I was still determined to use stash yarn, and remembered I had some Beaverslide I had purchased some time ago to knit Blaithin. (After hearing about the amount of finishing required for this sweater from a friend who knit the child's version, I had abandoned that project before it even got started.) I dug and dug and dug but could not find the yarn. It was sort of making me crazy. I knew I had it. My stash is fairly well organized. Yes, there are four tubs of yarn, but how hard could it be to locate multiple skeins of a distinctively coloured worsted weight yarn? When I finally did find it, a full three stash dives and a few bad words later, I realized why it had been so difficult to spot. Hint: when you reuse oversize Ziplock plastic bags to store your yarn, scratch out the permanent marker with the name of the previous contents on it.
Once I found the yarn I checked and double checked the yardage requirements. According to my calculations I had about 100 more yards than I needed. I cast on with confidence. That confidence held until about halfway through the second sleeve. Suddenly it was looking like I had a lot more knitting to do, as in the whole yoke and the neck, and not very much yarn to do it with. I fretted. I tried to tell myself all would be well. Then I fretted some more. I'm not very good at playing yarn chicken.
Finally, after another day and a lot more yarn had been consumed, I caved. I knew I had just barely enough time to order one extra skein (thankfully, Beaverslide still had the same dye lot available), and have it shipped to my mom's. I could finish the sweater the day I got down and still get my self-awarded Olympic Gold Medal. I breathed a knitter's sigh of relief and knit on. Then something strange happened. For the first, and probably only time in my life, I was annoyed to find out I really had had enough yarn to finish the sweater. Just barely. But there had been enough. This meant I had spent money on a skein of yarn I didn't need, and the Express Post fee to go along with it.
So here, sandwiched between the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics, is my Strokkur, a design by Ysolda Teague.
The sweater turned out to be a perfect fit. I count this more as luck than skill. No matter what needle size I tried I simply couldn't get gauge. In the end I went with the gauge I was actually getting and going down a size in the pattern to compensate.
This was my first time knitting a Ysolda Teague pattern, but it won't be the last. She is a brilliant designer, and the pattern was well-written. Here's a close-up of the colourwork in the yoke.
I am so happy with this sweater I'm willing to let go of my annoyance over ordering that extra yarn. I have a skein of cranberry Beaverslide too, and I'm sure with the extra blue skein and the leftover green and white there must be something I can make for Lucy. I would love to hear your suggestions!