Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Stashbusting Nightmare....

I'm back from a week visiting relatives and hanging at the cottage, so I should have a heap of knitting to show for it, right?


I decided that last week would be a perfect time to stashbust and vowed not to purchase any new yarn until I created at least one garment out of stashstuff. I think I started and frogged half my stash! LOL

The one thing that did stick, sort of, is the Circus Coat from the current issue of Cast On magazine. It's a long sweater coat for a little girl and it is shown in a luscious, hand-coloured, pure wool yarn. I'm executing it in a much less expensive, (off the clearance table, buck or two a ball) Lion Brand Boucle. Clare picked the obnoxious shade herself from my stash.

My calculations suggested that I would be very tight, well actually a little bit short on yarn to complete the project, but did that stop me. It should have. I ran out of yarn, three quarters of the way through the second sleeve. (back and sides completed of course)

Of course, because this colour is discontined at my local stores (only Walmart and Michael's carry Lion Brand in Canada) I was forced to order a single ball from Lion Brand directly.

With shipping, handling, exchange, this lone ball will cost more than the rest of the coat.

On the plus side, the other eight balls are OUT OF MY STASH!

No pictures yet, cuz it's just a pile of parts...but here is the colour. Hmmm, wonder why it was discontinued?

My other failed projects included two attempts at items from Debbie Bliss' Junior Knits book. I like the book because it has garments that appeal to my "tween" daughter. Ellery is eight years old, tall for her age and is starting to look silly in nursery colours and intarsia bunnies. On the other hand, I'm not ready to dress her in "teenwear" with bare midriffs and exposed hipbones. Junior Knits has some nice compromises!

My problems with the test swatches have related to edge curling. Admittedly, I'm using (avert your eyes Ms. Bliss), part acrylic yarn...wool/acrylic or cotton/acrylic to replace the pure cotton or cashmerino requested by the pattern and this may be part of my problem. Both patterns featured 4 rows of garter stitch rather than ribbing for the lower edge and on both test swatches (very large ones as I typically cast on a sleeve or cardigan front for my swatch) the edge "flipped up". Blocking the acrylic didn't do much and even if it did, I don't think I would have trusted it enough to continue with the item. When I pick this up again, I'll try using larger needles than called for and adjusting the gauge to see if a looser knit helps it lie flat.

Any other suggestions?


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