Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Phildar Cardigan, or, somebody block me!

So, I have a dilemma, and I need the guidance of the ever helpful knitblogosphere.

I have all the pieces of my Phildar Asymmetrical Cardigan finished! Hoorah! Finally!

Ok, so. Here is what it's supposed to look like:

Phildar Asymmetrical Cardigan

And here's what all the pieces look like: (sorry for the craptastic photos. It gets dark so early!)

I like... when all the sweater pieces are done (29)
Two freakishly long sleeves, two fronts, two buttonbands and a back. (Yes, I still have to bind off one of the buttonbands. Sue me.)

Here's the dilemma. The whole sweater is 3x3 ribbing. Which seriously diminishes the size of each piece. Allow me to demonstrate.

The back, in its natural state:

And the back, quickly pinned out to the required dimensions (with camera case for scale).
and stretched
Dude, that's a lot of stretching.

So, what would you, dear readers, recommend as a method of blocking this thing?
I want it to be close to the required size, and need to have a good edge for seaming, but I don't want it to be blocked so harshly that it doesn't have any give left. I'm leaning toward steaming it, but would like your feedback.

Any thoughts, input, advice, comments or anectdotes welcome.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Coming clean

My official yarn diet ended on Sept. 21st, so I guess it's time to come clean.

laceweight stash
This is my lace stash. It's enough for about 5 scarves or stoles, with one already in progress. (Clicky for details).

Not too bad, right?

sock yarn
This is my sock stash. Enough for about 13 pairs of socks, with a couple in progress and a Baby Surprise Jacket also in progress.

Again, not too terrible.

Now, we get to the troubling part.
yarn for sweaters
This is my sweater stash. We see the Hex Coat and the Phildar Asymmetrical Cardigan in progress, and enough yarn for 9 more sweaters/tops/garments of some sort. Yikes.

Considering that in the past year I have only knit Orangina, Ms. Marigold (both hardly considered 'sweaters') and Tatami, my current stash should last me about three years.

yarn stash - random bits

And finally we arrive at the random bits. This is yarn left over from old projects, yarn for small projects, sweaters to be recycled, etc.

And now I have started a fabric stash too.

So, I have devised a new yarn/craft diet scheme. Until my stash reaches an acceptable size, I will only buy supplies (be it fabric or yarn and a pattern and all the necessary accoutrements) for ONE project (be it a hat, quilt, sweater, etc), after I have finished TWO projects.

Awesome. Now the fine print. "An acceptable size," I said. Hmmm. I will leave that to myself to determine at a later date. Given the fact that my stash is pretty large, and I haven't been a very productive knitter lately, the diet will probably last at least a year. The diet does not apply at Stitches West. I may engage in a preemptive stash enhancement, but only once before meeting my two-project quota. I may also save up stashing credits and splurge. So, to illustrate:
Say I finish one project and then go buy two skeins of Koigu. I now must finish 3 projects before purchasing again. In the same line, if I finish 4 projects without any preemptive stashing, then I may buy supplies for two projects.
Oh, and no fair knitting earwarmers for the neighbor's parakeet or anything like that just to have a finished object. That's cheating.

So, do you think I can do it?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Paying it Forward

Rosina of Noteworthy Knits (via Octopus Knits) has generously offered to spread the wave of crafty goodness, and now it's my turn to pay it forward.

"It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange, based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return... just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness continue to pass it along as well. Here’s how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

If you're interested in playing along with me, please post a comment here and send an email to branderson2006 AT gmail DOT com with your name, shipping address, ravelry id or flickr id if you have one, etc.

I'm already planning the surprises!