We’ve all been there, right? Maybe you are following a pattern and want to make the scarf/cowl/sleeve a little longer than called for. Or you are creating your own knitted item and just aren’t sure if that little ball of yarn that is left is enough for one more repeat of the stitch pattern or one more row or one more round. There are a few options in this situation.
Option 1: Just don’t bother. It’s too complicated to figure out. You can live with it the way it is. Finish up and move on.
Option 2: Thread a lifeline. Start another repeat/row/round. See how far you get. If you can’t do a full repeat then rip back to the lifeline, finish up, and move on.
Option 3: Use your handy kitchen scale early in the project to weight your yarn before and after working a full repeat or row or round so that you know exactly how much one weighs. Then, toward the end of the project, you can weigh that ball of yarn and know whether or not you can get another one out of it or not.
Option 1 is for the ‘laissez-faire’ knitter – what will be will be. Option 2 is for the comfortable knitter who just can’t get up off the couch right now to go to the kitchen and use the scale. Option 3 is for the knitter who is always prepared.
I love option 3, and used it recently when I designed the Bulky Lace Cowl. I had two skeins of yarn and wanted to use up every last bit of it. I worked on the project for a while and then at a point when it was time to start a new repeat of the lace stitch pattern I weighed my ball of yarn. I wrote down the weight so I wouldn’t forget. I worked a full repeat. Then I weighed my yarn again. I subtracted the two numbers. I did this a couple of times to be sure. My repeats, using Malabrigo Mecha, averaged about 14 grams each. So I knew when I got close to the end of my cowl that when I weighed my ball of remaining yarn I needed at least 14 grams of yarn for one more repeat plus enough to finish the cowl and bind off. (Always weigh your own yarn for your own project. Each yarn is different and everyone’s gauge is different).
When I was all done I had 10 grams of yarn left. I wouldn’t have gotten another repeat out of that. Good thing I checked before trying!
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, it’s an inexpensive item to buy. Here in Canada, just watch the Canadian Tire flyer. They are often on sale for about $10.00. That’s a great time to pick one up. If you live outside of Canada or don’t shop at Canadian Tire, they are often on sale at other places too for about the same price.