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Yarn Chicken

One of the Tea and Stitch-pathy's podcasts discusses playing yarn chicken--when we have that moment where we aren't sure whether or not we'll have enough yarn to complete a project. I've played yarn chicken plenty of times and lost. Once it was because I was making my bestie Ben a pair of socks and didn't have enough yarn for the LAST. THREE. ROWS on the second pair when I was finishing the toes. Of course, I decided to blame this on Ben's big feet. ;) Had to stash dive to find a color of sock yarn close enough to finish those last three rows and then kitchener the toe. Also had to play yarn chicken when I finished the Momijigari shawl from a Dream in Color club while I was on the flight back from a work trip to India. My guage got a little loose because I switched from my beloved Dreamz to a plastic needle for the trip, and I had to sub a similar brown variegated when I got home to finish the bind off. But, then, there are those glorious moments when you win at playing yarn chicken. Like when I still had about a yard left of Perfection Chunky in Fairy Ring after finishing the button band of my Audrey's Cardigan. Or, when I finished the pair of boot socks for my dad for Christmas and had all of thirteen inches of yarn left from the skein! Yes, the lesson from playing yarn chicken is to try to make sure you have enough yarn for your project. My career is selling yarn now, and trust me, it makes everything easier when we do that because then you don't have to worry about a colorway being sold out or discontinued or being a shade different because it was an indie dyed yarn and came from a different dye pot or is a different dye lot. But, I also get why sometimes we feel the lure of throwing caution to the wind and playing yarn chicken anyway. Maybe you fall in love with a particular colorway and there are only five skeins but you are really cutting it close because you'd need a fraction of a sixth but there is no sixth skein in the cubby at the LYS. Some people hate having extra yarn on hand (full disclosure: I am NOT one of those people. I always figure that if I have an extra or two on hand, then that's a hat or a pair of mitts, maybe ankle socks or a cup cozy or SOMETHING; I can always find a place for the extra). Still, to be on the safe side, when it's possible, always get that extra skein if you are right on the cusp of needing it. For me, if I figure out the yardage needed for a pattern and the skein count shows a fraction that's under 8 tenths of a point, then I won't grab an extra skein because I should have plenty left over, but if it's super close needing that extra, I tend to grab it for the stash because each knitter or crocheter or weaver is different, and maybe my cast on takes a little more yarn than that of the designer, or maybe my bind off is more stretchy and takes a little more yarn. Plus, I don't want to run the risk of not being able to get that color, again.

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