Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finishing High

I really, really (really, really really) love finishing things. The laundry is a never-ending task, the dishes will be dirty again almost as soon as they're washed, meals must be prepared on a continual basis, but once a sweater is knitted, (with a few tragic exceptions) it stays knitted. It's a little thrill that I like to call a "finishing high." 'Stache tends to roll his eyes a bit when I say this, sort of like when I refer to knitting Fair Isle as being "so exciting!"

I finished a little Christmas cardigan twice recently. First I finished all the knitting, and then left it in the presents drawer for about six months.

I've never had a sweater that was put together this way, although it does make sense. You knit each of the pieces separately until you get to the collar, and then you join them together and knit the collar, so that the collar doesn't have any seams. 

Anyway, I finished the knitting and enjoyed finishing it. This, to me, is the perfect size for a fiddly cabled sweater: tiny, so you are still enjoying it by the time you're done. And then, when I got out the pieces and sewed them together and put on buttons, it was like I was finishing it all over again. 

Title: Baby Grandpa Sweater
Design: adapted heavily from Raglan Cables Set: Cardigan and Hat by Patons
Materials: almost all of 440 yards of Cascade 220 Superwash worsted, in 1946 silver gray
Finished: Dec 2014

I fiddled with the number of stitches so that I could use worsted weight yarn instead of the DK called for, and changed the neckline to be a crewneck instead of a V-neck. I also knit the button bands as part of the sweater fronts instead of knitting them separately and sewing them on. By the time I made all these changes, the main thing that was still the same was the stitch pattern, which I rather liked. 

I also finished another sweater recently, but that one has a rather more tragic past. 

I had knit the body, and one sleeve, and was working on the final sleeve when we went on a trip. I was particularly proud of this sweater, because it was made entirely of leftovers from another sweater. (This sweater is for Munchkin, and the original sweater was for my brother, who is over six feet tall.) Most of the time leftover sweaters are a never-ending cycle wherein one has yarn leftover, and so one buys another ball or two to make something with it, but then there's leftovers from that, so you buy more yarn ... But this one was going to work out perfectly, I was sure. 

And it did. Right up to the point where I left one of the sleeves in the hotel room. 

Unfortunately I didn't discover this until several days later, and when I called the hotel, the clerk was unable to find it. Also, a small dark sleeve is a bad thing to lose and a worse thing to ask a non-knitter to try to find. Very difficult to describe, sleeves. 

After a suitable period of mourning, I looked online for more yarn, but was unable to find the color I needed, so I ordered via sister express. My mother bought a skein from the original store, and after a while my sister Molly happened to be home for a visit and got the yarn from my mom and then came up at the tail end of a business trip for her and her husband's business, Youth Digital. (Check them out! They're pretty awesome, in my totally unbiased opinion.) 

And then, finally, the sleeve was knit again, and I sewed the pieces together. There's always a bit of a lag when you're knitting the final sleeve. However much you liked the pattern to start with, it's gotten a bit stale by the time you're knitting the last sleeve, and when the last sleeve is actually the third sleeve, it's gone past stale and right to dusty and unappetizing. 

But it's finished now, and a very cute little sweater it is too. 

Title: Candlestick, size 4 years
Materials: Berroco Vintage. I have lost the labels, so I can't identify the color beyond heather gray and navy.
Finished: November 2014

I followed the directions exactly except that I did 2x2 ribbing instead of knitted hems for the cuffs and neckline. Also I did 2 row stripes for the sleeve instead of the larger stripes in the pattern. I loved this pattern - it's such a great, classic sweater! 

There would be a picture of Munchkin modeling it, but it's for Christmas, so you'll have to wait! 

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