Not Martha

fifth sweater: need some advice

wearing a half-knit sweater

I’ve made very little progress since my last report but I need some advice: Do you think I’m going to run out of yarn? I started with ten balls and have four and a half left. I need at least six inches more on the body and both of the sleeves. I know sleeves can use a deceptively large amount of yarn. Here are harder stats:

yardage: 93 per ball, I have 930 yards total, and have about 415 yards left
my gauge: 13.5 columns and 22 rows over 4″
needle: 10.5
yarn: Lana Grossa New Soft

The sweater right now would come out very large on me (I’m going for comfort not looks with this one) and I’m happy enough to rip back to mid-shoulder and make the sweater slimmer if I need. So, what do you think? Will I make it with the yarn I have left?

· comments [29] · 03-24-2009 · categories:knitting ·

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jenni // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I like your sweater the way it is now. Very modern, especially with a close-fitting, white, long-sleeved shirt.

  • 2 J Strizzy // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I tend to be conservative in estimating yardage, but I think you might run out. My VERY rough estimate is that you’ve knit half the sweater so far, which would make it a very close call. Or at the very least it will get to the point, near the end, where you’re really sweating it. If it were me, I’d probably rip back and make it smaller.

    Though it will also make a difference whether the sleeves have cables or not – cables use more yarn than stockinette. So if the sleeves are going to be plain, you might be ok.

  • 3 nestra // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I would be very worried about the yarn amount. I think (although I am certainly no expert) that you may need to rip it out and knit it a bit smaller.

  • 4 Christy // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:42 am

    If there isn’t cabling on the sleeves, you *might* be okay. Making it slimmer is probably the best option if you’re worried. It is going to look beautiful, though! Great project.

  • 5 Torrilin // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I always do the sleeves first, because two sleeves use up about the same yarn as the body on me, or even a bit more. Cables can change things tho.

  • 6 ferrers locke // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:48 am

    It’s a bit tight, yes. Sleeves are usually ‘hungrier’ than one expects. Rather than ripping back, I’d see if I could get either more of the same colour, even if in a different dye lot, or a good contrasting colour, and work the welts in that dye lot/ colour. That way, the transition won’t look wrong.

  • 7 Jan // Mar 24, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Cables and moss or seed stitch also eat up a lot of yarn. I don’t know what size you’re making but I’d be mentally preparing to rip back and reknit. Which would bother you more: ripping back now, knitting a narrower sweater, and having left over yarn; or knitting on and ripping back later?

    Another approach would be to do one or both of the sleeves now and see how much yarn you have left, and decide whether or not to knit a narrower body at this point.

  • 8 Erin // Mar 24, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I agree with Jenni – I like it with short sleeves as is. But if you definitely want longer sleeves than I think you might run out of yarn. I’d either rip out the body or switch and work on a sleeve to see how much yarn that actually eats up.

  • 9 Jen // Mar 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I have a feeling you’re going to run out of wool…. but I made my Thermal (on Ravelry) with elbow length sleeves – it’s cozy!

  • 10 EmmaC // Mar 24, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I also think it will be pretty close and you’ll probably be sweating over it right up until the last stitch is stitched. (Been there. Done that.) However, I like the idea of finishing the body first and then using a contrasting color for the arms if you don’t end up having enough yarn left!

  • 11 MKH // Mar 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Personally I don’t think you have enough yarn. It would easily take one more ball of yarn given that you have both sleeves and more of the body to finish. Rather than rip out could you incorporate a fair isle pattern to finish the body or each of the sleeves?

  • 12 tasterspoon // Mar 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    No advice because I’m new to knitting – I just wanted to say it’s gorgeous.

  • 13 coleen // Mar 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I know nothing about knitting, but if you are in doubt, why not use a different color for the sleeves and save your main color for the body? Or visa versa? Whatever you decide, it will be very pretty and cozy!

  • 14 Jenn // Mar 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I would be very nervous about the amount of yarn left- doable, but really close!

  • 15 megan // Mar 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I appreciate all the suggestions to use a different color for the sleeves but, as you can see in the picture, the sleeves have already been started. More practically, the yarn was discontinued in 2007 so it’s unlikely I can find more in a color that would coordinate.

    I think I’ll rip back and make the sweater slimmer, thanks so much for all the opinions!

  • 16 Rachel // Mar 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    It doesn’t look like you have enough yarn. This is why I haven’t gotten a sweater made, I’m too worried about running out of yarn!

  • 17 diann // Mar 24, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    General rule of thumb is that the front, the back and 2 sleeves will each take the same amount of yarn. Obviously that’s for a sweater knit in pieces. (Using your 930 yards: front 310 yards, back 310 yards, 2 sleeves 310 yards or 160 yards each.)

    I’d finish the sleeves and see how much was left. It will be close but it could end up being a slightly cropped sweater! Or you could rip the body and make it slimmer, but your sleeves are still done so the rest of the yarn would go into the body.

  • 18 Estee // Mar 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I have no advice, sorry. But you remind me of me when I was knitting for myself. I’d knit until I realised I had no yarn left, then frog and start another project. If I were you I’d carry on knitting!

  • 19 MJ // Mar 25, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Cables do take up a lot of yarn. If you’re okay with shorter sleeves, do finish the body first, and use the rest up for the sleeves, working both at the same time.

    I’ve read some people also buy 1-2 balls more yarn than what a pattern calls for, just to be on the safe side. Good luck with the reknitting!

  • 20 Jenn // Mar 25, 2009 at 5:22 am

    What about making the sleeves 3/4 length (no cables)? It would be very spring….

  • 21 Kate // Mar 25, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Seems like a close call…You have a little less than half your yarn left, but you have finished about half the sweater…you might need just a bit more to be safe.

  • 22 megan // Mar 25, 2009 at 8:25 am

    All right, thanks so much for all the advice! I’m going to rip back since I want this to be a snuggly type sweater and I’ll want the sleeves to be slightly longer than is actually practical.

  • 23 mrbarrington // Mar 25, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Definitely rip it back. Slimmer is always better and everything stretches, so it will still be comfortable. You will be extremeley relieved to work on it without worry about running out of yarn!

  • 24 Carolyn J. // Mar 25, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Yep you will run out. Big cables eat yarn like nothing else. Rip it back.

  • 25 Vict // Mar 26, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Here’s a quick tip I read along time ago…
    Weigh the finished potion of your knitting project then weigh you yarn. If your knitting weighs more then your available yarn, you’ll not have enough to finish.

  • 26 MamaLana // Mar 28, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Yes, you are going to run out of yarn.

  • 27 donner // Mar 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    no, you won’t have enough yarn…

  • 28 megan // Mar 30, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Ok, thanks for all the advice! I have decided that while this has been a fun learning experience I’m going to rip it all out and start over doing a top-down BOB instead.

  • 29 Aliya // Apr 11, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Hi, I’m new here and just loving your site!
    I really know nothing about knitting, but it seems to me that maybe you could finish the body of the sweater and leave the sleeves short, as you probably wouldn’t have enough for both.

    But what do I know, I am the woman who started a blanket for her son before he was born, I didn’t want a baby blanket that he would outgrow, so I chose a forest green chenille, and I wanted it big; Well, it is wide anyway, and only about 12″ long, now I can’t even remember how to knit.
    He’s 12 LOL ;o)

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