05 May 2016

Divide and Conquer

There have been some questions for the Georgia FiberFest knit-along.

While it has been advertised as a mystery knit along, quite a few people have been curious. The schematic at left will give you some idea of the overall shape. When you wear this shape, it turns out to be rather flirty and cute. The Bootkicked scarf also used a similar shape.

Several people are using gradient yarns other than the ones called for in the pattern. That's fine. In fact, that is part of the fun of a knit-along. How will the final projects be similar or different? The trick is, I wrote directions for dividing the yarn (with pins, please don't cut the yarn!) based on the Camelid Cottage yarn. This is a post about how to divide the yarn if you are making your own design decisions.

The first questions is, "How much yarn do you have?"
The second question is, "How many zig-zags do you want?"
The third question is, "How much do you want to blend when you change colors?"
The answers may be inter-related.

For my sample, I had 300 yards in 3 colors, 100 yards per color.
I decided to work 5 zig-zags.
I decided I wanted to blend 10 yards of each color at each color change.
Dividing the total yards (300) by the number of zig-zags (5) gave me 60 yards per zag.
So my plan:
start with a zag to the right
knit 60 yards from color A
zig to the left
knit 30 more yards from color A
knit intermingled stripes using the last 10 yards of color A and the first 10 yards of color B
knit 10 more yards from color B
zag to the right
knit 60 yards with color B
zig to the left
knit 10 yards with color B
knit intermingled stripes using the last 10 yards of color B and the first 10 yards of color C
knit 30 yards with color C
zag to the right
knit 60 yards with color C

If I've done this correctly, every zig-zag section uses 60 yards of yarn.
Every blended area uses 20 yards of yarn (10 from each color).
Sometimes a pin is telling you to start or stop stripes but sometimes a pin is telling you to change the zig-zag direction.

One question I got was what to do with a 500 yard 5-color put up?
In that case, I'd be tempted to do 5 wider zig-zags and blend 20 yards.
Each zig-zag unit will have 100 yards in it.

So the first zag is 80 yards of color A plus blended 10 yards of A and 10 yards of B.

The zig is blended 10 yards of A and 10 yards of B, then 60 yards of B, then blended 10 yards of B and 10 yards of C.

The next zag is blended the final 10 yards of B with 10 yards of C, 60 yards of C, then blended 10 yards of C and 10 yards of D.

The next zig is blended the final 10 yards of C with 10 yards of D, then 60 yards of D, then blended 10 yards of D and 10 yards of E.

The final zag is the final 10 yards of D blended with 10 yards of E, then 80 yards of E.

I'm not good enough with Excel to write a spreadsheet for this. Maybe I can convince the Cuddly Hubby?

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