Tag Archives: finishing

I took at finishing class! (and finished something)

A few weeks ago, I took a finishing class at a not-so-local yarn store.  I am self taught for most finishing skills (seams, picking up stitches, weaving in ends). Since, I’m pretty good at following youtube videos and making things look tidy, I never knew what I didn’t know.  It took a suggestion from knittingsarah, to send me to the internet to find a yarn store offering a finishing class. It turns out there was a lot that I was doing wrong(ish).  It was really instructive to sit down with a real expert and correct all of my bad habits.  After a few hours with some swatches, I was ready and willing to tackle some seaming.

My cap sleeve lattice top in Cascade Ultra Pima

My cap sleeve lattice top in Cascade Ultra Pima

I was drawn to the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top from the moment I saw it, but had originally planned to knit it in the round, and then graft the shoulders together using kitchener stitch. If you scroll down from the pattern post, you will find lots of discussion on this in the comment section. However, after the class, it seemed like a great, unintimidating place to practice my new skills.  So I knit it flat and then folded it and used mattress stitch along the gray sections, just as the pattern calls for. I could not be happier with the results! It was a little time consuming, but I’m finally finishing garments up to my standards.

I’m smitten with both the pattern and the yarn (Cascade Ultra Pima) – they’re a perfect fit.  If only the top was a perfect fit for me.  I have a long torso, and thought I adjusted the length enough to accomodate, but it still hits a little above my hip.  I cast on the medium (I’m about a size 6), and so this fits in a loose, effortless way that I think is appropriate for a casual summer top. If I make this again as an all season layering piece, I will use the same yarn, but definitely make it longer and smaller. What colours would you use for an all season layering lattice?

My Overby Sweater (or Why I Despise Seams)

_AWN4131My Overby sweater is done, and I sort of like it.  I rarely make sweaters for myself, because I’m almost pathologically picky about fit and I find wool really itchy (I know, it’s a strange confession for a knitter!).  However, when I saw this pattern, and the new cotton tape yarn it was designed for, I was completely seduced.  I love cotton sweaters, and the fit, texture and stretch of this sweater make fit less of an issue.

My Overby sweater, knit in Berroco Karma, in the spring sunshine

My Overby sweater, knit in Berroco Karma, in the spring sunshine

That said, I have mixed feelings about the results.  I still love, love, love the texture and silhouette. The actual knitting was as quick and easy as can be, but the yarn presented a few unique challenges.  Berocco Karma is a new yarn, with only 48 ravelry projects, so getting tips and help online wasn’t easy.  It’s a loosely woven cotton tape, making weaving in ends nearly impossible to do to my satisfaction.  On the advice of my LYS, I ended up attaching balls of yarn by sewing the two ends together with a few stitches in matching thread.  That didn’t solve to problem of the ends, and there are a couple places where they have worked their way to the surface.

I hate, hate, hate seaming, and this sweater is constructed in 4 flat pieces (the absolute worst method of construction if you ask me). This turned out to be the biggest hurdle and source of dissatisfaction with this sweater.  My inexperience with set-in shoulders made me reluctant to start messing with the pattern, and now I really regret it.  I should have knit as much as possible in the round, or even better used Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters to rewrite the pattern as seamless.

I started blogging, in part, to elevate my knitting skills and push myself to try new things, so I was determined to master seaming and finishing.  I scoured youtube, and watched Berroco’s own excellent videos.  It was a little too late; they recommended decreasing for the sleeve cap one or two stitches in for the sleeve cap to give yourself a firmer edge to sew into (thanks, guys, but next time put that in the pattern!).

A work in progress, sew in the sleeves

A work in progress, sew in the sleeves

I waited until my son was asleep and my husband was safely ensconced in the NHL playoffs to attack.  I laid everything out after diligently blocking. However, even with all that care, the seams do not meet my standards.  I hate wearing anything that looks amateurish, and these seams seem to have conspired against me.  The loose stitches make every misstep glaring, and somehow, I sewed one armpit slightly tighter than the other (not really visible, but still).

All that said, I loved this yarn, and the way it feels, I can’t wait to find another really great (seamless) sweater pattern for it. Please, share if you have any ideas!