Coming up short

knitting-1126 moonight-9822knitting-1127knitting-1125There seems to be a trend in my knitting these days – I keep running short of yarn.  I make sure I have enough based on the yardage requirements for the patterns I’m making, but it isn’t lasting through the whole project;

My Moonlight Garden shawl, started in May for a May knit along, ended up being set aside because I ran out of yarn.  Fortunately, my LYS was able to find a skein from another yarn store (even the distributor was out).

My Demetra cardigan for Sophie, should have been perfect for the 4 skeins I had in my stash, but alas, it too ended up being shortened and the pockets Sophie was so looking forward to having can’t be made from matching yarn.  I do think I’m going to make a contrasting pocket for her.

And now my most recent project, a one skein hat, is now sitting unfinished with barely a yard of yarn left, as you can see in the above picture.

I think I have finally figured out the mystery, and yes, I do knit a gauge swatch before I start my projects.  That’s what was confusing me for these last months.  Apparently, when I knit a gauge swatch, I knit differently than when I’m project knitting.  My gauge is correct when I do the swatch, and when I knit my swatch I’m usually sitting in one place and knitting from start to finish, but as I pick up my projects on the go and knit a row here and a row there, sometimes in the car, sometimes at dance class, sometimes while I’m sitting next to my children while they read or do schoolwork, my knitting rhythm changes, and so does my gauge.  I think it’s because I’m not focusing on the actual knitting and doing other things that my hands relax more and I knit more loosely.  I’m not going to rework Sophie’s cardigan, but that hat is being redone.  Fortunately it’s a small enough project that I don’t mind.

This reminded me of a scarf I knit many years ago for my oldest daughter.  It was a project that took several weeks of my time.  When I finished the scarf I found that my knitting was very loose in some places and very tight in others, and the funny thing was that we knew exactly what was happening when those stitches got so tight.  I’ll never tell what caused those tight rows, but since then I’ve been much more aware of situations that can cause me to feel a little stressed.