My current shawl project is Ene's Scarf, a Nancy Bush pattern originally written for laceweight yarn and tiny needles. I decided to knit it up in a fingering weight for added warmth. First point for Ravelry - lots of other people have made a similar decision, so I could easily browse through other project and estimate the amount of yarn I needed. All good, I had a lovely pair of Posh skeins equalling that amount. Lovely grey-green-slate cashmere, mmmmmm.
I started knitting. The first chart was eating yarn, since the pattern is a bottom-up triangle. I was worried about running out, but no worries - there's a support group on Ravelry for this very shawl, and one clever lady had worked out the row-by-row completion percentages for the whole thing. Chart One is a full quarter of the knitting, so I stopped worrying. Then the worrying started again, because I got halfway through my yarn but not halfway through the knitting.
Running out of yarn would be a real problem with this shawl. Unlike top-down triangles, the triangle shape doesn't exist until the whole thing is finished. Running out would leave me with a weird wedge-shaped gap at the back of my neck. And because I'm using Posh yarn, which is all one-off batches in limited numbers, there was no way I was ever going to be able to get more.
Or so I thought. Third point for Ravelry - I was able to search through other people's stashes of this yarn by the colourway name and locate two other ladies with skeins from the same batch! I contacted one, who had used hers up, to see whether she'd any scraps left over that I could have. She did, and I've now got an extra 2 grams of yarn on my knitting table. (Thanks, C!) I'm waiting to hear from the other, who had a whole skein, to see whether she'd be willing to trade me.
In the meantime I'm knitting away, crossing my fingers that the extra two grams will be enough to get me to the end. I should know by the end of the weekend - I'm at 80% knitted!