Holden Shawlette From The Artful Yarn - Day 5 | Author Allie Pleiter

Holden Shawlette from The Artful Yarn - Day 5

Fabulous Fiber Fear Fighting Formulas!

It’s waiting for me, lurking at the end of this lovely project.  That skill I’ve not yet been able to conquer:  the picot bind-off.


I’ve botched more picots that I care to admit.  I have a few shawls which don’t display the pretty edging the picot is meant to be; they look as if they’ve developed some sort of rash in their final rows.  Another looks more like a saw blade than a delicate trim—nothing you’d want anywhere near your neck.  I fear for the finale of this piece.

Holden Shawlette from The Artful Yarn - Day 5 1

Still, there’s a more immediate hurdle than my picot-deficiency. It’s the looming threat of not having enough yarn.  Picot takes a lot of stitches—three to every existing stitch.  And there are a lot of existing stitches here—309 to be exact.  The ball of yarn I have left isn’t looking hefty enough to go the distance.



Math to the rescue!  No, really—stick with me and I’ll show you how.


First, I need to calculate the number of stitches I have left to make.  Here’s what I listed:
  • 2 garter stitch rows = 309 x 2 = 618
  • One Picot row – 309 existing stitches x 3 picot stitches per existing stitch = 927
  • Add those two together 618 + 927 = 1,545. I have 1,545 stitches yet to make.

Now, I have to figure out how many inches I’m using per stitch. 

Holden Shawlette from The Artful Yarn - Day 5 2

It’s not hard to do.  Since each stitch makes a trip around my needles, if I wrap the yarn 10 times around my needle and measure the length I used, I’ll get the distance of 10 stitches. In this case, 10 stitches used 6.75 inches.  It’s important not to round out the numbers here, because we’re dealing with such a high volume.

Take the data you have and do the math:
  • If we’re dealing in units of 10 stitches, then I must divide my 1,545 total stitches needed by 10, or 154.5.  This tells me I have to knit 154.5 units of 10 stitches before I am done.
  • If I know each 10-stitch unit needs 6.75 inches, then I just multiply 6.75 x 154.5 = 1,042 inches, or more practically, a hair under 87 feet (1,042÷12)
Holden Shawlette from The Artful Yarn - Day 5 3

How do I know if I have 87 feet left in my ball?  The fastest way is to wrap my yarn around a ruler 87 times.  



Turns out I have more than enough yarn.  Panic obliterated!  Well, at least the yarn panic.  Stay tuned to see if my skill-based panic is warranted.


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