Tag Archives: knit sweater

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?

Still going

Not much to report yet on my sweater, except that it’s still going… I’m at the bit I was worried about last week, the super super long rounds around the chest. I’m so close to splitting for the arms, but still it’s killing me. It takes me close to a half hour to do one round (assuming I’m paying attention and not spacing out and scrolling Instagram instead). But, soon, I should be to the body, and that should fly by by comparison.

Hopefully.

I’ve gotten all five colors into the sweater now, so the next thing will be to decide what to do about stripe order. My initial plan was to do the stripes at random, but now I’m second-guessing myself. Maybe I keep the red-gray-brown-green-cream order, repeating it down the body? But will that make it look like a rugby shirt from 2002? Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure.

At least I’ve got plenty of time to decide before I reach the next stripe. I’ve got four more rows… at least 2 hours of buckle-down knitting time. HA!

What would you do? Random stripes or a repeating pattern?

Double Double

They’re done! They’re done! And just in time for the baby to turn 6 months! (It might not be a very punctual “Congratulations on having a baby” present, but oh well. New sweaters are better in October than April, anyway, right?)

That duplicate stitch nearly did me in. It was such slow going. Every night I sat down to work on it I’d think “This’ll be the night I finish these ding dang sweaters,” and I’d end up only finishing one half of one letter.

But, finally, after much whining and several bad movies, I managed to finish! A little blocking later and, tada! Matching sweaters for Luna and Albus! (Or maybe Lupin and Aberforth? Or Lord Voldemort and Aragog?)

I’m so pleased with how they turned out. The duplicate stitch (while a slog), ended up looking just lovely. I love how it blends into the knitting, and how much the blocking made everything so nice and even (I swear blocking is some kind of magic).

Now that I’ve got these guys done (which took surprisingly longer than I had intended), I guess it’s time to get back to the wedding blanket that was “due” last June… Oops!

Have you finished any big projects lately?

Double Trouble

I have realized two things.

  1. These sweaters are going to be SO. GOOD.
  2. Embroidery is VERY. VERY. SLOW.

Let me walk you through my process.

First, I used safety pins to mark off roughly where I wanted the letters to go.

Then I counted out my stitches and rows, made myself some graph paper and sketched out my letters. I made my own graph paper because I am both too lazy (I didn’t want to go down to the basement to grab my pre-printed graph paper) and not lazy enough (it probably took 15 minutes to draw out these graphs). I wouldn’t recommend it.

Then I grabbed my leftover yarn and a needle and got to work duplicating my stitches.

And I gotta say… this is slow going. When I say it might take me longer to embroider the letters on these sweaters than it took to actually knit them up, I might not be joking. I don’t know if it’s a me thing or if I’m doing something weird or what, but oofa doofa. It doesn’t help that I’m doing the fronts and backs of both sweaters (since Flax is a reversible sweater, I figured I’d make the decoration reversible, too).

It’s going to look so cute once I’m done, though!

Have you ever done duplicate stitch to finish a project? Did it take you an aeon, too? Or is it just me?

And on to the next one!

I “finished” my big-brother sweater last week, and I’m on to the little brother.

I did the first in the 4-6 year size, and this one in the 6-12 month size, and the difference is wild.

Like, I know that obviously the big one will take longer, but when compared to the big sweater this one is just FLYING off my needles.

I’ve been working on it for essentially one day, and I’ve made it almost to the armpit split. And I don’t have a ton of knitting time these days (obviously).

I just love this caramel-golden-yellow color, too. It’s so warm and cozy, and puts me in mind of something delicious and full of toffee.

Speaking of toffee, there’s really something just so tempting about knitting for babies. Even with the same pattern, a sweater for a grownup might be a whole meal, but a baby sweater is dessert. Or coffee and a slice of cake. Or a caramel apple from the state fair.

Or maybe I’m just hungry.

Have you ever knit the same pattern in different sizes? What’s your favorite size of sweater to make?

Nearly There!

I’ve somehow made it out of the black hole/vortex of doom that was keeping me from finishing the body of my sweater. It’s plenty long enough (and will probably end up being way too long once it’s blocked), and I’ve even cruised my way through the first sleeve. It’s looking great!

(I marked a couple stitches at the bottom to help center the duplicate stitch I’m planning on adding after it’s done… that’s why there’s a couple little markers down by the waist.)

But speaking of being cursed, I can’t get a decent picture of this sweater to save my life. It’s so cute, but it’s proving impossible to get a picture of the whole sweater, in focus, and with an accurate color. The above picture shows my progress pretty well, but the colors are all washed out and beige-y.

This picture is closer to the real color. It’s a lovely, warm two-toned moss-green with little tweedy bits in goldenrod and violet. Frankly, It’s colors I wouldn’t have put together, but it makes for a lovely little sweater, perfect for tromping around in the woods.

(And, yes, I know I could take a photography class or learn photoshop… but what’s the fun in that?)

What have you been working on recently?

And a biiigggg stretch

I just love blocking. Of course it’s magical on lace and fancy cable projects, but it’s just as satisfying on simple projects. I’m always amazed how much even the simplest (for example) bulky stockinette sweater benefits from a good block.

Observe:

Looks fine, right? Nothing too rough about it. But give it a solid block (or even a half-effort one, like I did this time… because my pins were upstairs and I didn’t feel like getting them) and it transforms! Also, it’s still slightly damp, because even though I started it blocking several days ago, it is a very solid sweater, and is taking a million years to dry.

But look at the ruler- it’s grown a good 2″ across the chest (maybe more), and the drape and feel of the fabric has absolutely changed. The stitches are so much more even and the collar looks so much better. It’s gone from stand-up-on-its-own-stiff to smooth-and-velvety. Honestly, I’m kind of jealous of this sweater. I wish it was in my size!

What’s the best blocking transformation you’ve done?

All done*

*For the most part, anyway.

And, I’m pleased to say, my sweater turned out pretty great!

I was worried it was going to be too short, but it ended up a surprisingly flattering hip length! And, I had plenty of yarn! I had about an egg-sized ball of the handspun and a half a skein of the blue when all was said and done.

I finished the body with a whole skein of blue left over, then picked up a whole mess of stitches for the button band. (Pro tip- when picking up a button band, you pick up 2 stitches in every 3 rows as you go up the sides, then pick up 1 stitch in every stitch across the neck. Then, check to make sure the two sides are more-or-less equal and if you have the right number of stitches for the ribbing you’re doing. If one side has too many stitches, instead of ripping out and re-picking up the stitches, just work the appropriate number of decreases on that side in the next row as you establish the ribbing. And, if you need to change the number of stitches to make the ribbing come out evenly, do the same thing, but at the back of the neck. So much easier than ripping out, and no one will ever know!)

I threw in some button holes after a couple rows, and finished off the button band in pattern. OK, it turned out I threw in too many button holes (in my defense, I wasn’t paying attention), so I used a little matching thread to sew up the extra one.

Then I blocked it and added on some buttons that I happened to have that were the right size and more or less the right color (or so I thought).

Once they were on and the sun came out (I added them late at night, and it turns out I couldn’t really see them), I realized they were definitely not the right buttons. But they’re the ones I have in my stash, and they’re functional, so they’re staying on for now. The moment I get to go to a yarn shop again, I’ll get something cute (and probably silver) for this sweater.

But for now, I’m really pleased with how this has turned out!

What have you guys finished lately?