Heirloom gets a neckband. I don't want it to end. So much so, that I decided to make the matching hat. But I ran out of yarn, Rowan Wool/Cotton, which has been discontinued - so I ordered one more ball from The Elegant Ewe, where the first extra ball came from.
I used more yarn than the pattern required. (My sweater is measuring the same as the pattern - not a gauge issue.) The pattern called for 2 skeins of yarn, 187 yards each, 374 yards. I used the better part of 4 skeins of Wool/Cotton, which would be 492 yards, total! So I asked Lisa about this fairly significant difference, and she mentioned that it might be due to the "grist". (Now of course I acted like I knew exactly what that meant.) So then I looked it up...
The yards (or meters) per pound (YPP). So if you had a finished yarn that came up 890 YPP, one pound of yarn would equal 890 yards. The grist may range from 300 yds/lb to 3,000,000 yd/lb for a single filament of silk (theoretically).
Oh yeah, now I get it....the pattern yarn was 187yds/50 grams, while mine was 123 yds/50 grams, so my yarn is heavier, less yardage for the weight. Hmm, why does that mean I need more yardage? Ok, so I don't get it....
Could it be the cotton? (Lisa mentioned another knitter who substituted cotton for wool and needed more yarn than expected.) I substituted a yarn with 50% cotton content. Cotton has less give. As you knit with wool, especially cables without a cable needle, you stretch the yarn as you work it. When the cable is done, the yarn tends to spring back. I think this happens less with cotton. You have to work harder to cable without the needle, because the yarn doesn't give. But would that account for the difference?
It's amazing to me that I find endless fascination in the minutia of knitting. I'm always very conservative about yarn quantities (buy extra!) and careful about gauge (most of the time). Still, there is the mystery of substituting yarns with a different fiber content. The learning just never ends. I can't wait to hear what you all have to say on the topic.