Posted on

In Progress: STILL Working on the Sweater

Yes, I am still working on this sweater. It seems, to me anyway, that I am the slowest needle worker in the world. But, some of that is just because I am working on way too many projects at one time. In addition to this sweater, there are two other sweaters on needles plus a multitude of other types of projects.

Not that I’m blaming the weather, no this dawdling is all my own, but it is hard to concentrate on warm sweaters when the temperature is in the eighties. This looks like one of those years we won’t have a winter. I hope my goddaughter gets to wear this sweater at least a little bit this year!

Now, to show off my progress on the front bands, neck and sleeves. Last time, the fronts of the sweater were just cut open and all wobbly and scary looking. I had planned a crochet band, but that just didn’t work out. So, falling back on good old garter stitch, I was able to work a nice continuous band on the fronts and around the bottom in the contrasting color.

As you can see, the neck edge is now finished in a lacy crochet collar to match the bands. It is a very simple crochet pattern of mostly chain and single crochet that I made up by trial and error. It is quite full so it ruffles nicely. The same crochet lace is on the sleeves as well, only there are not as many rows.

Another view of the sleeve showing the stitches a bit better:

There’s not a lot left now: a closure for the front, the belt on the back, and the flowers and embroidery. What am I thinking? There I go again with that crazy talk about finishing it quickly!

These last details and some inside finishing work should be posted here soon!

Posted on

Thoughts on Finishing Knitting and Crochet

OK, so I am a complete lunatic thinking that I could finish the pink flower/lace/pirate sweater by this evening. What was I thinking? Chalk it up to baseless optimism.

After working on the sleeve edging and front borders for a couple of hours last night, it’s clear that it won’t be done today. Everything I tried did NOT work so that means re-thinking most of the details that I had in mind. Fortunately, we are having unseasonably warm weather here in Central Florida right now so she won’t need the sweater for a bit.

In my mind, just about all of this work falls under the category of finishing the sweater. You know how that looks in patterns – there’s a caption that says “Finishing” and it has short snappy little instructions like “Pick up and work single crochet along front edge,” or “Sew side, underarm and sleeve seams,” or, one of my old-school favorites, “Finish in the usual way.”

The problem with this is that “Finishing” really does make the difference in how well the project turns out, whether it’s a full blown sweater or just a simple purse. However, it is a set of skills rather than just some instructions and the knitting and crochet patterns really aren’t the place to spell that out.

The good news is that because finishing is a set of skills, it can be learned. The way to go about that is to start with reference material and then practice. Here are some sources to get you started:

The “I Hate to Finish Sweaters” Guide
This book is only about finishing. The author has a blog you might want to check out as well.

The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques

Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book
This is an old standby with a lot of useful information.
An online forum for all types of craft and handwork. The place to ask specific questions.

Well, that should be a good start for getting information on finishing projects. Be sure to practice a new technique and ask questions when in doubt.

The most useful, though not necessarily pleasant, tip I can give on getting a professional finish is this: Just suck it up and re-do it if it doesn’t come out right. Repeat until correct.