie socks with contrasting heels and toes.

Here I am, ready to start eating into the partial sock:

Here, I'm on the 15th repeat, and that tiny amount of yarn attached is what's left of the partial sock:

It was painful. I really liked that sock. But I didn't want to come this far on the shawl and not have the big shawl I wanted. In case you don't recognize it, that ball is a former sock:

And here it is, finished and unblocked, resting on the sofa.

Fully blocked shots coming shortly!

On a personal note, I'm taking my oldest to first grade tomorrow. My first one to be gone the full day. I thought that I had been eagerly anticipating this (for years!) but the past couple of weeks, I've been a mess. My baby cub. Eating lunch with his friends instead of at home with the rest of us. Sob.

Hopefully, after the milestone of dropping him off the first time, I'll be fine. One thing I know I am looking forward to (besides the obvious having time to myself and my projects) is having a lot more one-on-one time with my middle child, who I sometimes feel gets the shaft.

And a good friend reminded me tonight that there are many other moms in the same boat. So, my thoughts are with all you moms this time of year, whether it's dropping off preschoolers, elementary schoolers, high schoolers, or those college kids!



Anonymous Carla said...

The shawl is beautiful- I don't know that I would have the heart to kill an almost done pr. of socks! You are brave!
You big cub will be fine! As will you! xo

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

I didn't realize it until I just read your post, but this is the first year that neither of my two will be in school...the first time in 23 years. Oh my. Now I'm getting choked up!
Loved the sock/shawl saga. I think I need a little scale.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Beautiful shawl - the color is gorgeous. I'm dropping off my middle son to college next week, and its finally hitting me...sob...

4:12 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

The first day is the worst, it gets easier after that. My baby is starting high school this year. I imagine I'll be fine but you just never know when those sneaky mom tears will grab you.
The shawl is gorgeous!

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Becky in FL said...

I can't wait to see the blocked photos of your FBS. I love the yarn. Perfect color.You make me want to start a new FBS!

6:40 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Yes, I know what you mean. I am feeling a bit adrift right now, with my youngest starting Kindergarden.

Great save on the shawl, sometimes we have to sacrifice for beauty, right? It's gorgeous.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Diane D. said...

Great job on the shawl, Emily! Next week for the first time I'll have two kids in school all day. They're changing (with our whole neighborhood) to a new school, and yesterday the staff rode around on a bus to meet everyone. Luckily I was wearing sunglasses, because there were tears in my eyes - just meeting the staff. I'll be thinking of you today.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Mel said...

Too too too much math, but I am so glad you made the shawl over the sox. Yo can always make sox.
I can always make sox, but somehow shawls have now started to clog up my closet too.

7:35 AM  
Blogger teri springer said...

My baby is 15 today. He starts high school the 5th. I still don't know how I will take it....

Oh, and where do I find the pattern for this shawl??


8:07 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

Ooh, sorry about the sock.
But the shawl is lovely!
My oldest starts full day kindergarten on 9/11. She had 2 full days of preschool a week last year, so it's not a total shock, but still....

9:00 AM  
Blogger Maryann said...

Beautiful shawl. You're so brave to rip your socks! My daughter (the elder of my 2 kiddos) starts full day Kinder. on the 28th, they have a staggered entry thing, and she starts going every day on the 5th. She's been going to half day (4 days a week) pre-k for two years already, so I don't think it'll be a big deal. It'll be awfully quiet though! I look forward to spending more time with her little bro, who I know misses out on a lot of attention because big sis. has special needs.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

You sock and shawl are beautiful!!! What pattern did you use for your sock? I just made my first sock and I like your pattern and yarn!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

That shawl is fantastic. I would have been sad about the sock too, but it looks like it was worth it.

My baby starts preschool next week and I'm a mess too. I have to keep reminding myself that it's just preschool, it's not like I'm packing him off to MIT!

2:41 PM  

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