Finishing As I Go

I know it’s not a unique or clever thing to say, but weaving in ends and generally “finishing” my knitting is one of my very least parts of knitting, and I’m not alone. (I suppose that’s why it’s a cliché.) There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re all done, then realizing you have another hour (or more!) of painstakingly sewing in ends and trimming and adding buttons… not to mention blocking!

So, this time, I’m doing a bunch of my finishing before I’m… well… finished. I’m still short of the halfway mark, but I’ve already done the finishing on the fiddly bits at the shoulders and collar. I’ve woven in all my ends from casting on/picking up at the shoulders, and I’ve knit on the collar and button bands and woven those ends in as well. I’ll probably go for a dive into the button jar some time this week and get those added on, as well.

It’s not that this actually reduces the finishing work for me, but it makes it feel like there’s less finishing work. And, frankly, that’s all I want.

So, now that I’ve “finished” the tricky bits, I’m off to go knit my sleeves and body… fingers crossed that I have enough yarn!

What’s your favorite finishing trick?

Progressing

We were out of town this week, so I had to make sure that I was at a good spot with my knitting. I knew I had a chunk of time sitting in the car (a rarity these days), so I needed something that I could do without much attention. And, what’s better for knitting without paying attention than the body of a sweater?

Maybe a sweater body, worked in the round all in stockinette?

Before we left, I made it a point to get to the bottom of the yoke on my kid’s sweater. I followed the instructions for a cardigan (minus a stitch or two at the center), until I made it almost to the bottom of the armpit shaping. Then, I worked across the fronts, casting on 3 stitches between the right and left fronts. This made a nice little gap for me to put the placket in later on.

Then, I joined up the front and back at the underarms, and started working in the round for the body. It was the perfect project for our whole trip through the mountains. And thank goodness I picked something I didn’t have to look at… those mountain roads are twisty!

Now that we’re back, I’m looking at the size of the sweater compared to my kid, and it’s a lot bigger than I had intended, but that’s OK. The kid will grow into it eventually. Unfortunately, though, I’m not 100% sure that I’ll have the right amount of yarn for it at this bigger size. I think what I’ll do is finish up the neckline, and knit on the sleeves first, before finishing up the body. That way, I can use every last scrap of my yarn. And, worst case scenario, I can add a second color to the hem and cuffs. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that.

Have you done any travel knitting lately?

WIP

Time’s been short around here, and I can’t believe it’s already been a week since my last post. I really thought I’d be further along than this, but hey, sometimes that’s how it goes.

I have to say that even though this sweater is moving slowly, I really am enjoying working on it. The yarn is soft and fluffy, and the fabric is so squishy and warm. I’m considering getting more yarn and make myself a matching pullover.

Anyway, here’s my progress- I’ve really only made it through the back of the yoke. It’s in broken rib- one of my favorite texture patterns. (Couldn’t be simpler, RS: (K1, P1), WS: P)

Next I’ll pick up stitches at the shoulders and work the front yoke as if making a cardigan to make the split for the Henley collar. Then, once I make it to the bottom of the yoke, I’ll start working in the round for the body. Easy peasy!

What are you working on these days?

The Plan

OK, so. After a nice long sit with my swatch and a stroll through Ravelry, I think I have a plan.

I’m going to go ahead with the kid sweater, but not necessarily set out to felt it, at least not right away. I figure it’s good to know that it has the potential to go through the wash without fully losing its shape, but I’m not sure how many washes it would have before fully disintegrating.

Anyway, here are my inspirations:

First, the In Stillness Mini. Such a lovely sweater- I love the simplicity of the broken rib and the stockinette. I think I’d like a different shoulder, and maybe a longer section of yoke.

And this adorable little sweater (Harry by Liudmyla Babintseva). I really like the vibe of this one, but I’m not feeling the fancy ribbing/cables right now, especially if I intend to felt this up down the line. I’d hate to do all that work and lose it by sending it through the wash. I love a Henley collar for kids’ sweaters. They look so fancy, and are great for fitting over gigantic melon heads.

So here’s my plan: I’m going to make a crew-neck/Henley sweater with set-in sleeves and a yoke of broken rib that goes just past the armpits. I want to make it as a top-down sweater so that I can use every last inch of my yarn (I’m about 90% sure that I have enough, but it’s going to be tight either way). I think I’m going to reach for my favorite Ann Budd pattern book since my kid is finally big enough to qualify for the kids’ sizes, and because I’m a basic b who pretty much just makes the same sweater over and over again.

What’s your favorite thing to knit for the kids in your life?

Into the Wash

It turns out I may have trained my family too well.

It took no more than 5 loads of laundry to get this dang swatch through the washer and dryer. Everybody kept pulling it out of the hamper (including my 4-year-old, who told me “Knitting doesn’t go in the laundry”). Which, I suppose is a good thing, in the long run. It’s nice to know that they all know how to treat knitwear.

But anyway. I made a swatch from Berocco Vintage. It’s half mistake-rib and half stockinette, worked on US5s. A nice sweater-y swatch. Nothing too out of the ordinary.

I took gauge and got roughly 5.5 sts/in in stockinette and mistake rib.

