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Monday, February 20, 2006

And you thought Michelle Kwan's injury was tragic

The really sad thing is that I knew before it even happened. Long before it happened. It was somewhere around row 20 in the left extension when I was nearing the end of my second hank of yarn. I stopped mid-stitch and realized the ugly truth. I wasn't going to have enough yarn.

But how? I bought three hanks of Brooks Farm Four Play, a whopping 270 yards each. Ella calls for three skeins of Lady Godiva, at 278 yards each. But I'd done my homework and found plenty of other knitters who successfully whipped up Ella in only three of Brooks Farm. Plus, I was using a smaller needle size, so I should be using less yarn, right?

Guess not. With about 30 decrease rows left, I have only a pathetic, teeny, tiny ball of yarn left.

What stinks is that the colorway I used, called Amy, is no longer in stock. Sure, I emailed them. But what are the chances they have any, in the same dye lot, just lying around?

What also stinks is that this is my Knitting Olympics project. And damn, I was on target to finish way before closing ceremonies. (Part of this is due to the fact that my long suffering boyfriend was legitimately suffering this weekend, after coming down with a nasty bout of stomach flu. So our plans to go away were shot to heck.) I thrive under deadlines, and though the Knitting Olympics are kind of arbitrary, I'd sure like to finish.

But what stinks the most is that even though I knew I was doomed, even though every ounce of my logic told me that I didn't have enough, I KEPT ON KNITTING. I knit for hours, as I listened to podcasts and watched "Grey's Anatomy" and the begining of "Spider Man." I knit furiously, both in terms of my speed and my anger. With each row, I cursed myself for not using more foresight. I cursed myself for not seeing this coming. And I cursed myself for knitting on and on and on though it was hopeless. But I had to keep going.

I guess part of me believed deep down that there was still hope. Like there'd be a loaves and fishes miracle wherein I'd keep knitting and magically I would be able to pull yard after yard from the center-pull ball. Maybe I had wound this ball super tight and there was more yarn inside than I'd imagined.. Maybe the decreases would go faster than I thought. I even checked my yarn stash -- did I actually buy four and not just three?

But in the end, this is as far as I got. Then I stopped, regained my composure and made myself a pancake.

I know I'm being melodramatic, but that's what Carrie's do best. If I can't get my grubby hands on more of the yarn, I guess I could rip back and knit fewer increase rows. I saw another blogger do this, and it was a respectable size, especially after blocking. I guess I'll sleep on it, dreaming of a minor yarn miracle.


Blogger Rachel said...

I am so sorry! That is depressing. But it looks beautiful. Not that that's much comfort. If you can handle it, you could re-knit it with larger needles (larger gauges actually take less yarn). Otherwise do you have enough to cast off? It looks like it's large enough. Then you'd be done way before the closing ceremonies. At any rate, condolences. And here's hoping you can find skein 4!

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

Well that stinks! I hope they have the yarn in stock for you.. you NEVER know.

3:15 AM  
Blogger Jennifa said...

Ugh. It looks good though!

I just caught up with your blog and wow, that was fun. I love the owl. I think Angelica looks AWESOME. I have the pattern, just need the time :) And throwing Tubey in the wash worked WONDERS. It looks really nice in the updated picture.

Off topic slightly, but you referenced Mallory Keaton from Family Ties in one of the Tubey entries...did you know she's a knitter/designer now? I remember reading that in an issue of Vogue Knitting right when I was starting to knit.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Iraida said...

Aww man Carrie. I hope they can do something and maybe there's one skein just laying around :-D Ella looks beautiful. Reminds me of butterfly wings.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Oh what a bummer!!! I say if there's a chance you'll be able to track down more Brooks Farm you should wait. Are there any other internet sources - ebay? Ripping back just sounds painful.

7:53 AM  
Blogger yahaira said...

oh no! I'm so sorry! It looks great so far, no wonder you kept knitting. I hope brooks farm or some fellow blogger turns up with an extra skein. what needles are you using though?

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

That is a bummer. But I have a feeling you will figure out a way to solve it...I have seen you work knitting wonders in the past! I have faith! GO TEAM CARRIE!

8:49 AM  
Blogger elizabooth said...

Oh, Carrie, I hurt for you. But it's true, maybe if word spreads the yarn fairies will smile on you and find you some more of that yarn. For the record though, it looks like Ella was looking pretty good before the injury happened.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

Wow, I am sorry to hear that. How strange that you ran out. It sounds like you should have been fine. Have you called any LYSs to see if they've got some left? Maybe retailers of the yarn out of NYC can ship it to you.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Veronique said...

Hmm, the shawl looks perfect right now. I think you could fudge de decreases and bind off! Who's going to notice that you're missing 30 rows?!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Oh, how frustrating! It's looking really beautiful. I hope another ball of yarn turns up for you.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Carmen said...

AAArghh!!! I'd be so angry I'd probably do something completely irrational. Maybe you should huck Ella out the window in hopes that it will strangle the pigeons in a suffocating embrace...

10:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh no... Well, you could always make it a little smaller, and it would still be beautiful. There could be another skein of it somewhere too. Maybe some other online retailer might have a few skeins?

