Tag Archives: finishing

… And They’re Off!

Good morning Ravellenic Athletes!  I hope you’ve been training hard, because the next 17 days are going to be busy!

I’ve finally decided what I’m going to do (not that I waited until the 11th hour or anything).  I’ve decided to do something a little different than usual:

I’m going to see how many projects I can finish in the next two weeks.

I figure I’m not going to have a ton of knitting time coming up, so I might as well take this as an opportunity to finish up some (all?  If I’m lucky, and very fast.) of the projects that I’ve been letting languish in my WIP pile.

I’ve got my Papaya Sweater, which is really only knit down to the armpits.I’ve got an entire stack of bears that need to be stuffed, need faces, and need to be sent off to Mama Bear Headquarters.I’ve got a scarf that I’ve started and put down and restarted about a dozen times over the last three years. (I even spun the yarn for this one!  I just never got off my butt to finish the dang thing!)I’ve got the almost-finished prototype for the 15th Street Wrap– a project that I have written up as a pattern, published, and other people have knit their own versions of, before I even finished mine!I found two half-finished pairs of socks from some point in the past (I think one pair of socks might literally be from over five years ago… I really don’t remember starting them).  This might explain where all my US2 DPNs have disappeared to over the years.And of course, I’m about halfway through my sock yarn baby blanket.I don’t expect to finish everything, but it’ll be fun to try!

So, what to do first? (And when is curling on?)

What are you working on for the Ravellenic Games?

One Last Bear

Waaaay back at the beginning of the year, I promised I’d finish 12 Mother Bears this year- one for each month this year.

Well.  I got close.

None of them are officially “finished,” but, I’ve got a half dozen knit up and stuffed, and five that have been knitted, but still need to be assembled.

And I’ve got one bear still on the needles.  I’m just about to the legs… and I’m just about to run out of the pants color.I guess this bear is going to be wearing shorts… and a scarf.  I suppose that makes sense.

I still have a couple days until the official end of the year- if I work like the wind (and get some more stuffing; I’m just about out), maybe I’ll be able to make it through and finish off all 12 bears.

Fingers crossed!

Tutorial: Closing Up

As you guys all know, I’ve been going to town on some Christmas Balls. (I think my last count stood above 20, but I could be wrong.  There’s so many it’s getting hard to keep track of them all these days.)

Knitting these bad boys is fun and (fairly) easy, though some of the colorwork is a little bit challenging to knit up without making the balls pucker too much.  The finishing isn’t too bad, either, just a little bit of a pain when you have to repeat it so many times.  You stuff the balls, weave in all the ends, close up the top and the bottom, and add a loop to hang  the balls from. Easy, right?

Well, closing up the top of the balls is easy enough- you just pass your tail through the remaining active loops and pull, just like the top of a hat.

But the bottom is a different matter- one that took me a couple tries to figure out how to do neatly.

Because you cast on at the bottom of the ball, you have a big old hole down there, waiting for you.  And, there’s no obvious way to get rid of that hole, since you can’t just pull a string and have it disappear (believe me, I tried).

Here’s what I’ve been doing, and I think it works pretty well.

So, you see the long-tail cast-on edge? There are little slanted “stitches” all the way around the edge.  I use a yarn needle to carefully pass my needle through those stitches, counter-clockwise, starting right next to the spot where my tail yarn comes out of the ball.And I keep going…Until I get all the way around the hole.Then, I pull the tail snug,And voila!  A lovely finished ball bottom that looks just as good as the top!  You could use this technique on top-down hats, fingers-to-cuffs mittens, or really any time you need to close up an opening created by a long-tail cast on.

Now, all I’ve got to do is repeat this on the rest of my Christmas Balls. Oof.

Do you have any favorite techniques you’ve been using lately?

Woo!

Woo Hoo!  My socks are officially finished!

An unfortunate number of ends are all woven in (why did I think striped socks was a good idea?).  And the socks have been blocked.  They’re lovely and finished and have grown about two sizes.  (But that’s a good thing, because I have great big man feet.)

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of insightful things to say- just that I love these socks, and love blocking socks in general.  They’re smooth and perfect and ready to go.Unfortunately, it’s about a million degrees here, so I won’t be wearing my socks any time soon.  Sigh…

What’s your favorite part of making socks?

Bare Bears

It’s been a minute since I talked about my bears!

And… that’s mostly because I have kind of been slacking…

Well, not slacking exactly, but getting busy with other things, so I haven’t been working on my bears as much as I had hoped to.

If you remember, I resolved to make one bear every month, so that I would end up with a nice even dozen to send in at the end of the year.  So far, unfortunately, I’ve more or less been doing one bear every other month, then three bears last week when I realized how far behind I was.

So, at least now I’ve got six bears all knit up (except for one arm, but I’ll take care of that this afternoon) and ready for stuffing.

It feels good to be more or less back on schedule.  Unfortunately, now I’ve got to do all the finishing still…

I guess it’s time for a good TV binge-watch and marathon stuffing/arm attaching/face embroidering session this evening.  Oh, but they’ll be so cute when they’re done!

Are you making any Mother Bears?  How many have you got going this year?

