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Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Design Process - Finishing

I felt so bad about my design process project sadly sitting on the couch, all hidden away. So I did something about it. I got out the tapestry needle and started sewing!

And now we enter into one of our last installments on the making of the garment. My next topics will briefly touch on the pattern writing process. I say briefly because a lot of it is the same as making up the first sample, just repeating it how ever many times for the total amount of sizes. Since this project has been put on hold for a few months, I'm so thankful that I wrote down everything I did here! It will make it much quicker to piece all of my info together. Anywho, let's get to it!


When I put up my survey for neoknits a few months back, it was interesting to see that a lot of your "perfect patterns" would have more detailed finishing instructions. Finishing a sweater seems to be the other boogyman of the knitting world, right behind math. Yet, it's the most important part of any project. You can knit the most beautiful thing in the world, ripping back for every mistake, but if you don't take the time and care to seam it up properly, disaster can strike even the most unsuspecting garment! With the right tools, reference books, and a little bit of patience you'll be on your way to finishing your sweaters without tears in no time.

When getting ready to seam up a project, after everything is blocked properly of course, I line up the two seams and secure them every 2" or so with removable stitch holders. You could probably even use knitters safety pins. This makes it easier to handle the pieces and insures you won't have 2" extra on one of the seams.


From there I carefully mattress stitch the two seams together between the edge stitch and the next stitch. This is where edge stitches come in handy on garments with a special stitch design. Lace can be very hard to seam if you don't leave 1 or more plain stitches at each edge. You'll be cursing much less if you follow that simple rule when knitting up each section.

Can you find the seam?

Finishing encompasses so much more than just seaming though. It really includes cast on edges, bound off edge, button bands, pockets - anything that is added onto the garment after the main pieces are finished. Most of areas I covered in other previous installments. There is much more I can cover, but that would take hours! If you want to know more, you can pick up a good finishing book to help in your time of need.

I know there are several finishing books out now, but my personal favorite is The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman. It has very clear pictures and it also gives Pros and Cons for using each technique. If you struggle with finishing your sweaters and don't like the results you are getting I would highly suggest buying a finishing book for your library. It just might be a sweater saver!

Now the sweater just needs some buttons and it will be all ready to go! Sorry to make you wait for finished pics, but we need to develop that patience for finishing your projects somehow! Every little bit helps ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Somewhat Personal Knitting Continued

And we have a sweater! Well, almost:


I swear the sleeves are the same length, really! It's been very enjoyable knowing that there is no deadline to be seen for this project. Trust me, there is enough on the horizon right now - all due about the same time that will keep me in check for the next couple of months. Again I will stress what a welcome break this is!

There's just one problem:


This is the only yarn that is left. For some reason, my knitting does this to me all the time. I always just keep knitting along, hoping for the best. I only have the neckband and buttonbands to go, but it's going to be really really close. Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Somewhat Personal Knitting

I'm taking a short, very short much needed break to work on something that doesn't involve a deadline. (Lisa, if you're reading this, you might just want to click that little "x" in the corner now!) I'm really supposed to be working on 2 other projects right now, but shhhhhh! You guys won't tell, right? ;)

I'm remaking Grannie Smith in Lanas Puras Melosa and it's flying off the needles. I love KSH, I really, really do! Sometimes a girl just needs a yarn that goes on the needles, comes off the needles and behaves when you want it to. This fingering weight yarn is a bit thicker than the KSH, but it gives the sweater a completely new look - and did I mention it knits up at the same gauge?

Grannie Smith 2 front

Also, our company is doing a little construction to our showroom for the month of June and July. Take a look at my new view from the 24th floor!

View from temp office

Closeup of view from temp office

It's a far cry from my dark dingy cubicle on the 7th floor! There are 8 of us crammed in this conference room (including our boss!), but honestly I don't want to have to move back! I have a river view for goodness sake!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting

I finally got around to going to the Museum of Art and Design last Thursday to see Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting before the exhibit closes on June 17th. It was just one of those things when it opened in January, "Ah, it's around til June, I'll wait til the crowds die down." Well, I waited and waited and waited.....and I almost missed it! And that would have been very, very sad!

This said, I enjoyed the exhibit immensely. In fact, my fiance enjoyed it too (it's so nice to have someone to share all this knit stuff with!) The knit pieces were very nice, but I have to say that the works using other mediums to create lace like structures were what really caught my attention. I really wanted to take home the fabric with the hand cut lace pattern - and the car parts with a lace pattern cut out with a lace pattern in the dirt around it! Loved it! I wish I had pictures, but I wasn't sure if cameras were allowed and I forgot to bring it anyway :(

If you live in the NYC area and haven't seen it yet - go! You won't be disappointed!

Lucky Clover Corrections

What seems like years ago, Debbie Stoller contacted me frantically to make some corrections to my Lucky Clover Wrap from SnB Nation (which were not my fault btw). So I traded in some knitting time to fix er' up and redo all the math (which wasn't fun!) Anywho, for whatever reason, these were never posted in the errata section on Knithappens.com???? Actually, I stand corrected! They are posted and can be found here.

Anywho, I thought the corrections were lost forever once the Lucky KAL was gone, but I found them! When I was searching for something on my computer tonight, I came across them and would like to post them here just for knitters sake. I know some of you out there in blog land have had a terrible time with muscle sizing issues and I apologize! I'm not sure what happened on the publishers side, but I guess stuff happens.

Corrections for Lucky Clover Wrap from Stitch n Bitch Nation

Right front:

Pattern reads: Inc 1 st at waist edge of next row, then every following 7th row 6 times more – 94(107, 120, 133, 146) sts

Pattern should say: Inc 1 st at waist edge of next row, then every following 7th row 6 times more – 64(73, 86, 98, 112) sts


Pattern should say:

With smaller needles, CO 86(88, 89, 93, 97) sts.

Work 6 rows 1x1 rib.

Change to larger needles and working in clover lace patt, dec 1 st at each edge of every 25th(25th, 32nd, 32nd, 32nd) row 2( 2, 4, 4, 4) times, then every 26th( 26th, 0, 0, 0) row 3( 3, 0, 0, 0) times – 76( 78, 81, 85, 89) sts.

Work even in pattern until piece measures 17 ½” from beg.

Shape raglan cap:

BO 7 sts at beg of next 2 rows.

Dec 1 st at each edge of every 4th row 9(10, 14, 9, 9) times, then every 6th( 6th, 0, 6th, 6th) row 2( 2, 0, 4, 6) times. BO remaining sts.

New final measurements for sleeve cuff opening: 13 ¼(13 ½, 13 ¾, 14, 15)
New final measurements for muscle: 11 ½(12, 12 ½, 13, 13 ¾)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Deadlines Are A Bore


Deadlines and secret projects are a bore....for this blog at least! Just thought I'd check in with a little sneak peek of my next secret project for One Planet. It uses Yarn Botanika Radiance, which is a pleasure to work with and has such a nice shine! Stay tuned for the finished product, it's blocking as I write.