10:28 AM  
Blogger michelleknits said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Carrie. Knowing you, I know you'll find a way to work this out. I have faith in you!

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Skylar said...

Oh geez Carrie! That stinks. I am thinking good thoughts for you hon. Your progress so far looks beautiful though.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

And BTW -

"Plus, I was using a smaller needle size, so I should be using less yarn, right?"

Not necessarily, it depends on the tension that you knit at.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Oh geez, my original message got lost.

Ok..what I was saying is that I sent you an e-mail but I should have looked at how close you were to finishing before i sent it. I think if you rip back to the extension rows and do not do the second set of extensions you should be fine. And the brooks farm blocks BEAUTIFULLY, so you should be able to block the "arms" out a little more then the back so they appear even when you wear it. I hope this makes sense. :) H

11:23 AM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

Oh, CARRIE! That is so tragic. You have my best underdog vids going for you now.

11:39 AM  
Blogger gleek said...

oh no!!!! that is seriously tragic! you couldn't rip back both sides and then make them shorter? hence not even needing more yarn? :(

12:53 PM  
Blogger KnittenKnots said...

Doh!! I'm crossing my fingers for a yarn miracle. It is gorgeous - would be a shame to have to pull it back but at least you have a plan B if it comes to that. Good luck!!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Ugh... I'm so sorry for the yarn shortage. Perhaps you could rip back to section two and just use up your yarn there making a triangular shaped shawl instead of a v shaped one? Or maybe fudge the extension rows. Since the pattern says that in sections 4 and 7 you do rows 1-22 once, then repeat rows 1-10 one more time, it seems that you should be able to just knit rows 1-10 once and skip to the next section of decreases thus saving you 12 straight rows on either side. I'd think this should be enough to make up the 30 decrease rows you have remaining...

I hope something works out for you! You've been so successful in the past at coming up with simple solutions, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you...

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Latoya said...

I've done the same thing with the denial of the last of the yarn. You never know, you should continue to check around for the yarn. Good luck to you.

12:42 AM  
Blogger keohinani said...

email me your address. i have what you need to finish. do it QUICK!

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

I hope you are able to track down the yarn ~ it's looking beautiful so far and you can't let your "injury" get you down. I do the same thing, knitting away like there's no problem in the face of yarn shortages and hopelessly dropped stitches. Why do we do this? Good luck.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Lolly said...

That is so upsetting - I know you are bummed. I really hope a minor miracle happens too... or you could try some bigger needles.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Kelly b said...

I must say, pancakes really solve everything. In my opinion anyway...

9:59 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn Handspun said...

Oh I'm so sorry about your yarn shortage. Well If it were me - I'd probably buy another few skeins of a similar colorway or maybe a solid and then pretend as if it was a design element.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

All of your stuff is looking great - congratulations on shrinking Tubey!

4:58 PM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

Oh no! I definitely don't think that you are disqualified from the Olympics if you don't finish on time - it's more like a weather delay.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Sandra said...

i'm so sorry, carrie. :( i wish was there was something i could do or say to help you out. i'm just shocked that you ran out of yarn. wow.

blocking is going to really help. it'll get nice and big and stretch out so i think the size of it will be just fine if you do decide to to frog back a bit.

as for never knowing when to quit, remember those norwegien stocking i started a while back? i knit TWO inches into it and I KNEW that it was awfully tight about my calves. I should have immediately frogged it and casted on more stitches but you know what I did? I just kept going and going and going. I knit all of the leg, turned the heel and knit about half of the foot when I snapped out of my denial and tried on my stocking on one last time. And wow, can you believe it was STILL really tight around my calf? Who would have thought that of all things? SO anyhoo, now I have to frog a way a weeks worth of nice fair isle because I was a stubborn mofo. I'm not saying you're a stubborn mofo, too. But I figured hearing what a stubborn mofo I am would make you feel a bit better. :)

11:49 PM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

re: your comment, Yes! you can still join.

it's at

i'm amanda _ monkey AT mac DOT com if you wanna invite me to be your buddy. otherwise, i'll look for your updates on the blog!


1:49 PM  
Blogger AmyArtisan said...


Over the weekend I noticed that they were out of the Amy yarn (which I had been thinking of for an Ella as well) & emailed - they said they would have it again in 2-3 weeks.

Hopefully some yarn from your dye lot will show up.

(I think I'll be ordering 4 when the new batch comes in so I don't have to endure this with whatever project my Amy yarn become.)

9:31 PM  
Blogger michelleknits said...

I just read your comment on Megan's blog, and I wanted to let you know that we talked about how we wanted to meet you, too -- so let's! Maybe one day you can teach me how to become one of those "magic loop people" I hear so much about!

3:07 AM  
Blogger Bonne Marie said...

Unbelievable! That is just so unfair!

I got my fingers crossed for you that you can find another skein!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Maman said...

It looks great and so do you! (Although I thought it was black until I saw the comments.)Who else could have put a can of Raid and a potholder in a collage - and it works!

7:26 PM  

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