So, now it’s into the wash and…

Well, that felted up! It’s actually super soft and squishy, and I’m sure my 4-year-old would be very into a sweater made from this felted fabric. (They can truly never be “too cozy.”)

Just for science, I took gauge again and got basically 5.5 sts/in. Not much different gauge-wise, but the fabric definitely looks different.

I’m tempted to go ahead and knit up my first-ever felted sweater, but I wonder how much long-term wear a sweater like that would have. Would it felt more every time I washed it? Or, would I have to hand-wash a sweater for a preschooler?

Have you ever planned a big felted project?

And on to the next

Now that I finished my socks (and I was just saying how much I loved making them) it’s time for me to… make another sweater.

What can I say? I just love sweaters.

Also, my big kid is growing like a weed again, and needs a bigger/longer sweater. The one I made them last summer has seen better days- it’s all stained and pill-y (because they basically roll in sand/mud/yogurt/paint every day, and so it ends up getting washed every time they wear it). And, the sleeves are starting to get a smidge short.

I dug into my rapidly dwindling stash, and found a few skeins of Berroco Vintage leftover from a sweater I made for my husband probably a decade ago. (The yarn is practically vintage itself!)

It’s a nice soft wool blend, and I like the idea of my kid and my husband having the same sweater (or at least ones with the same yarn). The only thing stopping me from casting on right now is the fact that Vintage isn’t technically superwash. It’s about 50% wool and 50% man-made fibers, which makes me think it’ll survive the wash, but I’m still a little nervous about it.

So, I think I might actually do the proper thing, and make a swatch and send it through the washer. Fingers crossed that it survives intact (and not too felted). The only thing that gives me pause is that I don’t have that much of the yarn, and I’d hate to lose a chunk to the swatch. But, I suppose that’s the lesser of two evils, if it means the kid gets a sweater that fits.

Have you ever tried machine-washing non-superwash wool? How did it go?

Off My Needles

I did it! Finally! I honestly didn’t know if it was going to happen.

I finally finished my socks.

That’s right. They’re done. I’ve Kitchener-ed the toes and woven in the tails. True, I haven’t blocked them yet, but frankly, I may never do that. We’ll see. They’re still wearable as-is.

I really like how they turned out, and I enjoyed dipping my toes back in the sock-water (ha!). It’s been nice to go back to my roots. I didn’t start knitting with socks, of course, but they were my first real love. I went on a tear for several years, basically knitting nothing but socks. Now, all my socks from those days are worn out and holey. Maybe it’s time to get back on that sock horse. (If that’s a thing.)

What was your first knitting love? Do you ever go back?

New Pattern: Broadview Pullovers

It’s time for something that I haven’t done in a minute- a new pattern release!

And this one is a doozy. One sweater, 17 sizes, infinite options.

OK, maybe not infinite, but pretty close.

Let me introduce you to the Broadview Pullover:

It’s a simple raglan pullover worked in the round from the bottom up, and it’s designed for everybody in your family. Sizes range from itty-bitty-babies up to a 65″ chest. Sleeves can be worked long or short. The neckline can be a crew-neck or a V-neck. There are two options for stripe patterns, AND instructions for designing your own stripe pattern!

It’s truly the most customizable pattern I’ve ever created, and that’s saying something. I love a choose-your-own adventure pattern. This was definitely a labor of love, and I can’t wait to see what people do with it!

The Broadview Pullover pattern is published in the newest Knit Picks collection, Generations, which is just packed to the brim with super cute sweaters that are perfect for everyone in your family.

Grab a copy of my pattern here, or the book here!

Sisters, not twins

One thing that I like about knitting (more than crochet or painting or other mediums (media?)) is that I can get super exact about it. I know that I can exactly replicate a pattern, or make two sleeves precisely the same, or knit a pair of socks that 100% match.

Well, mostly. If I’m paying attention. Which I wasn’t doing when I started the second sock of this pair.

Oops.

But, honestly, it’s really just a “me” mistake. It’s hard to notice even in this picture, when I know what to look for and am looking straight at it. (The stripe pattern is a few rows off… truly not a big deal, but I just noticed it and now it’s the only thing I can think about.)

Sure, it’ll bug me every time I put these socks on, but I’m the only one who will notice. After all, what’s a few rows in the grand scheme of things?

Or maybe I should just rip it back and try again?

No. That would be ridiculous.

Or would it?

What’s the silliest “mistake” you went back and corrected?

Oh, hi socks!

Y’all. I realize this is kind of a dumb thing for me to say. After all, I literally wrote the book on it. But…

Socks are fun?!

Like, I don’t know what I’ve been doing. I just 100% forgot that I can knit socks. I’ve been so sweater-focused for so long, that I totally forgot that socks were even a thing. What’s with that? Is it mom-brain? Is it quarantine brain? Am I jus a ding-a-ling?

But anyway. Turns out that socks are fun. Even super vanilla ones like these. Who knew?

I’m really enjoying this project. It feels so satisfying to zip down a sock, especially with the self-striping yarn. I enjoyed the fiddly heel, and don’t even get me started about how the stripes lined up with kitchener-ing up the toe. So satisfying.

Now I’m itching to get the second one going! Can’t wait to see my new socks all finished.

Have you ever forgotten that you enjoy a certain project?