Hello. What’s this?

The lighting in my lab is so much better than the lighting in my apartment.

If you said, “Why, it’s the sleeve to the Adrienne Vittadini sweater!” you’re WRONG! This is PAIN and BLOOD and TEARS and CURSING (so much) and HOURS of doing Pilates and YEARS of going to the chiropractor and an ARTIFICIAL ELBOW along with REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES down the line.

Was that dramatic enough for you?

Seriously, knitting this was hell, and I have another one to do. But wait, before I cast on, there’s more DRAMA. Remember how I wondered whether I’d have enough yarn for a second sleeve? The Maths spoke to me and told me that since I needed 2 and 3/4 skeins for the first sleeve, the second would need just as much, plus I’d need a little extra for seaming and a neckband. That Maths, she’s so smart.

I have two whole skeins and a few partial skeins, so there was only one way to really address the situation. Behold the lab balance:

The first sleeve weighs 135.2 grams.

This is all the yarn I have left:

Boo-hoo-hoo, 116.7 grams. Definitely not enough for a second sleeve and a neckband. Now I need to order another skein or two from KnitPicks and hope that the dye lots look similar enough. I don’t really have hopes for actually matching the dye lots because I bought this yarn back in February.

But wait! Check out what I saw when I weighed the full “50 gram” skeins individually:


Shock and awe! SHOCK AND AWE! KnitPicks has been shortchanging me! It is the Grumperina way to call and complain, so I did. Guess who’s getting 2 more hollyberry skeins to compensate for this? (they will also check whether they have any more of the same dye lot) Mhhmmmm.

I’m weighing all my yarn from now on.

Next: I take you into my world of insanity as I illustrate how the pattern matches at the raglan seam, because really I don’t have anything better to do than to weigh my wool and do the Maths. Stay tuned!


26 thoughts on “DRAMA!

  1. CatBookMom

    Really Important part: The sleeve is beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! This is going to be a sweater fabled in blogs across the land!! The color will be wonderful on you and the style will be wearable forever.

    Other Point 1: we have an ‘electronic’ kitchen scale, battery operated – I think it was about $60 – but it does grams and ounces of yarn, and then all that kitchen/food stuff, too! LOL! So other scales similar to this should be perfectly useful for other knitters.

    Other Point 2: The Grumperina thing is wearing off on us dedicated followers, in a good way. I’ll e you privately about how the newest instance comes out tomorrow.

  2. joy

    I drew in a (very audible) breath when I saw (I’m sorry to say not the sleeve but) the lab bench! I hadn’t thought of taking my knitting into the lab. Guess it’s paranoia that not everyone is as clean as can be. But this less yarn than stated on the label thing, I wonder (and probably many others now) if this has happened to me when I ran out even though I bought the stated amount of yarn.

  3. Agnes

    Just by looking at the single sleeve here, the pattern is beautiful … but it feels so long! Maybe it’s just visual distortion … it’s a raglan!

  4. Karma

    Jody at http://savannahchik.typepad.com/knitting/ once did something similar to see if she had enough yarn for a project, and mentioned that yarn weight can vary due to humidity or something or other. I thought that was pretty interesting. But I’m glad that KnitPicks is helping you out anyway and I hope hope hope that the dyelots match well enough.

  5. naomi

    I’m impressed that you keep your bench that clean. I take my knitting into lab, but it stays on the desk side. Or in the confocal room, but that’s different.

    Anyway, one potential reason for the underweight skeins (or at least part of the difference) is that wool can absorb some of the ambient humidity. If your lab is anything like mine, it’s pretty dry, so that may account for some of the missing weight.

  6. Andrea

    Gasp! There’s no way I’d put my yarn on the balances in my lab (or even on the benchtop, for that matter). You’re a far braver woman than I (or a much neater grad student, in any case). I’d be surprised if your skeins lost 3g of weight due to changing humidity–that seems like a lot.

  7. Anna

    I think it was on the Knitter’s Review forum where I read that Knit Picks shortchanged others as well. They called and complained and received more yarn as well.

  8. Tara

    You never cease to amaze me. Were there other people hanging out in the lab as you were photographing the sleeve/weighing your yarn/b*tching out the people at Knit Picks? Too funny. I hope you luck out and get the same dyelot!

