One skein projects and misjudgments

I have this chronic problem where I see a skein of yarn I like, and I buy it. But I just buy one. And then I’m stuck wondering what the heck to do with it. I live in the snowy north, so winter gear is always a good option, but I’ve drastically misjudged how far my yarn would go on my last two projects.

For the first one, I had leftover yarn from this giant stripey cowl I made for my old neighbor.


I loved the cosiness of the stockinette stitch for that piece, and set out to make an even thicker scarf from the leftovers (I had about a skein and a half of the lavender, and half a skein each plum and eggplant). I knit the entire piece with two strands together, randomly switching between which two colors were together every few rows. With the thickness of two strands, plus the naturally cushy nature of stockinette, I wound up with a fantastically thick, warm scarf. (Not sure what’s up with the colors in the next two photos — in real life the photo above is the closest to reality.)

flat scarf

Except I ran out of yarn and it was way, way too short. I’d done very steeply angled ends, so I turned it into a small, sturdy cowl with an “intentional” diagonal seam as a feature.

purple cozy cowl

Not quite what I had initially envisioned, but it’s cute sticking up from a coat, and it’s definitely warm!

With my current project, I started with small skein of jeweled tone fingerling weight boucle yarn that I bought at a show years and years ago. It was really difficult to knit as a single strand, as the yarn would catch on itself, so I combined it with a second yarn in a neutral color.

wavy scarf

I love the combination, love the wavy pattern, but I’m more than half way through the skein and I’m not going to have the length to do a scarf. So I’m going to have to do is rip it all out (sad!) and either knit again with one less repeat across the pattern, or switch it up and knit in the round, making a cowl with the wavy running horizontally. I’m leaning toward the latter, since it seems a safer way to ensure I get the maximum size. I just need to figure out how the pattern would work in the round.

If you’re a knitter, how do you estimate what you can do with a skein? I have a large skein of a glorious green yarn that I’m scared to start with because I just don’t know how far it will stretch. (I know I could look for a one-skein pattern, but I haven’t found one I like yet!)


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