Late-night Knitting

I go a little crazy every time I get close to finishing a project, especially a big project.  I get a little obsessed, and I kind of lose touch with the passage of time.

It’s not ideal, but it happens.  And, it happened to me last night.  I was finishing up a sweater (a super secret sweater you’ll see later), and I had about six inches of sleeve left to knit.  I sat down to work on it for a few hours, thinking I could power through before it got too late.  I kept measuring it, counting my stitches and rows,  convincing myself that I was almost done.

Until the clock hit 11, and my husband reminded me it was past my bedtime.

After a little whining on my part and cajoling on his, I went to sleep, my last cuff mere rows from completion.It’s probably good he made me go to bed- when I get to this point in a project, if I’m left to my own devices, I stay up as late as necessary to finish.  (I remember once accidentally staying up until 5 in the morning on a week night, just so I could finish a dress I was sewing.  That wasn’t a great idea.)

Anyway, my knitting was still waiting for me this morning.  And after a cup of tea and a little breakfast, I’ve finished my sweater.  Now, it’s off to be blocked!Do you ever lose track of time while working on a project?

Project Tea Cozy- Finishing Up

It’s done!  Woo! My tea pot isn’t naked any more!

I finished up the top of the tea cozy last week, working it just like the top of a hat.  This week I’ll start by working the spout opening the same way I would work the thumb on a mitten.  I transferred the 12 reserved stitches (saved on my stitch holder/safety pin) to my dpns, then picked up and knit 4 stitches in the little cast on edge.  I then worked a little 2×2 ribbed cuff around the spout and bound off.  Easy!img_3389Then I sewed up the bottom of the handle hole (I still need a better name for that), so now it fits snugly on my tea pot without me having to safety-pin it in place.img_3402But, you know what… It looks a little… sad?  Like it’s missing something.

Something like a pompom.

So I made a nice, tight 2″ pompom with bits of all 7 colors and sewed it on top.  img_3667Perfect!  It’s all finished and ready to go out on its maiden tea voyage!  I can’t wait.

And, next week, I’ll write up the pattern in a nice finished form and you can make yourself a tea cozy!

(And, don’t forget!  I’m giving away a copy of Knit Picks’ new Garter Ridge collection on Friday!)

High Five!

I finished my gloves!  Finally.

All I had to do was find four tiny buttons and sew them in place.  I didn’t even have to weave in any ends.

I guess I just get distracted easily.

Also I have about thirty-seven different projects going on at all times.  It’s a problem.  But not one I plan on fixing any time soon.

Anyway! I found four tiny mother-of-pearl buttons in the jar of buttons I inherited from my grandmother.  They’re a quarter inch across, paper-thin, and they almost match.  (They match enough for my purposes, anyway.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACute, right?  I love them.  If ever there were buttons that could make big, squishy, rainbow-colored gloves classy, these are them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I just have to wait for it to get cool enough to wear gloves.

Have you ever had a project wait for a simple finishing touch for an unreasonably long time?

Cephalopod

I finally finished it!

Or at least I finished the knitting part!

And, it is glorious.

My Stranger Cardigan is all knit up, and you hardly even notice that the sleeves are a different color than the rest of the sweater.

The only thing is…

I think this sweater is meant for someone with significantly more arms and legs than I have.  Perhaps an octopus.  Or maybe a cuttlefish.  Look at this bad boy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOof!  (As a side note, finishing the last arm was a pain, to say the least-  all that sweater flapping around in my lap!  Ugh!)

But, wait, a little origami, and Hey Presto!

A sweater!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I’ve just got to sew up the underarms and block the bejesus about of it.

I’m so close I can taste it!

Husband Sweater- Buttons!

I love buttons, yes I do.  I love buttons, yow ’bout you?

I especially love shopping for buttons at all the cool, funky little yarn shops, fabric stores and craft shops in Seattle.  (OK, not all the shops, but we probably visited 3 or 4.)

Last weekend, my husband and I went on the Quest for the Perfect Button!  It was actually quite fun.  We started out with breakfast at our favorite brunch spot (If you’re in Seattle, be sure to visit The Dish, and get the SOB Spuds with eggs.  So good!), because everyone knows that shopping for buttons should not be done on an empty stomach.

Then we wound our way back toward our house and stopping here and to look for buttons.  I still maintained that pewter buttons would look good, but as you guys reminded me after my last sweater post, this is my husband’s sweater, and he’s the one who is going to wear it, so we ended up finding some pretty cool wooden buttons.

Ta da!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m actually pretty pleased with them.  They’re a lovely warm brown, and they’re stained in a way that makes them look vintage-y, but the cup-like shape is pretty modern-looking.  I think my husband did a good job picking out his buttons.  (I knew I kept him around for some reason.)

He’s actually been wearing the sweater around the house and out and about on weekends, but it still is a little short (which makes me cringe).  I was hoping that it would sag a bit, like the last sweater I made for him, but it looks like that isn’t going to happen.  I guess I’m going to have to try steam blocking it…

This scares me.  I’m fairly certain that I’ll end up melting the yarn. (I don’t know why I’m certain about this- must just be some manifestation of my general anxiety.)  So!  If you have suggestions, tips or tricks, please let me know!  I would love any advice you have for not completely messing up this sweater!