  9. Anne

    I’ve never weighed my yarn, but I do weigh my (wood) spindles after I purchase them to compare to the advertised weights and I find that the ones made here in Colorado (Wooly Farms, Magpie) or Utah (Cascabeles, Greensleeves) (where it’s very dry) almost always have accurate weights on them, while the ones I buy that were made elsewhere (Cascade, Mielke, Kundert, Bosworth) are always a few grams under what they are advertised as weighing. I have always chalked it up to moisture content in the woods. Seems to me like yarn weights could vary as well…..

  10. Lolly

    I need to get a scale… I think I have been cheated on some yarn in the past…

    So, the Knitpicks yarn did not weigh as much as it is supposed to? hmmm… I just got my order from them last week. I need to check this. Thanks for posting about it.

    You sleeve looks great, by the way!

    Take care.

  11. Stephanie

    That is one fabulous sleeve, but I suppose it had better be after all the trauma you’ve gone through to bring it into the world. I just hope your body can survive its twin. I’m glad Knit Picks is sending you more yarn, they seem to be a good company to deal with, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they have 2 more skeins in the same dye lot.

  12. Leslie

    What a smart cookie (so glad you called KnitPicks). I wonder how many other manufacturers are skimming the 50g balls?

  13. Alana

    I had never even THOUGHT to check the weight of the yarns. I doubt many people do. I bet it’s a huge conspiracy. I’m going to weigh all my yarns tonight! Sleeve looks awesome anyways…

  14. Purly Whites

    You should start weighing all your yarn and see if anyone else is shortchanging us. At least KnitPicks is amendable to your complaints.

    That sleeve is gorgeous! I do hope this sweater turns out to be worth all the pain and agony.

  15. beth

    You, Grumperina, are my hero! I love love love the fact that you designed your own sweater. Really I have deep admiration for you! Now, right up the pattern and post it! 😉

    Keep up the good work

  16. Cyndi

    The sleeve looks wonderful! Sorry to hear that it is causing you so much pain. Hang in there for the second sleeve! I *love* that color too. Hopefully you can find a couple more skeins of the same dyelot!

  17. paula

    Wow. A scale.

    A scale!

    I remember Johanna mentioning different types of scales on her blog…must go ask her about them (unless you can offer up a recommendation for a highly accurate commercially available scale…hehe).

    Do I really need more gadgets to feed the OCD?

    Yes. Yes, I do.

  18. June

    Be very wary of chemicals on benches and balances! You may be clean, but the other pigs in the lab are, well, pigs… (Esp. if there’s hot work going on, y’know?)

    IMO, KPs has not “shortchanged” anyone. For industry, where off-measurements mean many $$$, wool is weighed in a room with precisely controlled temperature and humidity.

    From http://www.awta.com.au/Publications/Marketing/Raw_Wool_Services/glossary.html

    standard conditions – standard atmospheric conditions used to normalise test conditions for measurements, which are affected by temperature or humidity. For most wool measurements the standard conditions are a temperature of 20 ± 2oC and a relative humidity of 65 ±3%.

    Like any good scientific exp, make sure you’ve really reproduced the experimental conditions before negating someone else’s results!

  19. Mary Tess

    I always weigh my yarn with a science scale that is accurate to tenths of a gram and have found that very few skeins measure a full 50 grams. I see from others’ comments that the dry climate I live in (Southern California) might be the cause. I’m glad to know I haven’t been ripped off all this time. Leave it to Ms. Grumpy to have the chutzpah to complain and get free yarn.

  20. MJ

    Kathy, just discovered your blog! I had no idea about shortchanging on yarn, but your weighing it on a scale is def. a good way to find out! A few ounces is okay, but under 5 and that’s a lot, I would think.

    Also, love your T, the cap sleeves are great! Congratulations on a well-designed, well-thought-out pattern.

  21. Jenifer

    wow, wow, wow! Who would have known? (And sorry for being such a lame late-poster … ) I’ll have to re-weigh some of my skeins, having seen this. (i.e., can I reliably count on scamming more yarn out of the poor folks at knitpicks??)

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