Numbers don’t lie

I have made some progress on my Match and Move shawl.  It is very mindless, easy knitting that nonetheless keeps one interested, particularly as the stripes introduce beautiful transitions.


However, there is one big problem.  The shawl has a construction in two parts.  The first part increases on both sides, widening out from the narrow point, and the second part changes up the pattern of increases and decreases to give the shawl its distinctive shape.


© Martina Behm

Martina Behm clearly states in the instructions that you can make the first part as long or as short as you wish, but you must not use up more than one third of each colour of yarn before transitioning to Part 2.  Easy peasy, no?

But what happens when you are knitting in a hotel room on the other side of the globe, and have no scale to weigh your yarn?  And furthermore, the shawl is looking very small to you, even if you are too lazy to transfer it off the needle and make a proper measurement?  Wouldn’t you be tempted to add one more stripe before swiching to Part 2?


The pattern calls for two colours, and each stripe is 48 rows long (or 24 garter ridges).  Because I am knitting with three colours, I made each stripe 32 rows long (or 16 garter ridges). In the original pattern, the pattern switches from Part 1 to Part 2 after the fourth stripe (two of each colour), so I should have switched after the 6th stripe (two of each colour). This would have been after the grey stripe on the bottom of the above photo.  As you can see, I switched after the green stripe (which was the third stripe in green).

I argued with myself that (1) since I started the shawl with green, I should be able to squeeze an extra stripe out of the green despite what the instructions very clearly state, (2) I was probably underestimating the number of grams remaining and should therefore just carry on blithely knitting in the hopes that it all works out in the end, and (3) the designer was probably being overly cautious in her calculations so that if anyone were stupid enough to play yarn chicken (AHEM!) they would still come out okay.

To make matters worse, after I got home and had access to my scale, I continued to delude myself to the fact that I could squeeze out the stripes to finish the pattern, even when the numbers clearly didn’t support this!  Why?  Because (1) I am delusional, and (2) surely numbers lie.

Now, sadly, I have come to the conclusion that numbers don’t lie.  Ripping to commence soon.

11 thoughts on “Numbers don’t lie

    • This is a good idea, but only if I can find some suitable yarn. I don’t actually have any in stash, and I can’t order another skein of the Plucky. (I was charged an exorbitant fee by UK customs when I ordered the original yarn so no more ordering yarn from the US for me.) I haven’t ripped yet, so will consider.

  1. Tell me about delusional knitting – I did that so many times, pretending I would have enough yarn when it was obvious I would not. I guess when you do that a few times you kind of learn. And yes, numbers don’t lie. No matter how much you want them to.
    These colors are gorgeous together – on the plus side, frogging means more hours of fun with this beautiful project.

  2. Oh, dear! I hope that the second knitting is as fun as the first.🥴

    Also, perhaps a small travel scale would be a lovely birthday or Christmas gift?

  3. Augh! I hate when that happens! I have done similar things. You’re away from home, you don’t have what you need, but you just keep knitting. Because what else are you going to do? Can you just rip back a little bit?

  4. Pingback: Finished at last | Knitigating Circumstances

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