Tag Archives: knit

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?

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?

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?

A *Little* Something Different

I think it will come as a surprise to exactly zero of you that I am a crafter. If it has to do with paint or glue or cardboard or fabric or yarn, I’m there, and I’m 100% in. And, as a crafter, I’m always looking for excuses to get making.

So, when my kid started getting invited to birthday parties this year (now that we can have in-person parties), I’ve been using it as an excuse to get out the craft supplies. And this time, I really think I outdid myself.

(This is by no means meant as a dig against non-crafty moms. This is truly just something I like doing, and after all, my kid can only play with so many cardboard houses and stuffed animals.)

It’s small.

And cute.

And, I love it so much!

I used Little Cotton Rabbits’ Free Teeny Tiny Knitted Toys and Itty Bitty Dress patterns to make this truly tiny bunny (she’s only about 2 inches tall, including her ears). I added a soft flannel mattress, a little pillow, and a teeny li’l quilt (which I’m probably going to cut down even smaller, because for some reason I’m being really “type A” about this project). And if I find the time, I might make a teeny little bedtime book, too, but we’ll see.

I really love how she turned out. Nothing like a bit of super-teeny, super-fiddly knitting to really start appreciating my chunky crochet project.

What’s the last thing you made as a gift?

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?

I DID NOT THINK THIS THROUGH

Or, rather, I did think it through, I just don’t like the answer.

So, it’s my sweater from last week. I like it. The design is going to be solid (at least it is in my head). The yarn is nice and soft. It’s fun to knit stripes.

But here’s the thing: This is a not-small adult sweater being knit on US5s. When I finish the raglan increases (knitting around the chest and shoulders, just before I split for arms), I’m going to have more than 400 stitches on my needle. That’s more than I had when I was making my big blanket. Ridiculous. It’s going to take forever.

Here’s what happened: I’ve used this yarn before, and while Swish is a super soft yarn (superwash merino), it’s really not hard-wearing. I’ve used it for sweaters before and they end up pilled about fifteen minutes after you try them on for the first time. I’m hoping to combat that by going down a needle size or two. So here we are with US5s (4s on the cuffs). I think it’s the right decision in the long term, but, man. It’s going to be a heck of a slog.

But, honestly, there’s something to be said for just miles and miles of stockinette. Nothing’s more meditative. Right? …Right??

Have you ever miscalculated about how much work a project was going to be?

It’s… FINALLY… Finished

I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, but the wedding blanket is finally, finally finished.

I made it through 10 of the 12 skeins of Simply Wool Bulky, but couldn’t keep going. The blanket was just so big and heavy, I couldn’t keep going. It’ll make for a fantastic snuggling, but it’s not the most fun to knit on (my poor arms would ache any time I worked more than a row or two). So, I finally gave up, bound off and declared it done.

I even blocked it! That’s how done it is! I soaked it in the sink and spread it out in the basement (where the children and dog can’t get to it) on a clean drop cloth. (I know… such a fancy setup.) And, lucky for me, it’s been super dry here, so it blocked in just a couple days.

The blanket ended up roughly square, which is fine with me. I just love how it turned out. I even took it out into the snow for a few glamor shots.

It’s taken me 9 months since I received the yarn, and I’m only 7 moths late for my friend’s summer wedding. But, dang it, I finished this thing. And that’s what matters.

Now let’s see how long it takes me to get it in the mail…

Have you finished any big projects lately?

Long enough?

I’m officially at the “Are we there yet” phase of this ding dang blanket. I’ve made it this far, but is it far enough?

And while every big project has this moment (at least for me), this blanket is giving me extra trouble deciding when enough is enough.

There’s a “ribbed” quality to this pattern that I underestimated when I was swatching, and I’m having trouble figuring out what it’ll look like blocked. For example, when I just lay the blanket flat, it looks long and narrow:

Surely, it’s ready to bind off, right? The goal is a square-ish blanket, maybe slightly longer than it’s wide, but I certainly don’t want a long, skinny blanket.

But then, a moments later with a little futzing, and suddenly my long, skinny blanket is short and chubby and could definitely use a couple more skeins.

I think with blocking it’ll end up even wider, which means I should do more knitting. (Which is not the conclusion I was hoping for.) But then, on the other hand, after it’s been used for a while, will it just relax back into its long, skinny shape?

I’ve got 2 and a half more skeins. I’ll probably do at least one more full skein (plus whatever I need to do to get to a stopping point). Then, I’ll have a debate with myself about stopping. And then convince myself that I need to keep going. And then I’ll keep knitting until I’ve accidentally run out of yarn, at which point I’ll have to debate about ripping back or ordering another skein to finish the project. What? I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What would you do? Call it, or keep going?

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?