Friday, 24 July 2009

FO: Fail.

I had recently spent a night at a friend's place (who is an interior designer, so I shouldn't feel badly) and coveted her beautiful apartment on the spot. Not the location, not the price, but just the way it felt. You walked in and instantly knew that this was a great apartment- the walnut floors, the dove grey walls, that just-so mash of furniture and textures that looks unstudied, but is actually the product of great style and years of practice. There were even peonies wilting perfectly in the summer heat on the dining room table. It was like walking into a magazine. And I was jealous. Now, I'm the kind of person who refuses to feel jealous. I'm convinced that people are the architects of their own lives, and that if we want something to be different, then we damn well have to change it ourselves. So, G and I walked around our cluttered, poorly organized apartment and talked. We talked about the design styles we both like, parts of the decor that were working, parts that weren't. And what we were going to do about it. And how we were going to get started right away. One of our biggest challenges is storage, and the fact that my yarn stash pretty much consumes it. I spent several hours hauling out my yarn stash and carefully cataloging it in a spreadsheet: (oddly blurred screenshot. This is only a small portion of the spreadsheet!) Which was really useful, because now I find myself hunting for specific projects that will deplete the stash. I'm not on a yarn diet, but I feel like I just need to be smarter with what I've got. So, the perfect storm of wanting to be more decisive about my decor, and needing to use up some stash, is how I ended up attempting a big puff:Pattern: Puff Daddy Needles: 15mm Yarn: 5 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun, held 5 together Mods: none Notes: Okay, this is a total and utter fail. My puff does not look anything like the pattern puff. Last night, while staring at this weird thing, I realized that it's because the giant rectangle that you are supposed to knit (and then join and seam) wasn't long enough, resulting in not enough expansion room to round out the puff to it's preferred dimensions. I think it would have been more helpful if the pattern noted the dimensions of the rectangle. G looked at it, and helpfully suggested that if we rearranged the stuffing it might improve. I tried to rearrange the stuffing, then he tried to rearrange the stuffing. It would round out one side, but then collapse and dent the other side because it was being pulled too tightly. Which means that I either have to a) frog and re-use the yarn for something else, or b) buy more of the same yarn. Which is frustrating- I was trying to destash it!! Although, I will say that this yarn seems really well suited to the pattern, and the price is excellent. I know a lot of people turn their nose up at Walmart-stocked yarns, but for something that will take a beating on the floor of your place, you probably want something hard wearing and and won't cause you to freak out if someone spills wine on it. Now, to wipe away the image of failure from your eyeballs, please feast your eyes on these AMAZING knitted chairs at Melanie Porter.

14 comments:

Tanis said...

I knit a felted storage bag that turned out really similar to your big puff! I don't know what happened, the bottom felted perfectly, and the top was all wobbly and loose, I knit the pattern exactly! Now that I think about it, I'm still frustrated about that one!

We're moving, and last night we moved my non Tanis Fiber Arts yarn stash, (Chris gave me a lot of dirty looks) but it is inspiring to dig through your stash every now and then!

Jess said...

the puff isn't so bad! it looks kinda cozy :) and can i just say i am in awe of your stash excel sheet! talk about organization. :)

Knit - R - Done said...

I forgot what I was going to say because the word verification is "pigrat." That made my day!

I'm moving across the country and I need to organize my yarns. My husband would gladly organize them for me with a bonfire, but I like your idea better.

Meghan said...

Hey there, I'm really excited to see that someone has tried out the puff pattern, because I've had my eye on it. I'm sorry yours didn't work out, and it makes me wonder if you need some sort of sturdier stuffing--like perhaps fabric sewn into the shape you want, with all the stuffing firmly inside... This, of course would be more work, but perhaps less frustrating? In any case, thanks for sharing this project.

Susan said...

We all have our version of this same experience. It can be soo frustrating. Bravo on the spreadsheet, though!

soknitpicky said...

Bravo on your spreadsheet and getting organized! Too bad the rectangle wasn't big enough for Puff Daddy. Maybe you can frog and have ample yarn for Puff Daddy's Baby (or is it Baby Daddy? LOL!).

http://www.pickles.no/puff-daddys-baby-eng/

CanarySanctuary said...

I'm sending knit-feel-good energy your way. I've had many fail. And because I'm lazy, what usually ends up happening is a furtive storage of offending knit. Out of sight, so they say! But really, I too am on a destash kick, and it would really suck to have to buy more yarn. I'd say "sleep on it" (hardy har). Perhaps a rediscovery later will be fruitful!

Maryse said...

Sorry, I have no experience in stuffing. I was just updating my stash on Ravelry. You know that you can export what you enter there in Excel? I never tried it but just noticed the button a few minutes before I read this post... Have a great weekend! P.S. I hope you enjoy the Twilight serie (I read the first 2 books so far and fell in love with the story...)

weezalana said...

Oooooooh, Excel spreadsheet. You really know how to turn a freakishly organized girl on.

Can you take some of the stuffing out? That might solve the problem without requiring more yarn. Or,is there's something equivalent in weight and beatupability currently in your stash? Then you could add the needed length in another yarn and color for a fab, two-toned effect!

Phoe said...

I spy the Twilight series. :) Hope you like it.

I know what you mean about houses that just feel right. I've worked hard to get something like that in our home although I don't think it's universally appealing. Do you ever look at decor mags? Elle Decor is one of my favorites.

angelknits said...

What a WOW about the way you're organizing your stash! I got to do something soon as I will be moving in the next few months and my bf will be overwhelemed if he found out my stash all over the place! Thanks for the tip!

Your puffy daddy looks cute. It's a different "version" than the original, but you might want to take the stuffing out and block it then putting the stuffing back. It might help. Or you might want to convert it to a chair cover...the sky is the limit and your version is not a failure!

Hilary said...

Your Excel stash organization is such a good idea! I like how you have project ideas associated with each stash item. And I'm sorry about your puff. :( I actually think it's kinda cute!

Rima said...

I have so much of stash! The Ravelry stash function is really good! And hey, your puff has character.

Sarah said...

I like the puff! I think you should keep it anyway and find some use for it. It seems like it would be a fun toy for somebody - maybe a toddler or a cat.