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On Running Out Of Yarn -- Prudence from Rowan Mag 55

There's nothing quite so irritating as constantly second-guessing whether I will have enough yarn to finish my project.  The worst thing is that it's not a one-time thought -- no, it may start days or weeks before I am at the finish line, nagging and tugging at my brain with every stitch!  Obviously in a perfect world you would have more than enough yarn in the correct dye lot and you would never taint your glorious knitting time with these petty thoughts.

But the most beautiful yarns (especially the laceweights) cost money, and the lovely Rowan Kidsilk Haze is no exception.  Imagine my delight when I saw that this sweet little top by Marie Wallin from the Spring/Summer Rowan Mag 55 only took TWO BALLS!  That's a $26 dollar mohair and silk top?  Total bargain.

I guess that by now you've figured out what happened!  Yes, I ran out of yarn and had to find something else for the sleeves.  I picked a size between small and medium (both requiring 2 balls) and lengthened it only a tad (6 rows!) but started getting that horrible nagging i'm-not-going-to-make-it feeling at the end of the body.  Shoot!

I did knit the sleeve to see if it would work, but with weighing I figured out, nope, it wasn't going to happen.  Of course at this point, the sale for the KSH had finished, and I would be adding $16 to the cost of my little barely nothing top.  And I just didn't want to!

I went through my KSH stash, which is rather nice I must say, for a contrast color.  But despite ALL THESE COLORS, very few actually seemed to match.

Oh, there's a lot more than this in my stash!

I came up with 2 options and canvassed my wonderful Facebook Page readership for their opinions (do come join the fun here!).


Pink: 9
Gray: 27
Neither: 5
Both: 6

See, I listen to you my dear readers!  (though I still think the pink would have been great, I do have to concede with one reader saying it was too Howard Johnson's, lol).  To make it seem like it wasn't a desperate move, I made sure to trim the sleeve in the teal color (just do the garter stitch up to the beginning of the stitch pattern).

The pattern is quite lovely, it's a shame you can't really see it in the Mag (I have access to the Rowan image database and reduced the brightness considerably so you could see the piece here).  I hope my version will inspire others to tackle it.  Here is another great one by paulamarie.

I do want to say, however, that I found the sleeve challenging.  You see, the stitch pattern is quite difficult to integrate into the constant raglan decreasing.  You think you are making up for the lost stitches correctly, but then find you are quite off.  I used a spreadsheet to remind me how many stitches there should be at the end of each row, and I frequently had to add yarn-overs near the ends to bring me back to the right stitch count.  Sometimes it will seem ridiculous because you will decrease a stitch and then unexpectedly balance it out with a yarn-over, but trust me, you will continue to decrease the raglans, because of the way the stitch pattern works.

Here is a link to my spreadsheet for size Small, if you would like to use it, I typed a little X every time I was done with a row:

Our urban life will most certainly be ending soon (on to new more rugged adventures, why not?), so husband and I are maximizing on the local landscape.  As usual, near the train tracks of our beloved Mile End:

I'm not sure if Prudence was very prudent to knit in the summertime, the mohair sure was sticky on my sweaty hands!  But I must say this top is perfect to cover a dress on a more chilly summer evening, I highly recommend the pattern if you're willing to get through the sleeves.

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  1. Your Prudence looks fab. I am pretty sure I voted for the pink but now I've seen it knitted up the gray is perfect especially with the sleeve ribbing in the main colour. What do I know. I am very jealous of your KSH stash by the way. It will be a shame to leave your home but new adventures are always good.

    PS I hate to correct you but Prudence is from Rowan 55 not 54.

    1. Thank you thank you thank you! Luckily my custom URL was correct, so I could just quickly change the title. :)

      The pink would have been great, I'm sure of it! A bit 'diner in Florida', but hey, it's summer. I'm happy to leave Montreal for a number of very good reasons, we are looking forward to whatever comes our way, even if there's no cool graffiti!

  2. Lovely top! Love your colours as well.
    I'm always tempted to knit raglan top down. Could it be knit that way?

    1. For sure you could reverse these pieces to knit top down -- however, I always recommend that you do increases that do not use yarn from a previous row (like a M1). Either make a yarn over to prepare for the M1 in the next row, or do a KFB into the same stitch (this will be asymmetrical on each side, though).

      As for a seamless top-down raglan, I haven't come across one... now I am curious!

    2. The Daily Sweater, in Mason Dixon Outside the Lines is a top down raglan. I think. I'm not experienced at all, but looking at the directions, under Finishing, it has you seam up only the underarms. So that sounds like it to me. HTH!

  3. I love the colours you chose and it looks better with the two colours, I think. Hmmmmm, I have two balls of KSH in one colour and one ball in another. . . .

    1. Oho, sounds like a plan! What are the colors, though? I was amazed by how few went with my teal, but that is a pretty unique color.

  4. Pretty! I remember sitting next to you in a Holmfrith coffee shop, maybe a pub?, drinking tea, and you were knitting this! We were all just getting to know each other!

  5. I also thought I would have liked the pink better, but the grey makes it seem more calm with the nice bright teal :) And the black skirt looks perfect with it!

    Wonder what it would look like with longer sleeves….

    1. I think it would look fabulous with longer sleeves!

    2. I made this with three-quarter sleeves, and cheated with just a centre panel of the stitch pattern. I would post a photo but don't know if that is possible . . . .

  6. Pretty! The contrast sleeves are cute and that trim makes it look totally on purpose.

    When I think I might run out of yarn I knit faster. Mixed success...

  7. The gray was the right choice! And the way that you added the bit of teal trim, it totally looks like you planned it all along.

  8. I love this so much. I want one too. Inspired photos too.


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